TOYOTA GAZOO Racing wins fifth Le Mans 24 Hours
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing stormed to victory in the 90th Le Mans 24 Hours to extend its winning run to five at the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe.
Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa drove a brilliant race in their #8 GR010 HYBRID, completing 380 laps to take the chequered flag in front of a passionate crowd.
Sébastien’s fourth win sets a new victory record for Swiss drivers while Brendon’s third triumph makes him New Zealand’s most successful Le Mans driver. A first win for Ryo, in his third Le Mans and his first with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, makes him the fifth Japanese driver to stand in the centre of the podium.
The two GR010 HYBRID Hypercars were the class of the field and engaged in a close battle at the front, with the lead changing hands several times as the race ebbed and flowed, with traffic, slow zones and track evolution all coming into play.
Brendon, following his spectacular last-minute Hyperpole on Thursday, had the honour of taking the chequered flag to win the 90th Le Mans 24 Hours. The Toyota #7 followed soon after to complete a gruelling 5,177km of racing.
That result earned double points towards the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship, which puts TOYOTA GAZOO Racing on top of the manufacturers’ standings after three races, 22 points ahead of Alpine. The drivers’ championship is wide open, with the #8 crew just three points of the leading Alpine trio, and #7 20 behind.
The focus will return to the fight for World Championship honours in just four weeks at the 6 Hours of Monza on 10 July.
“It’s hard for me to express myself after that race because it’s just an amazing feeling, especially to be in the centre of the podium with Ryo and Brendon. It is fantastic that we were able to win together with Ryo in his first Le Mans as part of the #8 car. He has done such a great job and I’d like to congratulate him for his performance. The whole team, and our crew, executed a perfect race without any mistakes and no damage to the car. It’s an incredible feeling to win Le Mans for the fourth time, and the fifth time for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. It will take a little bit of time before it sinks in because it’s hard to realise what we achieved today.” Sébastien Buemi