The 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has crowned a new winner: Toyota! Before a 256,900-strong crowd, the Japanese manufacturer has triumphed at Le Mans for the very first time, achieving a goal it has been chasing since 1985. Fernando Alonso wins Le Mans at his first attempt, while Buemi and Nakajima are rewarded for their perseverance.
At 15:00 on Saturday 16 June, tennis champion Rafael Nadal, starter of the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, gave the start of a historic 24-hour battle won by a particularly combative, tenacious warrior. The Japanese manufacturer first started chasing victory at Le Mans in 1985. At 15:00 on Sunday 17 June the team finally achieved a dream. Finally, Le Mans has chosen Toyota. The endurance classic has also elected two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso as one of the chosen few to win at the first attempt. The Spaniard shares his triumph with Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima who have suffered several disappointments with the Japanese team.
A rookie at Le Mans, Fernando Alonso seems bowled over by the race: “It’s a shame the 24 Hours of Le Mans only happens once a year. They should hold it every 2 or 3 weeks.”
The first LM P1 non-hybrid, the Rebellion R13 with crew Thomas Laurent, Gustavo Menezes and Mathias Beche is third overall! This is Frenchman Laurent’s second Le Mans podium in a row.
LM P2 victory goes to the G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 and Rusinov/Vergne/Pizzitola.
In the hotly disputed LM GTE Pro class, Porsche pops the champagne to celebrate its 70th anniversary in style with a win for the Pink Pig Porsche 911 RSR. The German marque continued the festivities with a triumph in LM GTE Am for Patrick Dempsey’s team Dempsey Proton Racing. No doubt the actor and team owner’s proudest sporting moment.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “This 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans lived up to all its expectations. The result could only be historic, and it is. Toyota has won Le Mans for the first time ever. Toyota proved it has the stamina to last the course. As do Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima. My sincere congratulations to all three. Porsche celebrates its 70th anniversary in style, with victory for both the Pink Pig and Dempsey Proton Racing. LM P2 victory goes to the G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 and Rusinov/Vergne/Pizzitola. Congratulations to all competitors who gave their utmost in a tough race. See you back here on 15-16 June 2019 for the 87th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the culmination of the FIA Championship.”