In a Rollercoaster edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans which saw several key challengers failing to finish. Porsche eventually claimed victory with the #2 Entrant of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. The #2 car re-emerging from issues earlier in the race to claim a victory over the LMP2 Oreca 07 of Jackie Chan DC Racing.
Meanwhile during the race Two of the Toyota contenders failed to finish and one finished 9 laps off the lead. A disastrous day for Toyota. Porsche had its own issues, the aforementioned Porsche #2 saw redemption later in the race whilst Porsche #1 which was the last of the hybrid prototypes to run relatively fault free fell by the wayside late in the race.
The attrition in the P1 hybrid ranks perhaps indicated the performance envelope had been pushed too far in hybrid performance, although other factors such as the heat during this race will have also factored. Ultimately though, the fact Porsche did eventually win at Le Mans today probably is the best outcome the LMP1 factories collectively could of hoped for from a rather disappointing day.
The LMP2 battle was much better in terms of reliability than expected with Oreca dominating the class, with Rebellion Racing showing strongly earlier before issues led to the DC Jackie Chan Racing team taking the helm of the class, and ending up on the overall podium, if a little short of an overall victory.
The GTE PRO battle between Aston Martin and Corvette Racing was incredible. The BOP in the class this year was much better with all of the manufacturers at one point during the race looking in a strong position. Not all of them finished strongly of course but I loved the showdown at the end between Aston Martin and Corvette Racing, reminiscent of the GT1 days and a wonderful send off if this year is in fact the last year for the V12 Vantage Platform in GTE Racing.
In GTE Am, it was JMW motorsport’s Ferrari 488 which claimed victory.
I’ll explore deeper into the race later and post some thoughts here. I hope you enjoyed this years 24 Hours of Le Mans as much as I did. Yes it was different, yes it was a much more traditional Le Mans in the sense that it was a race of survival rather than constant all out wheel to wheel racing but it was certainly an interesting race to view this weekend. Not the one I was expecting but at no point could I switch off from it or describe it as ‘dull’ to follow.