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Toyota scores its 5th win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Will this be the last time the Japanese team enjoy domination in the Hypercar class?

Brendon Hartley was once a Formula 1 driver, but he seems to be doing much better in endurance racing. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

In the second year of hypercar racing, Toyota looked set to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans once more with Brendon Hartley taking pole with Car No. 8 and Kamui Kobayashi with Car No. 7 securing a front-row lockout.

The two Toyotas lead the 62-car pack at the start of the race. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

For almost 16 hours, the fight for the lead was tight as the two Toyotas were only separated by mere seconds, with the lead changing hands several times.

However, a front-motor issue for Car No. 7 forced José Maria López to pull over on the side to perform a system reset before returning to the pits for further troubleshooting.

So much can go wrong in Le Mans—car problems, accidents, traffic. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

In spite of being a lap behind the leader, Car No. 7 had a comfortable four-lap advantage over the Glickenhaus in third place. In the end, Hartley took the checkered flag to win the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans with López following for a 1-2 finish for Toyota.

The GR010 emerges triumphant in spite of its battle scars. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA GAZOO RACING

After the end of this grueling race, Toyota now leads the manufacturers’ championship ahead of Alpine and then Glickenhaus.

However, the drivers’ championship is still up for grabs as the Alpine trio of André Negrão, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Nicolas Lapierre is still leading with a three-point advantage over the drivers of Car No. 8, with the next round being the 6 Hours of Monza.

A new challenger has appeared. PHOTO FROM FERRARI

Ever since Audi and Porsche left Le Mans, Toyota has established its dominance in LMP1 and hypercars. However, it may soon come to an end with the introduction of Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDh) prototypes with Lamborghini, Porsche, Acura, BMW and Cadillac—as well as the entry of Peugeot and Ferrari—into the Le Mans Hypercar class.

Leandro Mangubat

Leandro is our staff writer. Although having a background in mechanical engineering, he enjoys photography and writing more.