Ferrari outperformed Toyota and Porsche to secure its second consecutive victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, despite both factory cars encountering issues in the race’s final stages. The #50 Ferrari AF Corse, driven by Nicklas Nielsen, Antonio Fuoco, and Miguel Molina, crossed the finish line with a 14-second lead over the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID. The #51 Ferrari, piloted by Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, and Antonio Giovinazzi, claimed the final podium spot.

Race Highlights

In the penultimate hour, the right-side door of the #50 Ferrari began flapping, prompting a black-and-orange flag from race control. Nielsen pitted six laps into his stint but maintained the lead over the #7 Toyota. Lopez’s spin at the Dunlop Curve further eased Ferrari’s path to victory, nullifying Toyota’s chances of adding to its five Le Mans wins.

Ferrari demonstrated remarkable speed from the start of the 92nd Le Mans edition, with all three 499Ps, including the AF Corse-entered customer entry, leading the pack early on. The #50 and #83 Ferraris capitalized on a brief rain shower on Saturday evening by staying out on slicks, distancing themselves from competitors who opted to pit.

The race faced its first neutralization post-nightfall when Dries Vanthoor’s BMW crashed after contact with Robert Kubica’s #83 Ferrari. This incident required nearly two hours to replace barriers, with racing resuming past midnight. Another safety car was deployed in the early hours due to rain and fog, with Toyota, Porsche, and Ferrari exchanging leads.

By dawn, the race was back under green, with positions shifting frequently among manufacturers. The #50 Ferrari surged ahead in the 18th hour before the final rain shower, with Fuoco overtaking both the #83 Ferrari and the #5 Porsche.

Despite pressure from Laurens Vanthoor in the #6 Porsche, Pier Guidi managed to secure third place for the #51 Ferrari. However, a five-second penalty for a collision with Brendon Hartley’s #8 Toyota in the penultimate hour added to the drama.

Results and Asian Drivers

  1. #50 Ferrari AF Corse (Hypercar): Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen – 311 laps – 24:01’55.856
  2. #7 Toyota Racing (Hypercar): Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi, Nyck de Vries – 311 laps – 24:02’10.077 (+14.221)
  3. #51 Ferrari AF Corse (Hypercar): Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi – 311 laps – 24:02’32.586 (+36.730)
  4. #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport (Hypercar): Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor – 311 laps – 24:02’33.753 (+37.897)
  5. #8 Toyota Racing (Hypercar): Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa – 311 laps – 24:02’58.680 (+1’02.824)
  6. #5 Porsche Penske Motorsport (Hypercar): Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki – 311 laps – 24:03’41.510 (+1’45.654)
  7. #2 Cadillac Racing (Hypercar): Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Alex Palou – 311 laps – 24:04’30.324 (+2’34.468)
  8. #12 Hertz Team Jota (Hypercar): Will Stevens, Norman Nato, Callum Ilott – 311 laps – 24:04’58.547 (+3’02.691)
  9. #38 Hertz Team Jota (Hypercar): Oliver Rasmussen, Phil Hanson, Jenson Button – 311 laps – 24:05’32.612 (+3’36.756)
  10. #63 Lamborghini Iron Lynx (Hypercar): Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat, Edoardo Mortara – 309 laps – 24:04’05.323

Ferrari’s back-to-back win at Le Mans solidifies its position as a dominant force in endurance racing, with strong performances from Asian drivers contributing significantly to their respective teams. This year’s race not only highlighted the prowess of established manufacturers but also showcased the emerging talent and resilience of teams and drivers from the Asian motorsport arena.

Notable Asian Participation

  • Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) – Competed in the #7 Toyota Racing Hypercar, finishing in second place alongside teammates Jose Maria Lopez and Nyck de Vries
  • Ryo Hirakawa (Japan) – Competed in the #8 Toyota Racing Hypercar, finishing in fifth place alongside teammates Sebastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley.

Kamui Kobayashi (Japan)

  • Position: 2nd
  • Result: 24:02’10.077
  • Class: Hypercar

Ryo Hirakawa (Japan)

  • Position: 5th
  • Result: 24:02’58.680
  • Class: Hypercar

Bijoy Garg (India/USA)

  • Position: 15th
  • Result: 24:05’21.890
  • Class: LMP2

Ritomo Miyata (Japan)

  • Position: 26th
  • Result: 24:04’52.088
  • Class: LMP2

Satoshi Hoshino (Japan)

  • Position: 36th
  • Result: 24:05’55.786
  • Class: LMGT3

Takeshi Kimura (Japan)

  • Position: 37th
  • Result: 24:06’24.548
  • Class: LMGT3

Hiroshi Koizumi (Japan)

  • Position: 38th
  • Result: 24:03’59.352
  • Class: LMGT3

Yifei Ye (China)

  • Position: 45th
  • Result: 19:59’07.922
  • Class: Hypercar

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