24 Hours of Le Mans 2019

In Reports by Thomas

Same as last year Toyota was the only LMP1 hybrid car. Eventough the FIA soften the regulation for the non-hybrid car, the gap was too big to catch the two japanese sisters. Nevertheless lots of actions tooks place in the GT category and the fight for the 3rd place in LMP1 was tough between SMP racing and Rebellion.

The Ranking

As expected the Toyota won the race but with the #8! Why is that surprising ? Because the #7 was in the lead for more than 23 hours and due to a miswired sensors it needed to go twice to the pit, letting the lead for the #8. The sensor was indicating a flat tire on the front right but it was actually the back left which was flat.

1 – Toyota TS050 Hybrid #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Sébastien Buemi / Kazuki Nakajima / Fernando Alonso
​2 – Toyota TS050 Hybrid #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Mike Conway / Kamui Kobayashi / Jose-Maria Lopez
3 – BR Engineering BR1 #11 SMP Racing – Mikhail Aleshin / Stoffel Vandoorne / Vitaly Petrov

In the LMP2 class, the three main opponent for the lead were G-Drive, Signatech Alpine and TDS Racing. Thanks to Jean-Eric Vergne, G-Drive was in front of the Alpine during the night, but as always in Le Mans, the night can be tricky. For the Russian team, during its 28th pit stop, the car refused to start… 20 minutes they were back on the track but it was to late to catch the French.

1 – Alpine A470 #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut – Nicolas Lapierre / André Negrão / Pierre Thiriet
2 – Oreca 07 #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing – Gabriel Aubry / Stéphane Richelmi / Ho-Pin Tung
3 – Oreca 07 #28 TDS Racing – Loïc Duval / François Perrodo / Matthieu Vaxivière

GTE Pro was intense! Even after 19:00 on Saturday, the five cars in the lead were still wheel to wheel. After midnight both Aston Martin end up in the sandpit, only the #97 was able to get back in the pit. At the end, it’s Ferrari who won the race, like they did for the first time 70 years ago.

1 – Ferrari 488 GTE #51 AF Corse – James Calado / Alessandro Pier Guidi / Daniel Serra
2 – Porsche 911 RSR #91 Porsche GT Team – Gianmaria Bruni / Richard Lietz / Frédéric Makowiecki
3 – Porsche 911 RSR #93 Porsche GT Team – Earl Bamber / Patrick Pilet / Nick Tandy

In the GTE Am class, the Ford GT #85 have made a good fight against the Porsche 911 RSR #56, but unfortunately after an inspection of the car after the race it was discovered that the Ford’s fuel tank had a capacity of 97.83 Liters instead of the regulatory 97 Liters. As the rules are the rules both Ford GT #85 and #68 (GTE Pro) were disqualified.

1 – Ford GT #85 Keating Motorsports – Jeroen Bleekemolen / Ben Keating / Felipe Fraga
2 – Porsche 911 RSR #56 Team Project 1 – Jörg Bergmeister / Patrick Lindsey / Egidio Perfetti
3 – Ferrari 488 GTE #84 JMW Motorsport – Jeffrey Segal / Rodrigo Baptista / Wei Lu

The Race

To give you a taste of this legendary race, we made a selection of the best shots we made during the event. To see the full gallery, we invite to go at the second page.

Bonus

We had the pleasure to see Mr. Jacky Ickx driving the Ford GT 40 with which he won Le Mans in 1969, the year he walk to his car instead of running to show the dangerousness of this practice and that it was not required to do so to win the race.

Mr. Jacky Ickx with the 1969 Ford GT40