The sheer scale and sense of occasion can never be underestimated at the Le Mans 24 Hours, even in the years the race itself doesn’t quite live up to the hype.

The 2022 edition had its moments, combining the usual blend of emotional triumph for some and devastating heartbreak for others. But the bare truth is that Toyota Gazoo Racing was figuratively in a class of its own as the Japanese manufacturer logged a straightforward fifth consecutive victory.

Even the much-vaunted LMP2 class fell short of providing the expected scrap, the British Jota team dominating almost from the start as rivals found their races unravelling.

The last appearance for the GTE Pro category featuring works teams from Corvette (Chevrolet), Ferrari and Porsche was the closest contested battle, as it so often is.

As the GT category begins its transition towards a GT3-based formula, just GTE Am, featuring privateer teams and its mix of professional and amateur drivers, will run next year.

Kudos to Porsche, then, for claiming the final GTE Pro honours, while Sussex-based TF Sport added a second GTE Am win in three years for the Aston Martin Vantage with an unblemished run.

That’s the key to success at Le Mans, as it always has been. Such is the competition in every category these days, any delay or time spent in the garage will likely ruin a team’s fortunes.

Credit due to Toyota

Who has Toyota beaten to score its five wins? It’s a legitimate question, given the dearth of manufacturer rivals it has faced in the top class in this era – but it’s also a harsh one. It’s not Toyota’s fault that Porsche and Audi withdrew from the previous eye-wateringly expensive high-tech LMP1 category, while Cologne-based Toyota Gazoo Racing deserves credit and respect for its commitment to the new Hypercar class rather than cynicism.

Let’s face it, without the Toyota GR010 Hybrid, the much-vaunted new era would have whimpered into sorry life, given that Jim Glickenhaus's boutique car maker has been the only other entrant, beyond a tuned-down LMP1 from Alpine.