Toyota takes 3rd straight 24 Hours of LeMans win

Kazuki Nakajima brought the #8 Toyota across the finish line 5 laps ahead of the #1 Rebellion driven by Norman Nato to win the Covid-19 postponed 24 Hours of LeMans.

This was the first hat-trick for a pair of drivers since Audi’s three-peat from 2000 to 2002. It is the No. 8 car’s third victory of WEC Season 8 and Toyota’s third consecutive win at Le Mans.

Toyota’s Le Mans triumph means the team has won the FIA LMP1 World Endurance Championship with one round [Bahrain] still remaining. Aston Martin have also secured the FIA GT Manufacturers’ World Championship and United Autosports have claimed the WEC Season 8 LMP2 FIA World Endurance Teams’ trophy.

Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley were faultless for the entire 24 hours, only a brake duct issue cost them time in the garage early in the race.

Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Brendon Hartley (NZL) Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Mike Conway (GBR) Jose Maria Lopez (ARG) Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) celebrate on the podium and in parc ferme.

The No. 7 sister Toyota could have won or been 2nd but a turbo-charger failure would cost Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez dearly. Overnight the No. 7 lost 5-laps in the garage and dropped outside the top three.

With 2 hours and 20 minutes remaining, the #3 Rebellion came into the pits running 2nd ahead of the sister #1 Rebellion, but Louis Deletraz had difficulty launching the #3 out of his pit stall. The 20-second loss trying to restart the car was enough for the #1 to take the 2nd position.

The #22 United Oreca driven by Paul Di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque won the LMP2 class over the #38 JOTA, finishing 5th overall. Last year’s Le Mans category winners Signatech Alpine Elf finished fourth overall.

The 24-field category provided plenty of action including a disqualification for early class leaders, No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing. The squad were black flagged from the race after receiving outside assistance when the car stopped out on track

#22 United Oreca wins LMP2 class

The #97 Aston Martin driven by Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin and Harry Tincknell defeated the #51 AF Corse Ferrari to take LMGTE-Pro honors by 1m33s after 24 hours.  It was a hard fought battle throughout and it was the first victory at La Sarthe with the ‘new’ Vantage AMR. The Aston Martin #97 car completed the 24-hour race without needing a brake change, a first for GTE cars.

The No. 95 sister Aston Martin car rounded out the top three.

The #24 TF Sport Aston Martin driven by Jonny Adam, Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc won the LMGTE-Am class over the #25 Patrick Dempsey #77 Porsche with the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo rounding out the Am podium.

Winners Quotes

Hisatake Murata, Toyota Team President: “Again we have seen what a difficult challenge the Le Mans 24 Hours is; it is a true endurance test. We showed great team spirit and determination to overcome the early troubles for the #8 car, and winning three consecutive Le Mans with the TS050 HYBRID is a dream come true. Well done to everyone in the team on this achievement. However, we set ourselves the target of another one-two finish and I am sorry for the #7 drivers, mechanics and engineers who worked so hard and performed so well again. We are one team, so we all feel their pain. We missed experiencing these highs and lows with the fans at the track but I hope we can meet again here next year. Congratulations to Rebellion for their podium; they pushed us and once again earned our respect. Thank you to the ACO for giving us the chance to enjoy Le Mans despite the global circumstances this year.”

Sébastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “I feel great. My team-mates and the team have done such an amazing job. The race once again showed how quickly the luck can turn here at Le Mans. When we started the race, I had the feeling everything was against us; slow zones, punctures and a problem with the brake cooling. But then all of a sudden things started to go well and we were leading the race then soon we were leading by five laps. Le Mans again proved that you never know what will happen until the race is over.”

Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It is special to be in the last TS050 HYBRID to win Le Mans and to achieve three victories in a row is fantastic. We had a race of ups and downs but everybody did a really good job, include our sister car. Somehow we seem to have a bit more luck than the other car. When the #7 car had the issue, it was all about winning the race for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and this was quite tough. I am really happy to achieve it and be part of this team.”

Brendon Hartley (TS050 HYBRID #8): “I am proud of my team-mates and the whole team around us. It has been a learning curve for me coming to this team. Séb and Kazuki have helped me getting up to speed in a very fast and complex race car. Today we had some little issues at the beginning, but then we had a perfect race, thanks to an amazing group of engineers and mechanics behind the scenes. Everything was executed really well, so a big thank you to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.”

Alex Lynn (GB), #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE: “I won’t lie that was emotional. I had a few tears on the last lap. I have driven this exact car for the last three years and so much hard work and sweat has gone into it.”

Maxime Martin (BE), #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE: “It’s awesome to win Le Mans for Aston Martin. It was a difficult race – the Ferrari was strong and it was tough for more than 22 hours. To win Le Mans is something special. We had two years when we struggled here so to learn, improve, come back so prepared and win… it feels emotional. Alex did an amazing job, Harry was incredible on his first outing in the car and the team was faultless.”

Aston Martins 1st and 3rd in LMGTE-Pro. Photo: Nick Dungan / Drew Gibson Photography

Harry Tincknell (GB), #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE: “I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this team and experience. It’s fantastic to be a winner in an Aston Martin at Le Mans. The history that the brand has here and the emotion of the British fans, who couldn’t be with us but are still watching at home… it’s really something special. I have to pinch myself that I’m going to be a small part of Aston Martin’s history forever.”

David King, Aston Martin Vice President Chief Special Operations Officer and President Aston Martin Racing: “The team have worked so hard with the new Vantage for three years now to make it a Le Mans and a world championship winner against the toughest of competitor teams. I am so proud to see the Aston Martin Vantage beat such illustrious rivals on the track in the ultimate test of man and machine. I’m only sorry that so many of our brand partners, customers and fans who usually join us here in France were unable to do so this year, but we felt the support and really appreciate all the messages and the good will.”

Mark C. reporting for 

2020 24 Hours of Le Mans Results

1 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Hartley 387 +0.000s
2 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Senna, Nato, Menezes 382 + 5 Laps
3 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 381 + 6 Laps
4 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Dumas, Berthon, Deletraz 381 + 39.408s
5 LMP2 #22 Oreca Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 370 + 17 Laps
6 LMP2 #38 Oreca Davidson, Da Costa, Gonzalez 370 + 32.831s
7 LMP2 #31 Oreca Jamin, Canal, Vaxiviere 368 + 19 Laps
8 LMP2 #36 Alpine Negrao, Ragues, Laurent 367 + 20 Laps
9 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Vergne, Jensen 367 + 57.578s
10 LMP2 #28 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Bradley 366 + 21 Laps
11 LMP2 #42 Oreca Lapierre, Borga, Coigny 365 + 22 Laps
12 LMP2 #25 Oreca Falb, Trummer, McMurry 365 + 1m31.640s
13 LMP2 #50 Oreca Calderon, Florsch, Visser 364 + 23 Laps
14 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Belicchi, Sernagiotto 363 + 24 Laps
15 LMP2 #17 Oreca Pilet, Tilley, Kennard 363 + 51.762s
16 LMP2 #27 Oreca Hedman, Hanley, Van der Zande 361 + 26 Laps
17 LMP2 #32 Oreca Owen, Brundle, Van Uitert 359 + 28 Laps
18 LMP2 #35 Ligier Yamanaka, Foster, Merhi 351 + 36 Laps
19 LMP2 #29 Oreca Van Eerd, Van der Garde, De Vries 349 + 38 Laps
20 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Tincknell 346 + 41 Laps
21 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 346 + 1m33.164s
22 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Westbrook 343 + 44 Laps
23 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Pla, Bourdais, Gounon 339 + 48 Laps
24 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Eastwood, Adam 339 + 1m33.407s
25 GTE Am #77 Porsche Ried, Pera, Campbell 339 + 2m23.159s
26 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Nielsen 339 + 2m26.206s
27 GTE Am #56 Porsche Perfetti, Ten Voorde, Cairoli 339 + 2m34.526s
28 LMP2 #24 Oreca Grist, Kapadia, Wells 338 + 49 Laps
29 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Watson 337 + 50 Laps
30 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Heistand, Root, Magnussen 335 + 52 Laps
31 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Bruni, Lietz, Makowiecki 335 + 6.187s
32 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Piovanetti, Negri Jr., Ledogar 335 + 2m49.871s
33 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Gunn, Farfus 333 + 54 Laps
34 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 332 + 55 Laps
35 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 331 + 56 Laps
36 GTE Am #99 Porsche Inthraphuvasak, Legeret, Andlauer 331 + 1m23.705s
37 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Ruberti 331 + 2m58.825s
38 GTE Am #78 Porsche Felbermayr, Beretta, Van Splunteren 330 + 57 Laps
39 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 330 + 1m11.360s
40 GTE Am #57 Porsche Keating, Fraga, Bleekemolen 326 + 61 Laps
41 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Binder, Isaakyan 325 + 62 Laps
42 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Grimes, Mowlem, Hollings 325 + 24.638s
43 GTE Am #89 Porsche Brooks, Piguet, Laskaratos 313 + 74 Laps
44 LMP2 #39 Oreca Allen, Capillaire, Milesi 357 + 30 Laps
45 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Molina, Bird 340 + 47 Laps
46 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Chen, Blomqvist, Gomes 273 + 114 Laps
47 GTE Am #88 Porsche Preining, Bastien, De Leener 238 + 149 Laps
48 GTE Am #75 Ferrari Mastronardi, Cressoni, Piccini 211 + 176 Laps
49 LMP2 #37 Oreca Tung, Aubry, Stevens 141 + 246 Laps
50 LMP2 #21 Oreca Montoya, Buret, Rojas 192 + 195 Laps
51 GTE Pro #63 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Segal 185 + 202 Laps
52 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Kimura, Abril, Cozzolino 172 + 215 Laps
53 LMP2 #16 Aurus Cullen, Jarvis, Tandy 105 + 282 Laps
54 LMP2 #30 Oreca Hirschi, Tereschenko, Gommendy 100 + 287 Laps
55 LMP1 #4 ENSO Dillmann, Spengler, Webb 97 + 290 Laps
56 LMP2 #33 Oreca Yamashita, Patterson, Fjordbach 88 + 299 Laps
57 GTE Am #52 Ferrari Ulrich, Gorig, West 80 + 307 Laps
58 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Scott, Griffin 78 + 309 Laps
59 LMP2 #11 Ligier Tambay, Maris, D’Ansembourg 26 + 361 Laps