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.
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.
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.
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.
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.