TOYOTA GAZOO Racing seize first and second place at the gruelling WEC Le Mans 24 Hours race

24 June 2019 | Article

The Toyota Gazoo Racing team secured yet another victory during the WEC season. The 87th Le Mans 24 Hours race proved challenging for both cars but that didn’t stop them claiming the first and second titles along with the #8 TS050 HYBRID team being crowned the overall winners of the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

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Both TOYOTA GAZOO Racing cars take the top spots

The 87th Le Mans 24 Hours race was a fitting end to a successful season for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, with both teams taking the top spots. Drivers Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso in the #8 defended their Le Mans crown, beating Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in the #7 TS050 HYBRID team by 16.9 seconds.

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Neck and neck for first place

The #7 began the race in pole position and continued to lead the race, even setting the fastest-ever Le Mans race lap of 3 minutes 17.297 seconds. The #8 followed closely behind with the two cars spending the majority of the race closely battling for first position.

After 12 hours, the two Toyota cars were separated by only 8.6 seconds and during the night the #7 pushed its way forwards as the #8 dealt with aerodynamic imbalance, caused by the rigours of a tough, flat-out contest.

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Winning first place and the World Championship

There could only be one winner, however the final result was surprising. After dominating most of the race, the #7 struggled with a punctured tyre and sensor issue with less than an hour to go, leaving first place open for the #8. Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso brought the #8 to victory and also scooped the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) prize.

Other records were also rewritten with Kazuki becoming the first circuit-racing World Champion from Japan and Fernando being the second driver to win four-wheel world titles in two different disciplines, having previously won a Formula 1 championship.

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