German marque survives incident-packed race to claim record-extending 19th victory

Porsche claimed a record 19th outright victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in a gruelling race in which all five works LMP1 machines suffered major problems.

The trio of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber topped the podium in their Porsche 919 Hybrid, despite seemingly dropping out of contention when they were forced to pit due to a motor generator issue in the fourth hour.

But they moved back into contention as the other works Porsche and Toyota prototypes hit trouble. The #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Stéphane Sarrazin dominated the early portion of the race, until being sidelined by a clutch problem in the tenth hour.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans - by the numbers

The sister #8 machine of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima had already fallen out of contention by that point, losing 29 laps after having to pit to replace the front motor and battery.

Toyota’s challenge then crumbled entirely. 15 minutes after the #7 car’s retirement, the third TS050 Hybrid suffered terminal damage after a clash with an LMP2 car.

Toyota’s misfortunes handed the #1 Porsche of André Lotterer, Neel Jani and Nick Tandy a massive lead - but with less than four hours to go that machine was sidelined by an engine problem.

That set up a dramatic finish, with the second-division LMP2 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA of Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent assuming the lead, but being chased down by the recovering #2 Porsche.

The faster LMP1 Porsche eventually regained the lead with just over an hour to go, and held on to the finish. Second place for the Jackie Chan ORECA was still the highest-ever finish by an LMP2 car. Fellow LMP2 runners Nelson Piquet Jr, David Heinemeier Hansson and Mathias Beche finished third overall.

GTE Pro: Aston claimed final-lap win

Aston Martin clinched a dramatic victory in the GTE Pro division, with the #97 machine of Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra and Darren Turner snatching the lead on the final lap.

The #97 Vantage had started from pole, but after a close race was forced to chase fown the #63 Chevrolet Corvette of Jan Magnussen, Antonio García and Jordan Taylor in the closing stages. The battle was only settled when the Corvette picked up a puncture coming as it crossed the line to start the final lap. 

That puncture also cost Chevrolet second, with the Ford GT of Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx and Luis Derani also going past on the final lap.

Former F1 racer Will Stevens, Robert Smith and Dries Vanthoor claimed victory in the GTE Am division in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE.

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Comments
12

18 June 2017
I just come from Le Mans. It was an incredible edition.
And also in GTE pro between Aston MArtin and Corvette.

18 June 2017
Going to have to fix that next year...

18 June 2017
It's a shame that Toyota fails for the second year due to reliability problems. It reminds us of their failure in F1 after years of racing.
What happened to the Japanese? Honda fails in F1, too, due to absence of reliability.

19 June 2017
Maybe the myth is being exposed

19 June 2017
Maybe the myth is being exposed

19 June 2017
sabre wrote:

It's a shame that Toyota fails for the second year due to reliability problems. It reminds us of their failure in F1 after years of racing.
What happened to the Japanese? Honda fails in F1, too, due to absence of reliability.

Let's face it, apart from sporadic successes here and there (like toyota's in wrc in the 90's) the Japanese could never really cut it at the highest level of motorsport. With ever more demands placed on next-generation powertrains and reliability, their technological limitations are being sadly exposed for all to see.

19 June 2017
they won WEC in 2014...and have a look at this years championship. Winning that as well.

19 June 2017
and Porsche had major reliability issues, and were behind on pace..

19 June 2017
MaxTorque wrote:
sabre wrote:

It's a shame that Toyota fails for the second year due to reliability problems. It reminds us of their failure in F1 after years of racing.
What happened to the Japanese? Honda fails in F1, too, due to absence of reliability.

Let's face it, apart from sporadic successes here and there (like toyota's in wrc in the 90's) the Japanese could never really cut it at the highest level of motorsport. With ever more demands placed on next-generation powertrains and reliability, their technological limitations are being sadly exposed for all to see.

I don't thing the powertrains and technology are an issue, I think it's probably more to do with a Japanese style of management and development programme which is why often or not they don't quite nail it in top level motorsport (bar bikes).

19 June 2017
The LMP1 category is a joke. And I don't see the attractiveness of the LMP2 category with just one engine and three types of chassis. Keep the GT cars, and divide them between factory-endorsed and private entries. In the 60's the The Ford GT was considered a prototype, now it's merely one of the contenders in the two GT classes. This way more car brands will feel tempted to participate. Think of Lamborghini Huracan, McLaren 720S, Mercedes AMG GT, Nissan GTR, Audi R8 and the new Toyota Supra.

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