Le Mans Finish: Ferrari triumphs over Toyota

–by Mark Cipolloni–

In a race impacted by rain multiple times, Alessandro Pier Guidi brought the #51 Ferrari 499P Hypercar home first to win the 100th running of the 24 Hours of LeMans over the #8 Toyota Hypercar. Pier Guidi shared the #51 Ferrari with James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Italians were ecstatic – winning Le Mans on their first try in the Hypercar class after a late scare when the Ferrari’s electronics had to again be rebooted during a long final stop.

Ferrari scored its first outright Le Mans 24 Hours victory in 58 years. The winning car completed 342 laps in 24 hours and won by 81.793 seconds.

The Winning Ferrari team celebrates

It was not all plain-sailing for Ferrari, however, as a close battle played out between the No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercar until Ryo Hirakawa spun when braking at Arnage, causing front and rear car damage. A pitstop to fit new bodywork saw the Japanese driver rejoin the race but a lap behind the Ferrari.

There was even more drama when Pier Guidi was unable to restart the No. 51 Hypercar after a routine pit stop and lost crucial seconds in the pits. The team breathed a sigh of relief as Pier Guidi restarted the engine after about 30 seconds and eventually crossed the checkered flag 1m27s ahead of Hirakawa, Brendon Hartley and Sebastien Buemi who claimed the runners-up spot

Calado and Pier Guidi add the overall and Hypercar triumph to their 2019 and 2021 LMGTE Pro wins, while Giovinazzi becomes the first driver since Fernando Alonso in 2018 to win Le Mans on his first attempt.

The #2 and #3 Ganassi Cadillacs finished 3rd and 4th while the #50 Ferrari moved up to 5th overall, 5 laps behind after being hit from behind earlier in the race.

The third-placed #2 Cadillac enjoyed a largely clean run, except for a spin by Westbrook in the nighttime hours

Once Ryo Hirakawa spun the #8 Toyota, Ferrari cruised to victory.

Meanwhile, Glickenhaus Racing maintained their 100% finishing record at Le Mans with the No.708 and No.709 Glickenhaus 007 Hypercars claiming sixth and seventh position. Both cars went off at Indianapolis at different stages of the race and subsequently spent time in the pits for repairs.

The highest Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 finisher was the No.93 car of Paul di Resta, Jean-Eric Vergne and Mikkel Jensen in eighth place.  The French manufacturer was leading Le Mans earlier in the race with the sister No. 94 car but dropped out of podium contention when Gustavo Menezes crashed in the middle of the night at first Mulsanne chicane. Both cars  spent time in the garage with reported hydraulic issues and the No. 94 car classified 12th.

Porsche Penske Motorsport had a difficult race, the squad leading the race at one point but going on to suffer from a series of misfortunes including a retirement for the No. 75 Porsche 963 with a fuel pressure problem.  The WEC entered No. 6 Porsche 963 crashed at Porsche Curves with Kevin Estre at the wheel and then suffered further time loss due to a battery problem. The sister No. 5 car was in contention for a top five place until a broken driveshaft in the race’s closing hour dropped the car to ninth.

The final classified finisher in Hypercar was the Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 which took a distant 13th after spending most of final hours in the pits.

The No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Hypercar retired early on as Kamui Kobayashi was involved in an accident with two LMP2 cars and a LMGTE Am car on the approach to Tertre Rouge. Elsewhere, the No. 4 Floyd Vanwall Racing Team retired after completing 165 laps. Tristan Vautier was at the wheel when the Vanwall Vandervell stopped on track with smoke visible from the rear.

LMP2: 10th and 11th overall, the #34 Polish Interpol Europol Competition team beat the #41 Team WRT Oreca of  Rui Andrade/Louis Deletraz/Robert Kubica. The winning car was shared by Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa and Fabio Scherer. Both Costa and Scherer came under intense pressure in the final few hours from the No.41 Team WRT Oreca-Gibson as first Robert Kubica and then Louis Deletraz chipped away at the gap to the yellow and green car.

Deletraz indeed came to within eight seconds in the final hour before Scherer dug deep and was able to repel the attack.

Swiss ace Scherer even fought off the pain of a bizarre injury he sustained when the No.33 Corvette Racing car inadvertently ran over his left foot during a round of pitstops in the first hour.

INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION – Albert Costa (ESP) – 24 Hours of Le Mans – Centenary Edition – Circuit de la Sarthe – Le Mans – France –

GTE-Am: Corvette Racing’s Nicky Catsburg, Nico Varrone and Ben Keating recovered from a two-lap deficit to win the final 24 Hours of Le Mans race for the outgoing GTE-Am class. Catsburg Corvette home first by 1/2 lap over the #25 Aston Martin  (Ahmad Al-Harthy/Michael Dinan/Charlie Eastwood) after losing 2 laps earlier due to a failed right front damper. More than half of the 21 cars that took part in GTE-Am retired from the race. It was the 9th Le Mans win for the Factory Corvette Team

GTE-AM winner #33 CORVETTE RACING / Corvette C8.R – 24 Hours of Le Mans – Centenary Edition – Circuit de la Sarthe – Le Mans – France – Photo by 2023 FIA WEC / – Gabi Tomescu

Garage 56: Jimmie Johnson brought the NASCAR Camaro home 39th, a disappointment after running so strong earlier. The Hendrick Motorsports machine driven by Jenson Button, Mike Rockenfeller and Jimmie Johnson got close to 25th position on Sunday morning but it lost substantial ground due to a brake change at around 11 a.m. and a transmission issue.

Race Results

Pos No. Drivers Car Class Laps Behind
1 51 James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi, Alessandro Pier Guidi Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 342
2 8 Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa Toyota GR010 – Hybrid HYPERCAR 342 1’21.793
3 2 Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Richard Westbrook Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 341 2’18.917
4 3 Sébastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon, Renger van der Zande Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 340 2 laps
5 50 Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 337 5 laps
6 708 Ryan Briscoe, Romain Dumas, Olivier Pla Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 335 7 laps
7 709 Nathanael Berthon, Esteban Gutierrez, Franck Mailleux Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 333 9 laps
8 93 Paul di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 330 12 laps
9 5 Dane Cameron, Michael Christensen, Frédéric Makowiecki Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 329 13 laps
10 34 Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer, Jakub Smiechowski Oreca 07 LMP2 328 14 laps
11 41 Rui Andrade, Louis Deletraz, Robert Kubica Oreca 07 LMP2 328 53.819
12 30 Rene Binder, Neel Jani, Nicolas Pino Oreca 07 LMP2 327 15 laps
13 36 Julien Canal, Charles Milesi, Matthieu Vaxiviere Oreca 07 LMP2 327 2’36.380
14 31 Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael, Ferdinand Habsburg Oreca 07 LMP2 327 2’51.858
15 48 Paul-Loup Chatin, Laurents Hörr, Paul Lafargue Oreca 07 LMP2 327 3’17.791
16 10 Gabriel Aubry, Ryan Cullen, Matthias Kaiser Oreca 07 LMP2 325 17 laps
17 311 Jack Aitken, Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 324 18 laps
18 23 Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis, Josh Pierson Oreca 07 LMP2 323 19 laps
19 35 Olli Caldwell, Andre Negrao, Memo Rojas Oreca 07 LMP2 322 20 laps
20 45 James Allen, Colin Braun, George Kurtz Oreca 07 LMP2 322 3’03.676
21 22 Filipe Albuquerque, Philip Hanson, Frederick Lubin Oreca 07 LMP2 321 21 laps
22 6 Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 320 22 laps
23 37 Alexandre Coigny, Malthe Jakobsen, Nicolas Lapierre Oreca 07 LMP2 317 25 laps
24 28 Pietro Fittipaldi, David Heinemeier Hansson, Oliver Rasmussen Oreca 07 LMP2 316 26 laps
25 65 Tijmen van der Helm, Manuel Maldonado, Job Van Uitert Oreca 07 LMP2 316 2’39.078
26 33 Nick Catsburg, Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE AM 313 29 laps
27 94 Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes, Nico Müller Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 312 30 laps
28 25 Ahmad Al Harthy, Michael Dinan, Charles Eastwood Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 312 30.924
29 86 Benjamin Barker, Riccardo Pera, Michael Wainwright Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 312 1’28.378
30 85 Sarah Bovy, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 312 1’33.690
31 54 Francesco Castellacci, Thomas Flohr, Davide Rigon Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 312 3’07.521
32 43 Maxime Martin, Tom Van Rompuy, Ugo de Wilde Oreca 07 LMP2 311 31 laps
33 98 Ian James, Daniel Mancinelli, Alex Riberas Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 310 32 laps
34 9 Juan Manuel Correa, Filip Ugran, Bent Viscaal Oreca 07 LMP2 310 2’38.578
35 56 Matteo Cairoli, PJ Hyett, Gunnar Jeannette Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 309 33 laps
36 100 Andrew Haryanto, Chandler Hull, Jeff Segal Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 307 35 laps
37 39 Giedo van der Garde, Roberto Lacorte, Patrick Pilet Oreca 07 LMP2 303 39 laps
38 74 Kei Cozzolino, Yorikatsu Tsujiko, Naoki Yokomizo Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 303 3’02.487
39 24 Jenson Button, Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 INNOVATIVE CAR 285 57 laps
40 38 Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens, Ye Yifei Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 244 98 laps
41 57 Scott Huffaker, Takeshi Kimura, Daniel Serra Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 254 88 laps
42 911 Michael Fassbender, Richard Lietz, Martin Rump Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 246 96 laps
43 80 Ben Barnicoat, Norman Nato, François Perrodo Oreca 07 LMP2 183 159 laps
44 88 Jonas Ried, Harry Tincknell, Don Yount Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 170 172 laps
45 4 Tom Dillmann, Esteban Guerrieri, Tristan Vautier Vanwall Vandervell 680 HYPERCAR 165 177 laps
46 777 Tomonobu Fujii, Satoshi Hoshino, Casper Stevenson Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 163 179 laps
47 47 Reshad de Gerus, Vlad Lomko, Simon Pagenaud Oreca 07 LMP2 158 184 laps
48 77 Julien Andlauer, Christian Ried, Mikkel Pedersen Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 118 224 laps
49 32 Anders Fjordbach, Mark Kvamme, Jan Magnussen Oreca 07 LMP2 117 225 laps
50 63 Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat, Doriane Pin Oreca 07 LMP2 113 229 laps
51 7 Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez Toyota GR010 – Hybrid HYPERCAR 103 239 laps
52 66 Thomas Neubauer, Giacomo Petrobelli, Louis Prette Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 89 253 laps
53 923 Tom Gamble, Dries Vanthoor, Salih Yoluc Oreca 07 LMP2 87 255 laps
54 75 Mathieu Jaminet, Felipe Nasr, Nick Tandy Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 84 258 laps
55 72 Valentin Hasse-Clot, Arnold Robin, Maxime Robin Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 58 284 laps
56 83 Luis Perez Companc, Alessio Rovera, Lilou Wadoux Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 33 309 laps
57 16 Ryan Hardwick, Jan Heylen, Zacharie Robichon Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 28 314 laps
58 60 Matteo Cressoni, Alessio Picariello, Claudio Schiavoni Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE AM 28 0.000
59 55 Gustav Birch, Jens Reno Moller, Marco Sorensen Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 21 321 laps
60 21 Simon Mann, Ulysse De Pauw, Julien Piguet Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 21 0.000
61 13 René Rast, Ricky Taylor, Thomas Steven Oreca 07 LMP2 19 323 laps
62 14 Mathias Beche, Ben Hanley, Rodrigo Sales Oreca 07 LMP2 18 324 laps
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