24hrs of Le Mans 2019
Toyota wins 24 Hours race in dramatic finish as No 7 car loses lead late to Alonso's No 8
A crowd of 252.000 spectators where kept enthralled for the full 24 Hours as the story of 2019 unfolded, despite Toyota dominated the race. From the very start, the No.7 car of Conway, Kobayashi & Lopez were the quickest. In particular Mike Conway managed to get something extra from the car. The No.8 car, driven by Buemi, Nakajima & Alonso followed behind. Then there was drama...
With less then a hour to go, the No.7 car overtook a GT car and had to move off the racing line to do so. They had done this many times throughout the race, but this time they picked up a slow puncture. They were far enough ahead of the sister car, that they could afford to pit and still come out in front. For whatever reason they only changed the punctured tyre. As they rejoined the race the car was still registering a puncture, there was a sensor problem and they also changed the wrong tyre, the car had to return to the pit again! The stop combined with the slow running with the puncture allowed the sister Toyota to to catch and pass the No.7 car, the No.8 driven by Alonso completed 384 laps and took the chequered flag to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. So Alonso also wins his second Le Mans, Vamos!
There was also a great race between the SMP and Rebellion Racing. With two cars each it was a fair fight which saw both ahead in different stages. In the end the No.11 SMP Racing, driven by Petrov, Aleshin and Vandoorne outlasted the Rebellion pair and took 3th place on the podium after the No.3 car had a major incident into a tyre wall.
Signatech-Alpine conquers LMP2 class
The race saw special performances from the No.29 car driven by van Eerd, vd Garde and de Vries, that came back from multiple punctures and a broken suspension after a collision with the wall. Dragonspeed were impressive early on and looked to be a contender until Pastor Maldonado crashed the car before sunrise. G-Drive and Signatech-Alpine were battling together from the very beginning. After a technical glitch during a routine pit stop and a loss of 20 minutes spent in the garage, it was the Signatech-Alpine, driven by Lapierre, Negrao and Thiriet, that dominate the final hours and finished ahead of Jackie-Chan DC Racing and TDS Racing who kept going until the end.
Ferrari takes GTE Pro class win, while Keating Motorsports loses GTE Am class win after been disqualified
The GTE class has been perhaps the most exiting of all for several years. The race managment tries to use the BOP (Balance of Performance) to ensure that all cars of all brands are very close to each other in terms of speed. Between Ferrari, Porsche and Chevrolet it was millimeters. In the end it is the Ferrari 488 AF Corsa with Guidi, Calado and Serra behind the weel who puls the longest end, for the #91 Porsche of Bruni, Lietz and Mackowiecki and the #93 Porsche of Pilet, Bamber and Tandy. In the GTE Am class, the Wynn's-liveried #85 Ford GT was handed a time penalty just large enough to drop it down to second in class behind the #56 Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR that inherits class victory. They did not meet the minimum complete fuelling time. Bleekemolen had crossed the line 44 seconds ahead of the Project 1 car of Bergmeister, Perfetti and Lindsey, this was followed by confirmation that the #85 Ford had been disqualified entirely for a total onboard fuel volume in excess of the permitted limit by just only 0.1l more than the maximum 96l that had been laid down by the GTE Am class. The Ferrari 488 GTEs of JMW Motorsport and WeatherTech Racing took second and third place.