Ferrari triumphs at Le Mans after epic duel with Toyota!

© XPB 

Ferrari emerged victorious on Sunday from its epic duel with Toyota in the centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Italian manufacturer etching its name in the annals of the endurance classic 58 years after its last triumph in the Sarthe.

Sharing Ferrari-AF Corse’s #50 entry, Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi drove a consistent but fiercely competitive race against their Toyota counterparts, the trio returning the House of Maranello to endurance racing glory for the first time since Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory’s win at Le Mans in 1965.

Pier Guidi crossed the finish line with a lead of one minute and 21 seconds over the #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID driven by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, and Ryo Hirakawa.

Securing the final position on the overall podium was the #2 Cadillac V-Series.R, driven by Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber, and Richard Westbrook, finishing a lap behind the victorious Ferrari.

Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen finished fifth in the #50 Ferrari, delayed during the night by repairs that knocked the crew out of contention for the podium, despite an excellent performance that saw them climb several places back up the standings.

Ferrari’s triumph at Le Mans in its first year in the WEC’s top-class endurance racing, and with a relatively inexperienced line-up of drivers, is a momentous achievement for the Italian manufacturer and its long-standing partner AF Corse, and an exploit that will be remembered for generations to come.

The shootout between Ferrari and Toyota eventually came to life after the event’s incident-packed first 12 hours that was marked by numerous accidents, adverse weather and multiple neutralisations.


The two manufacturers’ respective #51 and #8 entries were left to battle it out to the checkered flag, with the Ferrari 499P showing slightly superior speed against its Japanese opponent.

However, a pivotal moment occurred during the penultimate hour when Hirakawa suffered a braking error at Arnage and collided with the barriers.

Despite the damage to the #8 car, Hirakawa managed to navigate his way back to the pits where the Toyota crews swiftly turned the car around without losing a lap.

In the closing stages, there was a momentary concern for the #51 car as Pier Guidi had to perform another power cycle with only 23 minutes remaining. However, his significant lead over the Toyota allowed him to regain the track with a comfortable advantage, ultimately securing a historic victory for Ferrari.

Unfortunately, Porsche’s hopes for success at Le Mans were squashed after all three of its factory cars dropped out of contention  before midday on Sunday.

The LMP2 class was won by the Polish Inter Europol Competition squad with the #34 ORECA shared by Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa and Fabio Scherer, while Corvette Racing secured its final win at the Circuit de la Sarthe in the GTE class with Nicky Catsburg, Nico Varrone and Ben Keating.

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