The 85th edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans has been for Porsche, despite the fact that he was not the favorite and has had to fight until the end until with an LMP2. The victory of Bernhard, Hartley and Bamber will pass to the history of the legendary quote from the path of The Sarthe for its incidents, in all categories, except in the GTEAm (who won the JMW Motorsport Will Stevens, Robert Smith and Dries Vanthoor), much more calm than at other times.
The 19th victory of Porsche at Le Mans was also the 18th defeat of Toyota in a race that aspired to everything and that began with many aspirations.
First hour: Toyota dreams of victory
The first six hours of the 24 hours of Le Mans did dream Toyota. It was all that and painted: position of power over Porsche in LMP1, LMP2 and controlled in GTs, BoP, through, are the Aston Martin who carry the voice singer. But that all changed at midnight.
Porsche had surrendered to not repeat their recent victories, both by merit of his rival as a demerit of its own. In the early stages of the race (not as soon as the ByKolles 4, that already in the first round had punctured), the Porsche 2 Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley broke down, with serious problems on the front, to deploy the hybrid power. That forced them to put it in the garage to try to change that part completely, and already involved that they forgot the victory. It was all in the hands of the Porsche 1, Jani, Lotterer and Tandy.
This meant that Toyota had something more calm, with the 7 Sarrazin, Conway and Kobayashi (the poleman) ahead, and the theoretical single Porsche in contention for the victory, ahead of the 8 Buemi, Davidson and Nakajima. Did not do well in relying on the japanese team, or give you dead by members of the car that left Mark Webber.
The curse of Toyota strikes again
First fell on the Toyota 8. A similar problem to the Porsche 2 forced them to change the rear-wheel drive, but it took an hour in the pits. Options Buemi, Davidson and Nakajima went out the window. Much worse was what Kobayashi, with the great favorite to the test: a problem in the change made him break. The curse was looming over the box of the japanese team.
The despair of the fastest man in the history of the circuit de La Sarthe made him go back to the box as a zombie. Tears came from the eyes of Hugues de Chaunac, and the rest of the members are not what they could believe in the box from Toyota, as it was normal. With the very Akio Toyoda this had problems in their two-car candidates to victory, and all of its options to podium remained in the hands of the Toyota 9, the car, the ‘extra’ that you were here, with Lapierre, Yunimoto and Pechito Lopez. It was the French behind the wheel when, by a touch, prodded… and eagerness to get back to the pits they fucked up the rear end. It had only been 30 minutes between the breaking of the 7 and the 9.
Porsche 1 also breaks
The victory seemed a thing of the Porsche 1. Nothing made you think that was losing the race: even reduced the speed to get in times of LMP2 throughout the night and a good part of the morning.
however, crossing the barrier of the 20 hours, with André Lotterer at the wheel, I noticed a problem: something is not going well in your 919. The German complained on the radio and found a problem with the oil pressure: it could not be.
This meant that, for the first time, the LMP2 will become favorites to victory in the 24 hours of Le Mans. Only the Porsche 2, whose strategy for the end of the race was only overcome gradually to reach the podium, gave hopes to the last few hours to normal, if that you could call normal, be fulfilled.
a Lot more emotion there was in LMP2, but not for victory, but to see if the Vaillante Rebellion, this year that have been passed to the lower category, were able to achieve victory. The Oreca 28 of the team Jackie Chan is found with the opportunity of his life: he had eleven laps of a disadvantage with the car of Lotterer to be first in the absence of a little over 3 and a half hours, with the Vaillante Rebellion 13 Beche, Piquet Jr. and Heinemeier Hansson at the wheel.
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however, their joy in a well: the Porsche 2 flew in as soon as you became the only hope of the team of Stuttgart and, a little over an hour, chased the car of Jackie Chan.
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Corvette, with Taylor in the stint final, lost by a hair
The early problem of Menezes (winner last year in LMP2) left without one of the favorites of the category. The incident of the Alpine was almost an anecdote, in comparison with the pain Vaxiviere at the wheel of the Oreca of TDS Racing. The French took position to Pierre Kaffer just after this you were struggling with Miguel Molina by the leadership in GTEPro.
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The incident cost him a stop&go, 7 minutes to the team, and the elimination of one of the favorite cars for the victory, because next to Kaffer in the Risi Competizione ran Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander.
The Corvette Antonio Garcia stayed to the expectation in these early hours, which dominated the Aston Martin 97 Turner, Adam and Daniel Serra, and showed that the BoP benefit them a lot throughout the test. However, the Spanish surpassed expectations and with their stints in the evening he came to place with a serious chance of victory in the category, while the team’s 63 moved on to another strategy stops, against the current.
That allowed Corvette to get to the last hour of the race with a serious chance of victory. Despite the fact that the rhythm of Garcia during the night and first thing in the morning had been higher, it was Taylor in charge of making the last stint of just 40 minutes, with Jonatham Adam at the wheel of the Aston Martin 97 wheel-to-wheel and fighting to the limit until the very last moments.
Corvette, however, were left without a victory. Jordan Taylor had an output track for playing on the last lap, with Adam happened without major difficulties, while the yellow car was trying to get to goal as he could. In the end, he was second in his category, while the AF Corde 71 Miguel Molina, Sam Bird and Davide Rigon was formed with the fifth square.
Podiums by category
LMP1: Porsche 2, Toyota 9, and Porsche 1
LMP2: Oreca 38, Oreca 13, Oreca 37
GTEPro: Aston Martin 97, Ford Chip Ganassi 67, Corvette 63
GTEAm: JMW Motorsport 84, Spirit of Race 55, Scuderia Corsa 62