2019 24 Hours of Le Mans

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2019 24 Hours of Le Mans
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Index: Races | Winners
The race-winning No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid
Track layout of the Circuit de la Sarthe

The 87th 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 87e 24 Heures du Mans) was an automobile endurance race held from 15 to 16 June 2019 at the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans, France. It was the 87th running of the event, as organised by the automotive group, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) since 1923. The race was the eighth and final round of the 2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship, with thirty-four of the race's sixty entries contesting the championship. Approximately 252,500 people attended the race. A test day was held two weeks prior to the race on 2 June.

The No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López started from pole position after Kobayashi recovered the overall fastest lap time in the second qualifying session. The race was won by the No. 8 Toyota of Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima after López slowed in the twenty-third hour due to an incorrectly wired tyre pressure sensor system, which indicated a puncture on a tyre that was later found not to have any issues. It was Alonso, Buemi, Nakajima and Toyota's second consecutive Le Mans victory. The No. 7 Toyota finished almost seventeen seconds behind in second position. The No. 11 SMP Racing BR1 of Mikhail Aleshin, Vitaly Petrov and Stoffel Vandoorne was the highest-placed non-hybrid LMP1 car in third place.

The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) category was won by the No. 36 Signatech Alpine driven by Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet. The No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stéphane Richelmi finished on the same lap as the Alpine in second place. On the seventieth anniversary of Ferrari's first overall Le Mans victory AF Corse won the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Professional (LMGTE Pro) class with the No. 51 488 GTE Evo of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra forty-nine seconds ahead of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz, Gianmaria Bruni and Frédéric Makowiecki. The Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Amateur (LMGTE Am) category was led for most of the time by the No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT of Jeroen Bleekemolen, Felipe Fraga and Ben Keating and the vehicle was the first to finish the race. It was later disqualified for an oversized fuel tank and the No. 56 Project 1 Racing Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti was elevated to the win in class.

The result allowed Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima to win the LMP Drivers' Championship with a 41 point advantage over Conway, Kobayashi and López in second position. Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes of Rebellion Racing finished in third place with 114 points ahead of Aleshin and Petrov in fourth position and the other Rebellion duo of Neel Jani and André Lotterer in fifth. Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre of the No. 92 Porsche team finished tenth in LMGTE Pro to claim the GTE Drivers' Championship with 155 points. LMGTE Pro class race winners Calado and Pier Guidi moved ahead of Bruni and Lietz to conclude the season 18½ points behind in second place.

Background[edit]

The dates for the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans was confirmed at a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on 19 June 2017.[1] It was the 87th edition of the event,[2] the eighth (and final) scheduled automobile endurance race of the 2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship, and the first time it was held twice during a single motor racing season.[3] The race was conceived at the 1922 Paris Motor Show by the automotive journalist Charles Faroux to Georges Durand, the president of the automotive group, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and the industrialist Emile Coquile as a means of prompting car manufacturers to test the reliability and fuel-efficiency of their racing vehicles and equipment.[4][5] It was not held in 1936 because of a general labour strike during the Great Depression,[6] and heavy damage sustained to the circuit in World War II cancelled it from 1940 to 1948.[5] The 24 Hours of Le Mans is considered one of the world's most prestigious motor races and is part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport.[7]

After winning the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps six weeks earlier Toyota drivers Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima led the LMP Drivers' Championship with 160 points, 31 ahead of their teammates Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in second.[8] 38 points were available for the final race, which meant Conway, Kobayashi and López could still win the LMP Drivers' Championship if they won the race and Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima finished in eighth position or lower.[9] With 140 points Porsche's Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre led the GTE Drivers' Championship by 36 points over their second-placed teammates Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz.[8] Christensen and Lietz required an eighth-place finish or better to claim the title as Bruni and Lietz needed to win the event and their teammates achieving a sub-par result.[9] The LMP1 Teams' Championship and the GTE Manufacturers' Championship had already been won by Toyota and Porsche, respectively.[9]

Regulation changes[edit]

Following a two-lap victory for Porsche in the Le Mans Grand Touring Professional (LMGTE Pro) category at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ACO announced a revision to the event's safety implementation system after team managers raised concerns about its procedures. Full course yellow flags that mandated all cars to slow to 80 km/h (50 mph) in the event of an accident were implemented for the first time at the race. The system became the preferred method of controlling the pace of the race in lieu of the deployment of three safety cars and the enforcement of slow zones. The ACO also permitted drivers who entered the pit lane during safety car conditions to exit the area before a second safety car passed by so that they could remain in the same group of vehicles when green flag conditions resumed.[10]

Entries[edit]

The ACO Selection Committee received 75 applications for entries between the LMP1 (Le Mans Prototype 1), LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2), LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am (Le Mans Grand Touring Amateur) categories when teams were able to apply from 20 December 2018 to the afternoon of 30 January 2019. The automotive group initially planned to accept 60 cars into the race entry but wishing to not exclude applications of a "high standard" they allowed 62 entries into the event. The ten-panel Selection Committee took steps to ensure that the two additional required pits would be operational in time for the 2019 edition.[11][12]

Automatic entries[edit]

Automatic entry invitations were earned by teams that won their class in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, or won championships in the European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series, and the Michelin Le Mans Cup. The second-place finisher in the European Le Mans Series LMGTE championship also earned an automatic invitation. Two participants from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship were chosen by the series to be automatic entries by the ACO regardless of their performance or category. As invitations were granted to teams, they were allowed to change their cars from the previous year to the next, but not allowed to change their category. The LMGTE class invitations from the European and Asian Le Mans Series were allowed to choose between the Pro and Am categories. European Le Mans Series' LMP3 (Le Mans Prototype 3) champion is required to field an entry in LMP2 while the Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 champion were permitted to choose between LMP2 or LMGTE Am. The Michelin Le Mans Cup Group GT3 (GT3) champion was limited to the LMGTE Am category.[13][14]

On 11 February 2019, the ACO announced the initial list of automatic entries.[15] Driver Misha Goikhberg, who was invited to the race via winning the Jim Trueman Award for being "the top-placed gentleman driver" in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's Daytona Prototype International category, transferred his automatic entry to WeatherTech Racing per an agreement.[16]

Reason invited LMP1 LMP2 LMGTE Pro LMGTE Am
1st in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing France Signatech Alpine Matmut Germany Porsche GT Team Germany Dempsey-Proton Racing
1st in the European Le Mans Series (LMP2 and LMGTE) Russia G-Drive Racing Germany Proton Competition
2nd in the European Le Mans Series (LMGTE) United Kingdom JMW Motorsport
1st in the European Le Mans Series (LMP3) United Kingdom RLR Msport
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at-large entries Canada Misha Goikhberg[N 1] United States Ben Keating
1st in the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP2 and GT) United States United Autosports Japan CarGuy Racing
1st in the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP2 Am) Slovakia ARC Bratislava
1st in the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP3) Poland Inter Europol Competition – or – Poland Inter Europol Competition
1st in the Michelin Le Mans Cup (GT3) Switzerland Kessel Racing
Source:[13][14]
  1. ^ Mikhail Goikhberg's automatic entry was transferred to WeatherTech Racing per an agreement.[16]

Entry list and reserves[edit]

For the 2019 event, the list of race entries was revealed in two stages: the first forty-two cars were announced on 11 February while the remainder of the field and ten reserve cars in the LMP2 class and both of the LMGTE categories were confirmed on 1 March.[15] The ACO attributed the format of the 2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship as a reason for the alteration.[17] In addition from the thirty-four guaranteed entries from the FIA World Endurance Championship, fifteen entries came from the European Le Mans Series, nine from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, five from the Asian Le Mans Series and a single one-off entry only competing at Le Mans.[18]

In addition to the sixty-two entries given invitations for the race, ten entries were put on a reserve list to potentially replace any invitations that were not accepted or withdrawn. Reserve entries were ordered with the first reserve replacing the first withdrawal from the race, regardless of the class of either entry.[19] Spirit of Race announced on 21 March the withdrawal of their Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, citing "an unavoidable family commitment" as the reason. Duqueine Engineering's Oreca 07-Gibson was promoted to the race entry as a result.[20] That same day, Michael Shank Racing withdrew its Algarve Pro Racing-run Oreca 07 from the reserve list due to the team being placed ninth in that list.[20][21]

On 16 April, on the day that the ACO announced that two additional temporary pit garages would be constructed to raise the number of cars for the event to 62, the No. 32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217-Gibson and High Class Racing's No. 23 Oreca 07 were confirmed as the two teams that would be granted promotion from the reserve list to the race entry.[22] With the subsequent withdrawal of the Ebimotors LMGTE Am category from the reserve entries, five reserves remained on the list: the No. 33 Eurasia Motorsport, the No. 24 Panis-Barthez Compétition and the No. 27 IDEC Sport Ligier JS P217s, the No. 58 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR and the No. 79 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE.[23]

Pre-race balance of performance changes[edit]

The FIA Endurance Committee altered the equivalence of technology in the LMP classes and the balance of performance in the LMGTE categories to try and create parity within them.[24] All of the non-hybrid LMP1 cars had their maximum fuel flow increased from 108 kg/h (240 lb/h) at the 2018 edition to 115 kg/h (250 lb/h) for an increase in performance while the Toyota TS050 Hybrid's was unchanged at 80 kg/h (180 lb/h). The Toyota's minimum weight was set at 888 kg (1,958 lb), the turbocharged non-hybrid LMP1 vehicles were required to weigh 833 kg (1,836 lb) and the non-turbocharged privateer LMP1 cars had their weight lowered to 816 kg (1,799 lb).[25]

For the LMGTE Pro class the Porsche 911 RSR had 2 kg (4.4 lb) of ballast added while the BMW M8 GTE received an increase of 9 kg (20 lb) in weight and a reduction in turbocharger boost curve to lower its performance. The Ford GT's weight was increased by 12 kg (26 lb) and its turbocharger boost curve was altered to raise its top speed. Conversely the Aston Martin Vantage, the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and the Ferrari 488 Evo had 7 kg (15 lb) of ballast removed and the Ferrari's turbocharger boost curve was made more powerful. In the LMGTE Am category the Ford GT was made 13 kg (29 lb) heavier than the Ferrari 488 GTE and the 2017-specification Aston Martin Vantage had 4 kg (8.8 lb) of weight deducted. Porsche had no performance changes.[26]

Testing[edit]

A test day was held on 2 June, two weeks prior to the race, and required all entrants for the race to participate in eight hours of track time divided into two sessions.[27] Toyota led the morning session with a lap of 3 minutes and 21.875 seconds from Buemi's No. 8 car at the conclusion of the session. His teammate López was second and was the fastest driver until Buemi's lap. The No. 3 Rebellion R13 of Gustavo Menezes followed in third, with the two SMP Racing BR1 entries of Vitaly Petrov and Stéphane Sarrazin fourth and fifth. Filipe Albuquerque led the LMP2 category in the No. 22 United Autosports Ligier with a 3 minutes and 32.245 seconds ahead of Pastor Maldonado's No. 31 DragonSpeed Oreca, the Graff entry of Tristan Gommendy and Nyck de Vries' Racing Team Nederland Dallara P217.[28] The No. 66 Ford of Billy Johnson led the LMGTE Pro category for the majority of the session until Antonio García's No. 63 Corvette overtook it. Bruni's No. 91 Porsche was third fastest in class. The No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci was the fastest car in LMGTE Am ahead of Jeff Segal's JMW Motorsport Ferrari.[28] Jordan King's No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca stopped with a electrical fault in the final third of the lap and the No. 95 Aston Martin of Marco Sørensen had a mechanical fault in the Porsche Curves, stopping the session for twelve minutes. Paul-Loup Chatin created further disruption to the session with a crash into a tyre barrier at Indianapolis corner.[28][29]

Buemi was fastest early in the second session with a lap of 3 minutes and 20.068 seconds, which he later improved to a 3 minutes and 19.440 seconds to maintain the top position to the session's end. Conway improved the No. 7 Toyota's best lap for second. The fastest non-hybrid LMP1 vehicle was André Lotterer's No. 1 Rebellion in third, followed by the No. 11 SMP BR1 of Stoffel Vandoorne in fourth and Nathanaël Berthon's No. 3 Rebellion in fifth. With a lap of 3 minutes and 28.504 seconds Ho-Pin Tung improved the fastest time in the LMP2 category, moving Jackie Chan ahead of Maldonado's DragonSpeed car and Nicolas Lapierre's No. 36 Signatech Alpine. The No. 63 Corvette continued to lead in LMGTE Pro with a lap of 3 minutes and 54.001 seconds from Mike Rockenfeller. He was three-hundredths of a second faster than the No. 66 Ford of Harry Tincknell and Tommy Milner's No. 64 Corvette. Toni Vilander's No. 62 WeatherTech Ferrari was fastest in LMGTE Am.[30]

Post-testing balance of performance changes[edit]

Following testing the ACO altered the equivalence of technology for a second time in the LMP1 class. All normally aspirated cars were required to consume a maximum of 50.8 kg (112 lb) of fuel per stint and the turbocharged vehicles were set at 48.4 kg (107 lb). Toyota had a one-lap per stint advantage of fuel load from the 2018 race reinstated with alterations made to the fuel flow rate at pit stops.[31] The FIA changed the balance of performance to dictate that every car in the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am categories have a fuel tank that was 1 l (0.22 imp gal; 0.26 US gal) larger than in the two test sessions on 2 June.[32]

Practice[edit]

A single four-hour free practice session on 13 June was available to the teams and suffered from variable weather conditions throughout as several cars spun.[33] The No. 11 BR1 of Vandoorne led from the final half hour although Kobayashi's No. 7 Toyota was the fastest driver with a lap of 3 minutes and 18.091 seconds with less than two minutes remaining in the session. Rebellion was third with a lap from Menezes, the No. 8 Toyota of Alonso placed fourth and Bruno Senna's No. 1 Rebellion was fifth.[34] Oreca vehicles led the LMP2 category with four cars at the top of the timing charts, with the IDEC entry of Chatin ahead of Maldonado's No. 31 DragonSpeed and Jean-Éric Vergne's No. 26 G-Drive Racing car.[33] LMGTE Pro was led by two Porsches, with the No. 92 911 RSR of Michael Christensen fastest with a lap of 3 minutes and 52.149 seconds and the No. 94 of Matthieu Jaminet second. The fastest car from another marque was the third-placed No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari of Sam Bird. Matt Campbell's No. 77 Dempsey-Proton entry helped Porsche to be fastest in LMGTE Am ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella's No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari and Pedro Lamy's No. 98 Aston Martin.[34]

Satoshi Hoshino slid through a gravel trap in the Porsche Curves and crashed the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton entry against a barrier, which necessitated a full course yellow procedure to recover the car to the pit lane.[34] A heavy crash by the No. 99 Dempsey-Proton car of Tracy Krohn on the Mulsanne Straight stopped the session for 45 minutes due to debris needing removal and repairs to a barrier beside the circuit.[33] Krohn was transported to The Centre Hospitalier Du Mans to undergo observation and was advised by FIA medical personnel to desist from all forms of motor racing for one week. The No. 99 Dempsey-Proton Porsche was later withdrawn because the team did not wish to elevate the car to the LMGTE Pro class with Krohn's co-drivers Patrick Long and Niclas Jönsson as a two-person entry.[35]

Qualifying[edit]

The first qualifying session began late Wednesday night under clear conditions and on a dry track, as Toyota again led the time sheets early on with a flying lap of 3 minutes and 17.161 seconds from Kobayashi in the No. 7 car. The fastest non-hybrid LMP1 vehicle was Egor Orudzhev's No. 17 SMP BR1 in second followed by Thomas Laurent's No. 3 Rebellion in third, Alonso's No. 8 Toyota in fourth and Ben Hanley's fifth-placed No. 10 DragonSpeed car. Maldonado carried the No. 31 DragonSpeed Oreca to provisional pole position in the LMP2 class with a 3 minutes and 26.804 seconds time. Lapierre in the No. 36 Signatech Alpine and Albuquerque's No. 22 United Autosports Ligier were second and third in category.[36] With 46 minutes left in the session Roberto González spun the No. 31 DragonSpeed car at the entry to the Ford Chicane. As he restarted the Oreca to return to the pit lane he and the left-hand side of Conway's Toyota collided, sending an unsighted Conway over the top of González's front bodywork and airborne.[37] While both drivers were unhurt, a large amount of debris littered the track,[36] and the Toyota spent twenty minutes undergoing repairs in the garage.[38]

The Pro class of LMGTE was led by Tincknell's No. 66 Ford, setting a pace of 3 minutes and 49.530 seconds after a faster lap from García's No. 64 Corvette was disallowed because he improved its best time under yellow flag conditions. Nick Tandy's No. 93 Porsche was twenty-eight thousands of a second slower in second position and the top three in category was completed by the No. 97 Aston Martin of Alex Lynn.[36] The No. 66 Ford had an earlier excursion when driver Olivier Pla spun into a gravel trap at the exit to the Porsche Curves and collided heavily against a tyre barrier. The car was extricated by recovery vehicles and Pla drove slowly to the pit lane.[36][38] Porsches led the LMGTE Am category, taking the first three provisional grid positions, with Matteo Cairoli's No. 77 Dempsey-Proton entry fastest in class front of Jörg Bergmeister's No. 56 Project 1 car and the second Dempsey-Proton car of Julien Andlauer.[36] After the session the No. 7 Toyota's monocoque was replaced due to a deep crack discovered during an inspection; Conway and González shared responsibility for the crash and the former incurred a suspended three-minute stop and go penalty.[39]

Kamui Kobayashi (pictured in 2010) took overall pole position in the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

Thursday's first qualifying session saw faster lap times in all four classes.[40] Kobayashi improved the No. 7 Toyota's provisional pole position with a lap of 3 minutes and 15.497 seconds an Nakajima improved the No. 8 car's fastest time to progress to second. Mikhail Aleshin moved the No. 11 SMP BR1 to third while Neel Jani set a time that put the No. 1 Rebellion fourth after its best time from Wednesday evening was deleted for an incorrect fuel flow meter.[41] The No. 17 SMP BR1 of Stéphane Sarrazin could not improve and the car fell from second to fifth.[42] Early in the session, Laurent's engine failed on the Mulsanne Straight and laid a large amount of oil on the track. The session was stopped for twenty minutes so that track marshals could extricate the No. 3 Rebellion from the side of the exit to Mulsanne corner and dry the spilled oil.[41][42] Maldonado improved the No. 31 DragonSpeed Oreca's best lap to a 3 minutes and 26.490 seconds to keep the team ahead in the LMP2 category. Jackie Chan's No. 38 car of Stéphane Richelmi went faster to sit alongside Maldonado on the class provisional front row and Lapierre's Signatech Alpine dropped to third after it its electrical system was repaired.[41] In LMGTE Pro a lap of 3 minutes and 49.388 from Christensen in the session's final ten minutes moved the No. 92 Porsche to the top of the class. García improved the No. 63 Corvette's fastest lap to be second in class as Ticknell's No. 67 Ford fell to third. The No. 88 Dempsey-Proton of Cairoli and Bergmeister's No. 56 Project 1 Porsche retained the first two positions in LMGTE Pro as Fisichella moved the Spirit of Racing Ferrari to third in category.[42]

As temperatures cooled in the final qualifying session, over half of the field improved their fastest laps, but Kobayashi's pole position lap went unchallenged.[43] It was Toyota's third consecutive pole at Le Mans since the 2017 race, Conway and Kobayashi's second and López's first.[44] The No. 17 SMP BR1 of Orudzhev led the session with a 3 minutes and 16.159 seconds lap to begin from third and Menezes' No. 3 Rebellion qualified fourth. The sister No. 11 SMP BR1 of Vandoorne took fifth. The No. 1 Rebellion's engine failed and Senna stopped at Arnage corner after an hour.[45] In LMP2 Oreca took the first six starting positions as Gommendy gave the Graff car pole position with a lap of 3 minutes and 25.073 seconds that he set early in the session. Duval's TDS entry was 0.282 seconds slower in second place as Maldonado's DragonSpeed car fell to third.[43] Porsche and later Ford led in LMGTE Pro before Sørensen earned the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage class pole position and its second in the World Endurance Championship with a lap of 3 minutes and 48 seconds. Tincknell's No. 67 Ford and García's No. 63 Corvette were second and third in class.[44][45] Cairoli improved the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche's provisional pole lap in LMGTE Am with a 3 minutes and 51.439 seconds ahead of his teammate Campbell. Thomas Preining moved the No. 86 Gulf Racing car to third in category.[43] Aston Martin's No. 98 entry, driven by Lamy, got beached in a gravel trap at a Mulsanne Straight chicane and stopped the session for twenty-five minutes as it was extricated.[45]

Post-qualifying[edit]

Following qualifying Graff had all of its fastest lap times from the third qualifying session deleted by the stewards after driver Vincent Capillaire failed to stop at the scrutineering stand at the entry to the pit lane for a weight check. The team also incurred a fine of €1000 and fell from pole position to 14th in LMP2. This elevated the No. 28 IDEC Oreca to pole position in class and the No. 36 Signatech Alpine was moved to second place.[46]

The ACO also altered the balance of performance in both of the LMGTE categories, reducing the Aston Martin Vantage's turbocharger boost across all of the revolution per minute ranges and lowering its fuel capacity by 2 l (0.44 imp gal; 0.53 US gal) to reduce its performance. Similarly every car bar the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R received an weight decrease of 5 kg (11 lb). In the LMGTE Am class the Porsche 911 RSR had 10 kg (22 lb) of ballast added to it and the same amount of weight was removed from the Ford GT. Ferrari and Aston Martin received no performance changes.[47]

Qualifying results[edit]

Pole positions in each class are denoted in bold and by a double-dagger. The fastest time set by each entry is denoted with a gray background.

Pos. Class No. Team Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3 Gap Grid
1 LMP1 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing 3:17.161 3:15.497 3:20.494 1double-dagger
2 LMP1 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing 3:19.632 3:15.908 3:20.669 +0.411 2
3 LMP1 17 SMP Racing 3:17.633 3:17.437 3:16.159 +0.662 3
4 LMP1 3 Rebellion Racing 3:19.603 3:18.884 3:16.404 +0.907 4
5 LMP1 11 SMP Racing 3:20.934 3:16.953 3:16.665 +1.168 5
6 LMP1 1 Rebellion Racing No time[N 1] 3:17.313 3:16.810 +1.313 6
7 LMP1 10 DragonSpeed 3:20.200 3:23.672 3:25.902 +4.703 7
8 LMP1 4 ByKolles Racing Team 3:25.246 3:23.726 3:23.109 +7.612 8
9 LMP2 28 TDS Racing 3:28.840 3:27.096 3:25.345 +9.848 9double-dagger
10 LMP2 31 DragonSpeed 3:26.804 3:26.490 3:25.667 +10.170 10
11 LMP2 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut 3:26.935 3:28.471 3:25.874 +10.377 11
12 LMP2 48 IDEC Sport 3:27.847 3:27.804 3:26.011 +10.514 12
13 LMP2 26 G-Drive Racing 3:29.107 3:28.713 3:26.257 +10.760 13
14 LMP2 22 United Autosports 3:27.338 3:27.356 3:26.543 +11.046 14
15 LMP2 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing 3:28.738 3:27.821 3:27.779 +11.324 15
16 LMP2 29 Racing Team Nederland 3:28.909 3:27.107 3:27.384 +11.610 16
17 LMP2 32 United Autosports 3:29.583 3:28.779 3:27.509 +12.012 17
18 LMP2 20 High Class Racing 3:32.945 3:29.633 3:27.610 +12.113 18
19 LMP2 23 Paniz Barthez Competition 3:29.821 3:27.790 3:32.511 +12.293 19
20 LMP2 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing 3:29.498 3:28.569 3:28.049 +12.552 20
21 LMP2 30 Duqueine Engineering 3:28.653 3:30.353 3:28.195 +12.698 21
22 LMP2 39 Graff 3:30.970 3:28.426 No time[N 2] +12.929 22
23 LMP2 25 Algarve Pro Racing 3:29.126 3:28.457 3:31.113 +12.960 23
24 LMP2 43 RLR M Sport/Tower Events 3:31.017 3:29.137 3:28.803 +13.306 24
25 LMP2 47 Cetilar Racing Villorba Corse 3:29.748 3:28.942 3:29.556 +13.445 25
26 LMP2 34 Inter Europol Competition 3:30.744 3:30.823 3:31.491 +15.247 26
27 LMP2 49 ARC Bratislava 3:35.480 3:44.799 3:34.146 +18.649 27
28 LMP2 50 Larbre Compétition 3:38.663 3:36.144 3:34.913 +19.416 28
29 LMGTE Pro 95 Aston Martin Racing 3:50.812 3:51.948 3:48.000 +32.503 29double-dagger
30 LMGTE Pro 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing UK 3:49.530 3:52.831 3:48.112 +32.615 30
31 LMGTE Pro 63 Corvette Racing 3:52.109 3:49.424 3:48.830 +33.333 31
32 LMGTE Pro 93 Porsche GT Team 3:49.558 3:50.171 3:48.907 +33.410 32
33 LMGTE Pro 82 BMW Team MTEK 3:53.498 3:51.818 3:49.108 +33.611 33
34 LMGTE Pro 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA 3:53.053 3:50.486 3:49.116 +33.619 34
35 LMGTE Pro 92 Porsche GT Team 3:50.468 3:49.388 3:49.196 +33.699 35
36 LMGTE Pro 71 AF Corse 3:50.850 3:50.623 3:49.391 +33.894 36
37 LMGTE Pro 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK 3:53.793 3:51.601 3:49.511 +34.014 37
38 LMGTE Pro 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA 3:51.821 3:50.339 3:49.546 +34.049 38
39 LMGTE Pro 64 Corvette Racing 3:52.490 3:51.011 3:49.573 +34.076 39
40 LMGTE Pro 51 AF Corse 3:52.128 3:51.019 3:49.655 +34.158 40
41 LMGTE Pro 91 Porsche GT Team 3:50.099 3:49.921 3:51.039 +34.424 41
42 LMGTE Pro 97 Aston Martin Racing 3:50.037 3:52.283 3:50.383 +34.540 42
43 LMGTE Pro 94 Porsche GT Team 3:50.278 3:50.810 3:50.593 +34.781 43
44 LMGTE Pro 81 BMW Team MTEK 3:51,476 3:51.353 No time +35.856 44
45 LMGTE Am 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing 3:52.454 3:54.107 3:51.439 +35.942 45double-dagger
46 LMGTE Pro 89 Risi Competizione 3:52.997 3:53.244 3:51.454 +35.957 46
47 LMGTE Am 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing 3:53.408 3:54.008 3:51.645 +36.148 47
48 LMGTE Am 86 Gulf Racing 3:55.033 3:53.571 3:51.944 +36.447 48
49 LMGTE Am 84 JMW Motorsport 3:54.513 3:56.154 3:52.423 +36.926 49
50 LMGTE Am 78 Proton Competition 3:54.324 3:54.942 3:52.434 +36.937 50
51 LMGTE Am 56 Team Project 1 3:52.750 3:55.011 3:53.135 +37.253 51
52 LMGTE Am 54 Spirit of Race 3:53.793 3:52.826 3:52.879 +37.329 52
53 LMGTE Am 57 Car Guy Racing 3:56.034 3:53.474 3:54.928 +37.977 53
54 LMGTE Am 85 Keating Motorsports 3:56.579 3:53.492 3:54.815 +37.995 54
55 LMGTE Am 60 Kessel Racing 3:56.147 3:53.990 3:53.528 +38.021 55
56 LMGTE Am 98 Aston Martin Racing 3:53.530 3:56.136 3:53.698 +38.033 56
57 LMGTE Am 90 TF Sport 3:53.974 3:54.542 3:53.606 +38.109 57
58 LMGTE Am 62 WeatherTech Racing 3:55.544 3:54.350 3:53.630 +38.133 58
59 LMGTE Am 70 MR Racing 3:54.737 3:55.906 3:54.051 +38.554 59
60 LMGTE Am 83 Kessel Racing 3:56.333 3:54.363 3:54.083 +38.586 60
61 LMGTE Am 61 Clearwater Racing 3:56.072 3:56.120 3:54.240 +38.743 61
Sources:[48]

Warm-up[edit]

The cars took to the circuit on Saturday morning for a 45-minute warm-up session in dry and sunny weather conditions.[27] The No. 7 Toyota of Kobayashi set the fastest lap time late in the session at 3 minutes and the sister No. 8 car of Buemi was second. Laurent's No. 3 Rebellion was the fastest non-hybrid LMP1 car in third. SMP's two BR1s of Vitaly Petrov and Stéphane Sarrazin rounded out the top five entries. The fastest LMP2 lap was recorded by Vergne in the No. 26 G-Drive Aurus at 3 minutes and 28.763 seconds to go 1.4 seconds faster than the IDEC entry of Duval in second. Kévin Estre, driving the No. 92 Porsche, was the quickest driver in the LMGTE Pro category, while Ben Barker helped the German marque to be fastest in the LMGTE Am class.[49] While the session passed without a major incident, a full course yellow flag procedure was used for a short period of time to clear debris on the circuit.[50]

Race[edit]

Start[edit]

The conditions on the grid were dry and sunny before the race; the air temperature was between 14.5 to 21.2 °C (58.1 to 70.2 °F) and the track temperature ranged from 18.8 to 25.5 °C (65.8 to 77.9 °F).[51] Approximately 252,500 spectators attended the event.[52] The French tricolour was waved at 15:00 Central European Summer Time (UTC+02:00) by Charlene, Princess of Monaco to start the race,[53] led by the starting pole sitter Conway in the No. 7 Toyota.[54] Menezes overtook Buemi and Petrov to move into second place on the opening lap and held it until Buemi demoted him to third soon after. Conway upfront reset the race track lap record on the fourth lap with a 3 minutes and 17.297 seconds time as he established a lead of 15.5 seconds over his teammate Buemi.[54][55] At the close of the hour García in Corvette's No. 63 C7-R had taken the lead of LMGTE Pro from Nicki Thiim's No. 95 Aston Martin at the inside to the approach of Indianapolis corner, Lapierre's Signatech Alpine moved to the front of LMP2 on pit stop rotation and Fisichella did likewise in LMGTE Am. Senna's No. 1 Rebellion was forced to drive slowly to the pit lane to replace a puncture and the car fell down the race order.[55]

In the second hour Conway continued to pull away from his teammate Buemi. Vergne's No. 26 G-Drive Aurus ran in clear air to draw to within less than a second behind the LMP2 leading No. 36 Signatech Alpine of Lapierre. Spirit of Race's No. 54 Ferrari now driven by Thomas Flohr in lieu of Fisichella relinquished its lead of LMGTE Am to the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche of Andlauer and was behind Jeroen Bleekemolen's No. 85 Keating Ford GT after a second sequence of pit stops.[56] A full course yellow procedure was activated 3 hours and 42 minutes in after the left-front tyre was punctured on the third-placed LMP2 No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara of de Vries. This elevated the No. 31 DragonSpeed of González to third in class which it subsequently lost to King's No.37 Jackie Chan Oreca at Mulsanne Corner. The No. 26 G-Drive Aurus of Job van Uitert, which had taken the lead of LMP2 from Lapierre's Signatech Alpine, incurred a ten-second stop-and-go penalty taken at its next pit stop because Van Uitert's co-driver Vergne was observed speeding during the full course yellow flag procedure.[57][58] Van Uitert was able to recover the lost time that the No. 26 G-Drive car lost in the pit lane and he retook the lead from the Signatech Alpine, which now had Pierre Thiriet abroad, on the run to the first Mulsanne Straight chicane.[59]

The LMGTE Pro lead became a multi-car battle between representatives of four of the five manufacturers in the class, with the first five positions separated by a gap of less than ten seconds.[60] During the fifth hour Rebellion's No. 3 R13 of Berthon forfeited third place overall to the No. 11 SMP BR1 driven by Aleshin and fourth position to SMP's No. 17 entry of Sergey Sirotkin due to a pit stop that lasted two minutes.[61] Further down the field changes in lead occurred in other categories. Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 92 Porsche was fourth in LMGTE Pro as Daniel Serra's No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari was the fastest car in the category at the time and he moved ahead of Rockenfeller in the class-leading No. 63 Corvette. Porsche sought to conserve tyre wear and fuel usage rather than challenging for the lead in LMGTE Pro. This promoted Vanthoor to the class lead from Serra on pit stop strategy.[62] Felipe Fraga's No. 85 Keating car was the fastest in LMGTE Am at the time and he overtook Christian Ried's No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche to lead the category.[61] Not long after John Farano crashed the No. 43 RLR MSport Oreca at Tetre Rouge corner and the safety cars were deployed to slow the race.[63]

The No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R retired after contact with the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR

When racing resumed André Negrão's No. 36 Signatech Alpine lapped faster than the G-Drive Aurus of Roman Rusinov and overtook him entering the second Mulsanne Straight chicane for the lead of LMP2.[63] The No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari of Serra retook the lead of LMGTE Pro from Vanthoor's No. 92 Porsche going into Indianapolis corner and the former repelled repeated attempts by the latter to reclaim the position. Further back Earl Bamber moved the No. 93 Porsche past Rockenfeller aboard the No. 63 Corvette for third position in class.[64] Shortly after the right-rear corner of Marcel Fässler's No. 64 Corvette and the left-front corner of Satoshi Hoshino's No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche made contact as the two drivers lapped slower traffic in the Porsche Curves. Fässler veered into the right-hand side concrete barrier and his car sustained heavy damage, which necessitated its retirement. The No. 88 Dempsey-Proton was brought into the garage for repairs to its front and later retired for safety reasons.[65][66] Fässler was unhurt; he ventured to the circuit's medical centre to undergo a precautionary CT scan by FIA personnel.[67] The safety cars were required once again as track marshals worked for sixteen minutes to clear debris.[66] As the safety cars were recalled the gap to López and Nakajima in the two overall leading Toyota cars had dropped to ten seconds and Keating's Ford GT driven by Bleekemolen had extended its advantage over Jeff Segal's No. 84 JMW Ferrari to three minutes.[63]

Sunset to night[edit]

At the start of the seventh hour, Laurent's No. 3 Rebellion overtook Aleshin's No. 11 SMP BR1 for third on the outside in the Porsche Curves. Light ran began to fall soon after and this caught out Laurent. He spun under braking for the entry to the second Mulsanne Straight chicane and veered right into a barrier beside the circuit. The impact removed the front bodywork from the No. 3 Rebellion and a small chunk landed on the No. 11 SMP BR1. The accident led to a safety car intervention for the third time in the event to clear debris, during which repairs to the No. 3 Rebellion took three minutes and 38 seconds; it rejoined in fifth position, behind the SMP entries. After green flag racing conditions resumed López used slower traffic through the second Mulsanne Straight chicane to pass his teammate Nakajima and return to the overall lead. The lead of LMGTE Pro was left to Kévin Estre's No. 92 Porsche from the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi after a sequence of pit stops. In the LMP2 category Vergne's No. 26 G-Drive car was on newer tyres and he overtook Negrão's Signatech Alpine on the approach to Indianapolis corner to reclaim the lead of the class.[68][69] López was forced to relinquish the overall lead to Nakajima in the eighth hour as he ran wide into a gravel trap at Mulsanne corner. He lost further time through a driver error at Dunlop Curve turn. The No. 63 Corvette of García took over second place in LMGTE Pro with successive passes on Tincknell's No. 67 Ford and Per Guidi's No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari on the outside at Indianapolis corner.[70]

Conway's No. 7 Toyota was quicker than Buemi's No. 8 and he retook the race lead after pit stops. James Calado had been the fastest competitor in LMGTE Pro during the ninth hour, moving the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari past Michael Christensen's No. 92 Porsche for the category lead. The No. 84 JMW Ferrari of Wei Lu had an anxious moment when he spun at the second Mulsanne Straight chicane; he continued without losing second position in LMGTE Am.[71] During hour ten Alex Lynn damaged the No. 97 Aston Martin's spoiler in the Porsche Curves and a local slow zone was required to check for damage to the barriers. Lynn returned to the pit lane and the car returned to the track after Aston Martin took half an hour to repair it. Not long after Sørensen's No. 95 Aston Martin spun across a gravel trap and sustained heavy damage to its rear in an impact against a barrier at Indianapolis turn. Safety cars were required for the fourth time and caused the lead of multiple classes to grow. Conway's No. 7 Toyota had its lead over the Buemi's No. 8 extended to more than a minute and Van Uitert's No. 26 G-Drive was left 1 minute and 21 seconds in front of Thiriet's Signatech Alpine.[72] The safety cars separated the LMGTE Pro field, leaving the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari and the No. 92 Porsche one minute ahead of the No. 93 Porsche, which passed the No. 63 Corvette for third in class.[73]

Orudzhev in the No. 17 SMP BR1, who had held third position overall, lost control on the exit to the Porsche Curves and crashed rearward into a tyre barrier situated to the right of the track at high speed. He was unhurt; the accident necessitated the car's retirement and a fifth safety car period.[74] During the slow period Conway relinquished the No. 7 Toyota's hold on the overall lead to Buemi's No. 8 because he made a pit stop under safety car conditions that required him to stop at the exit of the pit lane as the nearest safety car passed by. After the safety cars were withdrawn Rebellion's No. 3 of Berthon inherited third overall. The lead of LMGTE Pro switched from the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Serra to the No. 92 Porsche of Vanthoor. As the race approached its halfway point Kobayashi relieved Conway in the No. 7 Toyota and a faster pit stop than Buemi's No. 8 returned the car to the overall lead.[75] Henning Enqvist went wide at Indianapolis corner and crashed the No. 49 ARC Bratislava Ligier against a tyre barrier. The car was extricated from a gravel trap by a crane. Enqvist subsequently crashed a second time, against a right-hand barrier on the entry to the Porsche Curves.[76][77] The damage to the Ligier's front-right bodywork forced its retirement and the sixth deployment of the safety cars until the final minutes of the twelfth hour.[76][78]

When racing resumed the two Toyota cars were less than two seconds from each other and Estre in the No. 92 Porsche had his lead over Serra in LMGTE Pro lowered to 2.2 seconds.[77] The No. 92 Porsche was subsequently forced to enter the garage for mechanics to repair a defective exhaust system and the team changed the car's brakes. Repairs took twenty minutes to complete and Estre resumed in ninth position in LMGTE Pro.[79] Serra's No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari retook the lead of LMGTE Pro ninety seconds ahead of the No. 93 and No. 91 Porsche cars of Tandy and Bruni in second and third.[78] The No. 4 ByKolles CLM P1/01 of Tom Dillmann stopped after the exit to Arnage corner with a broken gear selection mechanism that necessitated its retirement,[78][80] requiring a slow zone that extended to the exit of the Porsche Curves as the car was extricated by recovery vehicles to behind a trackside wall.[78] Kobayashi increased the No. 7 Toyota's lead over Fernando Alonso to more than a minute due to minor underbody damage to the No. 8. The two lead Porsche cars in LMGTE Pro drew to near half a minute behind Pier Guidi's No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari.[78]

Morning to early afternoon[edit]

In the early morning some LMGTE cars took the opportunity to change brake discs to ensure that they reached the end of the race.[81] Michael Wainwright in the LMGTE Am class No. 86 Gulf Racing Porsche crashed against a wall beside the circuit at Indianapolis corner. At the same time Sergio Pianezzola's No. 60 Kessel Racing Ferrari got beached in a gravel trap in the Porsche Curves. Both incidents promoted the activation of the full course yellow flag procedure.[82] Recovery by track marshals enabled both cars to return to the race. Kobayashi and later López extended the No. 7 Toyota's advantage over Alonso and then Buemi's No. 8 car to one minute and twenty seconds. The LMGTE Pro leading No. 51 AF Corse of Calado made a scheduled pit stop to be relieved by Serra and ceded the class lead to the No. 91 Porsche of Lietz as it dropped to fourth.[81] Not long after Maldonado lost control of DragonSpeed's No. 31 Oreca leaving Tetre Rouge corner and crashed heavily with its front in contact against a barrier. Maldonado was unhurt and the damage sustained to the car necessitated its retirement. The safety cars were deployed for more than half an hour. Serra was able to retake the LMGTE Pro class lead with a one-minute lead as the three cars ahead of his AF Corse No. 51 Ferrari at the time made pit stops and were required to stop at the exit to the pit lane.[83]

The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo won in LMGTE Pro on the 70th anniversary of Ferrari's first outright Le Mans win

After the safety cars were withdrawn the Keating Ford of Ben Keating ran into a gravel trap at the first Mulsanne Straight chicane, which he escaped without damage to the car and retained the lead of LMGTE Am. The No. 3 Rebellion of Menezes incurred a three-minute stop-and-go penalty for a procedural error about the team's usage of tyre compounds. The penalty promoted Vandoorne's No. 11 SMP BR1 to third overall. Just after Menezes rejoined the race he spun into a gravel trap in the Porsche Curves and recovered with vehicular assistance for the Rebellion's return to the garage. Seventeen hours and twenty-five minutes in Ho-Pin Tung's No. 38 Jackie Chan Oreca slowed with a puncture and returned to the pit lane. The entry retained third position in LMP2 ahead of François Perrodo's No. 28 TDS Oreca.[83] G-Drive's No. 26 Aurus continued to hold sway in LMP2 until Roman Rusinov relinquished the lead the car had held for 171 consecutive laps to the Signatech Alpine[84] when he could not start the vehicle due to a starter motor problem that required the removal of the rear bodywork covering its engine. The team lost twenty minutes in the garage and four laps as the No. 26 car dropped to seventh in class.[85]

Two lengthy pit stops to rectify issues with the brakes on Berthon's No. 3 Rebellion dropped the car to sixth and elevated the LMP2 leading Signatech Alpine of Lapierre to fifth overall. In LMGTE Pro diverging strategies for AF Corse's No. 51 Ferrari and the No. 63 Corvette created a difference of around five laps between both cars and changed the category lead several times.[86] The No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara of Nyck de Vries had a heavy straightline crash against a barrier on the entry to Indianapolis corner due to possible broken right-front suspension arm. It heavily damaged the car's front bodywork and De Vries required a visit to the garage for mechanics to repair it.[87][88] The safety cars were deployed for the eighth time as track marshals worked for twenty-five minutes to clear debris.[88] In LMGTE Pro the safety cars had again separated the field, leaving Calado's No. 51 AF Corse three minutes ahead of Jan Magnussen's No. 63 Corvette after the latter made a pit stop and was required to stop at the exit to the pit lane. After the safety cars were recalled Magnussen spun and damaged the left-front corner of his car in the Porsche Curves. He was forced to enter the garage for repairs that lasted six minutes and returned to the circuit eighth in LMGTE Pro. The crash elevated the No. 91 and No. 93 Porsche cars of Lietz and Tandy to second and third in class and provided Calado with a one minute and thirty seconds lead.[89]

Finish[edit]

The No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid was forced to give up the race victory due to an incorrect wired antenna on its tyre pressure sensor system

Nearly twenty-three hours into the race[90] the overall leading No. 7 Toyota of López slowed on course due to a wiring fault with an antenna on the car's tyre pressure sensor system, which indicated to the team that the car had sustained a front-right puncture.[91] As it occurred in the final third of a lap, he was able to make a pit stop; Toyota switched only the punctured tyre to lower the time lost in the pit lane.[92] Lopez rejoined the track ahead of Nakajima's sister No. 8 entry. Then the sensors on his car continued to maintain to Toyota that its front-right tyre was punctured, which prompted the team to ask an engineer from its tyre supplier Michelin to check its pressure; no issues were discovered.[91] Nevertheless López yielded the lead that the No. 7 car had held for the previous 191 laps to Nakajima.[84] In the meantime, Toyota discussed invoking team orders to switch the positions of both vehicles though it elected against the idea.[92] López brought the No. 7 car into the pit lane for a second time to replace all four tyres. It subsequently transpired that the left-rear tyre was the wheel that was punctured.[91]

Nakajima took the chequered flag for the No. 8 Toyota, completing 385 laps and 16.972 seconds ahead of the No. 7 of López.[2] SMP, unable to equal Toyota's pace, were six laps adrift in third position with its No. 11 BR1. Rebellion were nine laps behind for a fourth-place finish with the No. 1 R13; its No. 3 car finished fifth. It was Alonso, Buemi, Nakajima and Toyota's second consecutive Le Mans victory.[93] The trio took the LMP Drivers' Championship; it was Buemi's second endurance racing championship success after the 2014 season, Alonso's third motor racing world championship and Nakajima became the first Japanese driver to win an FIA-sanctioned world title.[2][93] The No. 36 Signatech Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrão and Pierre Thiriet was unchallenged for the rest of the race to win in LMP2, earning the team and drivers the LMP2 Championships and Lapierre his fourth class win. The No. 38 Jackie Chan Oreca finished two minutes and twenty-two seconds later in second position and the No. 28 TDS vehicle was third.[94]

On the seventieth anniversary of Ferrari's first overall Le Mans victory AF Corse took the category win, giving Calado and Pier Guidi their first class victories and Serra's second. The car finished 49 seconds ahead of Porsche's No. 91 911 RSR and the German marque's No. 93 car completed the class podium in third. Porsche's No. 92 car finished tenth in the category to win the GTE World Drivers' Championship for Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre.[95] The Keating Motorsports Ford GT of Jeroen Bleekemoen, Felipe Fraga and Ben Keating was undaunted in LMGTE Am and maintained the first position it had held for 273 consecutive laps to finish the class first on the road.[84] Project 1 followed 44 seconds later to finish second in the category and win the Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Drivers for Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti and the Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Teams. JMW completed the class podium with the No. 84 Ferrari in third.[96] There were eleven outright lead changes amongst two cars during the race. The No. 7 Toyota's 339 laps led was the most of any car. The No. 8 Toyota led six times for a total of 46 laps.[84]

Post-race[edit]

The top three teams in each of the four classes appeared on the podium to collect their trophies and spoke to the media in a later press conference.[27] Alonso and Buemi agreed that the No. 7 crew deserved to win the race.[2][97] Buemi added, "I was really happy to finish second (ultimately) but what happened to them is really hard. When it (mechanical issues) happened to me and Kazuki in ’16, it was really hard too. I am really sorry for them. It’s motorsport."[97] Alonso said the victory was unexpected and likened the No. 7 car's to its lost win on the final lap of the 2016 edition, "I’ve experienced unfortunately those moments as well, fighting for the world championship with McLaren in 2007 and Ferrari in 2010 and 2012. When you arrive at the last moment and you are unable to finish the job, you feel bad and I feel sad. I feel for my teammates because they are not only teammates but friends as well. They deserve it today.”[98] López revealed that he was emotional on his way to enter the pit lane to replace the puncture on the No. 7 car, "I cannot describe it. I cried all the way back to the pits – it's so painful. But it's like this."[99]

The No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT was disqualified from the victory in LMGTE Am due to an oversized fuel tank.

On the evening of the day after the event the FIA assessed a penalty of 55.2 seconds on the LMGTE Am winning No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT for transgressing a regulation that dictated the minimum refuelling time at any pit stop be no less than forty-five seconds. ACO scrutineers discovered that the car's refuelling pits stops were completed in 44.4 seconds, with a discrepancy of six-tenths of a second multiplied by the number of pit stops it underwent (twenty-three), and further multiplied by four to give a number of 55.2 seconds. The car was later disqualified because its fuel tank was discovered to be 0.1 l (0.022 imp gal; 0.026 US gal) more the maximum mandated capacity allowed in LMGTE Am at 96 l (21 imp gal; 25 US gal).[100] Keating Motorsports did not appeal the disqualification. The decision promoted the No. 59 Project 1 Porsche to the class victory, the No. 84 JMW Ferrari to second and the No. 62 WeatherTech Ferrari to third.[101] Ben Keating explained that a rubber bladder inside a fuel cell expanded by 0.4 l (0.088 imp gal; 0.11 US gal) during the race and the team's refuelling rig was made more efficient by six-tenths of a second.[102]

The stewards deemed Marcel Fässler responsible for the accident between the No. 64 Corvette and the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche in the Porsche Curves and issued a fine of €7,000 and six penalty points were added to his race licence.[103] His co-driver Oliver Gavin argued that Satoshi Hoshino placed Fässler in a position to hit the barrier by changing his direction, "He was 45 km/h (28 mph) slower, he let the previous two cars go by [on the inside] and then he just does something random and pull right down on the racing line, takes us clean out of the race. That sort of thing is something that needs to be looked at again."[103] Jean-Éric Vergne said he felt disappointed due to the No. 26 G-Drive Aurus' starter motor failing, "I obviously feel extremely disappointed – I don't know what to feel. But I'm not the first one that it happened to, this kind of thing happens. It's very cruel, but it's the magic of Le Mans."[104] Kévin Estre stated his belief that the No. 92 Porsche team could have challenged for the victory in LMGTE Pro had it not been affected by reliability issues, "We were there. We didn’t want to just drive around; we wanted to win. We had the pace for it then we had a reliability issue on the exhaust and that threw us back. Then it was just about surviving and bringing some points because we had nothing to achieve. This was the most difficult part, to be honest."[105]

The role of the safety cars affecting LMGTE Pro received a mixed response.[106] Andy Priaulx of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing argued that the safety cars should have been used to bunch up the field, "If you’ve just pitted, which we needed to pit, it just messes it up so much. It just neutralizes the race and then you end up with this huge separation. For the second year in a row, it’s kind of taken away the spectacle at the end."[106] Richard Lietz stated his belief that all of the safety car periods were correctly deployed, "One time maybe it was not necessary, but the race director was doing a good job. At the end it’s most acceptable to have everything for safety. Maybe they will find a solution with a wave-by or single safety car or whatever."[106] The Corvette Racing team manager Ben Johnson said he was unsure why some safety car periods were deployed in lieu of full course yellow flag procedures to slow the race to 80 km/h (50 mph). He also called for clarity on when to control the pace with safety cars without a full course yellow flag.[106]

In the LMP Drivers' Championship, Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima finished first with 198 points. The trio were 41 points ahead of their teammates Conway, Kobayashi and López in second position. Laurent and Menezes followed in third place with 114 points, ahead of Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov in fourth with 94 points and Neel Jani and Lotterer in fifth with 91 points.[8] With 155 points, Estre and Christensen won the GTE Drivers' Championship, 18½ ahead of AF Corse's Calado and Pier Guidi in second. Gianmaria Bruni and Lietz followed in third position with 131 points and Tincknell and Priaulx finished the season in fourth with 90 points.[8]

Race classification[edit]

The minimum number of laps for classification (70% of the overall winning car's race distance) was 270 laps. Class winners are in bold and double-dagger.

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps Time/Reason
Engine
1 LMP1 8 Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Spain Fernando Alonso[N 3]
Toyota TS050 Hybrid M 385 24:00:10.574double-dagger
Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6
2 LMP1 7 Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina José María López
Toyota TS050 Hybrid M 385 +16.972
Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6
3 LMP1 11 Russia SMP Racing Russia Mikhail Aleshin
Russia Vitaly Petrov
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
BR Engineering BR1 M 379 +6 laps
AER P60B 2.4 L Turbo V6
4 LMP1 1 Switzerland Rebellion Racing Brazil Bruno Senna
Germany André Lotterer
Switzerland Neel Jani
Rebellion R13 M 376 +9 laps
Gibson GL458 4.5 L V8
5 LMP1 3 Switzerland Rebellion Racing France Thomas Laurent
United States Gustavo Menezes
France Nathanaël Berthon
Rebellion R13 M 370 +15 laps
Gibson GL458 4.5 L V8
6 LMP2 36 France Signatech Alpine Matmut France Nicolas Lapierre
France Pierre Thiriet
Brazil André Negrão
Alpine A470 M 368 +17 lapsdouble-dagger
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
7 LMP2 38 China Jackie Chan DC Racing Netherlands Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi
Oreca 07 D 367 +18 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
8 LMP2 28 France TDS Racing France François Perrodo
France Loïc Duval
France Matthieu Vaxivière
Oreca 07 D 366 +19 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
9 LMP2 22 United States United Autosports United Kingdom Philip Hanson
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Ligier JS P217 M 365 +20 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
10 LMP2 48 France IDEC Sport France Paul Lafargue
France Paul-Loup Chatin
Mexico Memo Rojas
Oreca 07 M 364 +21 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
11 LMP2 26 Russia G-Drive Racing Russia Roman Rusinov
Netherlands Job van Uitert
France Jean-Éric Vergne
Aurus 01 D 364 +21 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
12 LMP2 30 France Duqueine Engineering France Romain Dumas
France Pierre Ragues
France Nico Jamin
Oreca 07 M 363 +22 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
13 LMP2 23 France Panis Barthez Competition Austria René Binder
United Kingdom Will Stevens
France Julien Canal
Ligier JS P217 D 362 +23 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
14 LMP2 39 France Graff France Tristan Gommendy
France Vincent Capillaire
Switzerland Jonathan Hirschi
Oreca 07 M 362 +23 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
15 LMP2 25 Portugal Algarve Pro Racing United States John Falb
France Andrea Pizzitola
France David Zollinger
Oreca 07 D 357 +28 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
16 LMP2 20 Denmark High Class Racing Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Switzerland Mathias Beche
Oreca 07 D 356 +29 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
17 LMP2 50 France Larbre Compétition France Erwin Creed
France Romano Ricci
United States Nicholas Boulle
Ligier JS P217 M 355 +30 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
18 LMP2 47 Italy Cetilar Racing Villorba Corse Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 D 352 +33 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
19 LMP2 32 United States United Autosports Republic of Ireland Ryan Cullen
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
United States Will Owen
Ligier JS P217 M 348 +37 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
20 LMGTE
Pro
51 Italy AF Corse United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo M 342 +43 lapsdouble-dagger
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
21 LMGTE
Pro
91 Germany Porsche GT Team Austria Richard Lietz
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR M 342 +43 laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
22 LMGTE
Pro
93 United States Porsche GT Team United Kingdom Nick Tandy
New Zealand Earl Bamber
France Patrick Pilet
Porsche 911 RSR M 342 +43 laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
23 LMGTE
Pro
67 United States Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United Kingdom Andy Priaulx
United States Jonathan Bomarito
Ford GT M 342 +43 laps
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
24 LMGTE
Pro
69 United States Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Australia Ryan Briscoe
New Zealand Scott Dixon
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Ford GT M 341 +44 laps
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
25 LMGTE
Pro
66 United States Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Germany Stefan Mücke
France Olivier Pla
United States Billy Johnson
Ford GT M 340 +45 laps
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
26 LMP2 29 Netherlands Racing Team Nederland Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Dallara P217 M 340 +45 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
27 LMGTE
Pro
94 United States Porsche GT Team Germany Sven Müller
France Mathieu Jaminet
Norway Dennis Olsen
Porsche 911 RSR M 339 +46 laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
28 LMGTE
Pro
63 United States Corvette Racing Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio García
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R M 337 +48 laps
Chevrolet LT5.5 5.5 L V8
29 LMGTE
Pro
92 Germany Porsche GT Team Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kévin Estre
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR M 337 +48 laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
30 LMGTE
Pro
82 Germany BMW Team MTEK Brazil Augusto Farfus
Finland Jesse Krohn
Portugal António Félix da Costa
BMW M8 GTE M 335 +50 laps
BMW S63 4.0 L Turbo V8
31 LMGTE
Am
56 Germany Team Project 1 Germany Jörg Bergmeister
United States Patrick Lindsey
Norway Egidio Perfetti
Porsche 911 RSR M 334 +51 lapsdouble-dagger
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
32 LMGTE
Am
84 United Kingdom JMW Motorsport United States Jeff Segal
Brazil Rodrigo Baptista
Canada Wei Lu
Ferrari 488 GTE M 334 +51 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
33 LMGTE
Am
62 United States WeatherTech Racing United States Cooper MacNeil
United Kingdom Robert Smith
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GTE M 333 +52 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
34 LMGTE
Am
77 Germany Dempsey-Proton Racing Australia Matt Campbell
France Julien Andlauer
Germany Christian Ried
Porsche 911 RSR M 332 +53 laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
35 LMGTE
Am
57 Japan Car Guy Racing Japan Takeshi Kimura
Italy Kei Cozzolino
France Côme Ledogar
Ferrari 488 GTE M 332 +53 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
36 LMGTE
Am
78 Germany Proton Competition Monaco Louis Prette
Monaco Philippe Prette
Monaco Vincent Abril
Porsche 911 RSR M 332 +53 laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
37 LMGTE
Am
61 Singapore Clearwater Racing Republic of Ireland Matt Griffin
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Argentina Luís Pérez Companc
Ferrari 488 GTE M 331 +54 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
38 LMGTE
Am
86 United Kingdom Gulf Racing United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Ben Barker
Austria Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR M 331 +54 laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
39 LMGTE
Am
83 Switzerland Kessel Racing Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Italy Manuela Gostner
Ferrari 488 GTE M 330 +55 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
40 LMGTE
Pro
89 United States Risi Competizione United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
France Jules Gounon
Brazil Pipo Derani
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo M 329 +56 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
41 LMGTE
Am
70 Japan MR Racing Monaco Olivier Beretta
Italy Eddie Cheever III
Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Ferrari 488 GTE M 328 +57 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
42 LMGTE
Am
90 United Kingdom TF Sport Republic of Ireland Charlie Eastwood
Turkey Salih Yoluç
United Kingdom Euan Hankey
Aston Martin Vantage GTE M 327 +58 laps
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
43 LMGTE
Am
54 Switzerland Spirit of Race Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE M 327 +58 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
44 LMGTE
Pro
97 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage GTE M 325 +60 laps
Aston Martin 4.0 L Turbo V8
45 LMP2 34 Poland Inter Europol Competition Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United Kingdom James Winslow
United Kingdom Nigel Moore
Ligier JS P217 M 325 +60 laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
46 LMGTE
Am
60 Switzerland Kessel Racing Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Sergio Pianezzola
Italy Andrea Piccini
Ferrari 488 GTE M 324 +61 laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
47 LMGTE
Pro
81 Germany BMW Team MTEK Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Austria Philipp Eng
Germany Martin Tomczyk
BMW M8 GTE M 309 +76 laps
BMW S63 4.0 L Turbo V8
NC LMP2 43 United Kingdom RLR M Sport/Tower Events Canada John Farano
India Arjun Maini
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 D 295 Not classified[N 4]
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMP2 31 United States DragonSpeed Mexico Roberto González
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 M 245 Crash
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMP2 37 China Jackie Chan DC Racing Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
United Kingdom Jordan King
United States Ricky Taylor
Oreca 07 D 199 Gearbox
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMP1 17 Russia SMP Racing France Stéphane Sarrazin
Russia Egor Orudzhev
Russia Sergey Sirotkin
BR Engineering BR1 M 163 Crash
AER P60B 2.4 L Turbo V6
DNF LMP1 4 Austria ByKolles Racing Team France Tom Dillmann
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
Italy Paolo Ruberti
ENSO CLM P1/01 M 163 Mechanical
Gibson GL458 4.5 L V8
DNF LMP2 49 Slovakia ARC Bratislava Slovakia Miro Konôpka
Russia Konstantin Tereshchenko
Sweden Henning Enqvist
Ligier JS P217 D 160 Crash damage
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Pro
71 Italy AF Corse Italy Davide Rigon
United Kingdom Sam Bird
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo M 140 Engine
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
DNF LMGTE
Pro
95 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing Denmark Nicki Thiim
Denmark Marco Sørensen
United Kingdom Darren Turner
Aston Martin Vantage GTE M 132 Crash damage
Aston Martin 4.0 L Turbo V8
DNF LMGTE
Am
98 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Austria Mathias Lauda
Portugal Pedro Lamy
Aston Martin Vantage GTE M 87 Crash
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Pro
64 United States Corvette Racing United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Switzerland Marcel Fässler
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R M 82 Contact
Chevrolet LT5.5 5.5 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Am
88 Germany Dempsey-Proton Racing Italy Matteo Cairoli
Italy Giorgio Roda
Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Porsche 911 RSR M 79 Retired
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
DNF LMP1 10 United States DragonSpeed United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Sweden Henrik Hedman
BR Engineering BR1 M 76 Gearbox
Gibson GL458 4.5 L V8
DSQ LMGTE
Pro
68 United States Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA France Sébastien Bourdais
United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Müller
Ford GT M 342 Disqualified[N 5]
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
DSQ LMGTE
Am
85 United States Keating Motorsports United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Ford GT M 334 Disqualified[N 6]
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
WD LMGTE
Am
99 Germany Dempsey-Proton Racing United States Patrick Long
United States Tracy Krohn
Sweden Niclas Jönsson
Porsche 911 RSR M Withdrawn
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
Sources:[108][109]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The No. 1 Rebellion had all Q1 lap times deleted due to the car being running the incorrect fuel flow meter.[42]
  2. ^ The No. 39 Graff Oreca had all Q3 lap times deleted due to the car failing to stop at the scrutineering stand at pit lane entry for weight check.[46]
  3. ^ Fernando Alonso was the third driver in the history of the 24 Hours Le Mans to leave with a 100% win record since Woolf Barnato and Jean-Pierre Wimille.[107] He joined Petter Solberg as the second driver in history to win an FIA world championship in two disciplines of motor racing.[52]
  4. ^ The No. 43 RLR Oreca was not classified for failing to complete the final lap of the race.[108]
  5. ^ The No. 68 Ganassi Team USA Ford entry was disqualified for exceeding the permitted fuel capacity.[100]
  6. ^ The No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ford was disqualified for exceeding the permitted fuel capacity.[100]

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for Drivers' Championship standings.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for the Drivers' Championship standings.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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