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24 Hours of LeMans

Ferrari defeat Toyota to claim historic Le Mans victory

On the centenary race of the historic event, Ferrari broke the Toyota stranglehold to claim their first overall Le Mans win in nearly 60 years.

Ferrari 51 AF Corse Hypercar Le Mans 2023 race
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To news overview © XPBimages

Ferrari AF Corse took a sensational victory with the #51 car of Antonio Giovinazzi, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi on its first appearance at Le Mans in the Hypercar era,

The 100th-anniversary event whittled down to a battle between Ferrari and Toyota, who were aiming for a sixth straight victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Ferrari overcame chaotic weather, off-track moments, technical scares and bizarrely long Safety Car periods to take the victory over the #8 Toyota, driven by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, by over three minutes.

The #51 car suffered from restart problems during a couple of pit stops, which threatened to completely derail its efforts, but their pit delays were nullified by a late crash for the #8 Toyota, with Hirakawa damaging the car and effectively ending Toyota's Le Mans defence.

The opening hours of the event saw the race lead change hands between Ferrari, Toyota, Porsche and Peugeot, before the latter teams tailed off, leaving the #2 and #3 Cadillacs to profit and take a respectable 3rd and 4th-place finish. The #2 car of Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook took the final spot on the podium.

The pole-sitting #50 Ferrari of Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen was one of the frontrunners, before a rain-induced trip into the gravel and a energy recovery system problem put them out of contention, eventually finishing in P5.

The second Toyota (the #7 belonging to Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez) were in contention for the win until a race-ending collision with backmarkers in a slow zone, moments after the #51 Ferrari had been craned out of the gravel trap after spinning off in the wet.

The two Glickenhaus Racing cars #708 and #709 finished 6th and 7th ahead of the ailing Porsche and Peugeot teams.

Disaster for Porsche and Peugeot

The Porsche cars remained in the mix for strong Le Mans results until issues for both the #5 and #6 cars.

The #5 car (Dane Cameron, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki) suffered from a sensor problem during the night, losing over 20 minutes with the issue and finishing the race in P9.

The sister #6 car (Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor) took heavy damage after a barrier collision, with Porsche bringing the car in for repairs which lasted almost 45 minutes. Their additional #75 car retired with a technical issue.

The highest-placed Peugeot (#93 of Paul di Resta, Mikkel Jensen and Jean-Eric Vergne) ended up in P8 overall after a costly spin and lengthy recovery thwarted their outside chances of victory. The second #94 Peugeot crashed out in the early hours of the morning.

Inter Europol and Corvette take class honours

The Inter Europol team in the #34 ORECA (Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa and Fabio Scherer) car took the LMP2 honours by 21 seconds ahead of the #14 Team WRT car after a late drive-through penalty brought a tense finish to proceedings. The Duqueine team's #30 car completed the top three after a very late issue for the second WRT car (#41).

Corvette Racing's #33 car took the GTE AM honours in dominant fashion - despite a 10-minute garage stop - ahead of the #25 ORT by TF and #29 GR Racing, with several cars finishing on the lead lap.

The Garage 56 entry, driven by Jenson Button, Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller, of the NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro made it to the end of the race in P39 overall.

To view the full results of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, click here.

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