Porsche Wins Wild 24 Hours of Le Mans

That leaves the #8 TS050 HYBRID of Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima as the sole Toyota in the race, although that is 29 laps behind after over an hour in the pits to replace the front motor and battery.

It is Bamber's second victory at Le Mans while Hartley tastes victory there for the first time. After 23 hours of racing, the top two were incredibly close on track and we witnessed a brilliant battle between the No.97 Aston Martin and the No.63 Corvette. Until we got back on the same strategy as everyone else, it was an uphill fight.

This means Bernhard, who last won at Le Mans in 2010 with Audi, has finally won with Porsche.

"Without the mechanics, we wouldn't be up here again today".

Next in the lineup of favorites were the two Porsches and, finally, the lone other prototype in the 58-car field, the ENSO CLM P1/01 of Bykolles Racing.

The No. 7 Toyota shared by pole victor Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin led for the majority of the first nine hours of the race. But the lead Porsche's demise after 21 hours handed the lead to the lead-running Jackie Chan Racing Oreca in the second LMP2 class, with the second Porsche recovering having also changed its front hybrid motor.

Lapierre again tried to limp around a full lap to the pits but the rear end of the vehicle suffered further damage and he was forced to pull over and retire, agonisingly within sight of the pit lane.

"I brought it back to the pits and the guys looked into it, and we were back out in under an hour".

In the process, the 45-year-old became the 40th driver to compete at all three of Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500 and Monaco Grand Prix.

Another Oreca LMP2 vehicle - driven by Nelson Piquet Jr., the son of the famed Brazilian F1 driver, finished in third place for the Vaillante Rebellion team.

The 2nd ORECA entered under the name of Hollywood action hero Chan took fourth in the hands of team co-owner David Cheng, Alex Brundle and Tristan Gommendy. The No. 1 ran trouble-free, but didn't have the pace. Jordan Taylor, driving the No. 63 Corvette, pulled some handsome moves to keep his lead over the Aston Martin GTE, but suffered a puncture with just about a lap to go, and he was denied glory for the American team.

But after stopping and starting several times, he was eventually forced to give up on the Mulsanne Straight. Jonathan Adam was the driver at the helm of the Aston Martin.

The GTE Pro class came down to the very final lap.

The FIA World Endurance Championship, the series that the majority of the contenders in this race run, returns in just under a month for the 6 Hours of Nurburgring.

Have a terrific week.

  • Julie Sanders