For most of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche and Toyota were dueling blows, both being the two largest favorites to win, especially after last year’s thrilling finish. However, both Porsche and Toyota suffered issues throughout the race, allowing team Oreca to take the lead ahead of the two favorites. In the end, though, it was Porsche that took the final victory, with both Oreca cars taking second and third place. Though, the race’s finish was more exciting than just that.
Toyota had actually been the favorite to win, thanks to its former F1 driver, Kamui Kobayashi, breaking the lap record in qualifying. While Kobayashi was leading into the night, though, troubles would come, as his car started to experience gearbox failure and had to retire. Then, the other Toyota No. 9 car blew a rear tire, followed with flames shooting from the car. So it, too, was forced to retire. After that, Porsche easily retook the lead.
That lead wouldn’t last very long, as the leading Porsche No. 1 car lost oil pressure with only four hours to go and was forced to retire. This left Oreca in the lead. However, Porsche’s No. 2 car, helmed by German driver Timo Bernhard, caught up at rapid pace, being almost 15 seconds faster per lap, and eventually took the lead.
While Oreca’s Tung Ho-Pin put up a valiant fight against Bernhard, it was the German who eventually took the win, though a close one, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “Well done, everybody,” said Bernhard over the radio. “You’re the best.” “It was unreal. This race is always a roller coaster,” said teammate Brendon Hartley, marking his first win at Le Mans. “It was an incredible team effort. I’m going to remember this forever.”
Congrats to Porsche on their third consecutive win at Le Mans, one of the most difficult endurance races in the world. Winning once is a great accomplishment, winning three times in a row is epic. Especially with how good the competition has been, most notably Toyota.
Also, congratulations to Michelin, who is the tire supplier for the Porsche Le Mans team and has now gotten their 20th consecutive victory at the iconic race.