Through various racing-related (or racing-adjacent) connections, I’ve been fortunate to gain a number of friends and acquaintances, all of whom I enjoy discussions about racing. One of my fellow “chatnecks” (an inside joke among one subgroup) wrote up his account of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Thanks speeddemon787!
You can’t make this stuff up for this year’s 24 Hours of LeMans with Porsche winning the overall race for the second year in a row. How can you feel about Toyota’s devastating lost after dominating most of the race until a turbo failure from the #5 TS050 P1 team. The #5 Toyota team was the class of the field with Porsche and Audi were down to one car due to mechanical problems from their sister cars earlier in the race. The #6 Toyota team was a lap behind but out of contention for the win. With two laps to go, Kobayashi who was driving the last stint of the race radioed the crew that he was slowing down significantly at the Mulsanne straight. He continued to motor on until the car stopped on the start/finish line. The Toyota crew’s faces tell the story of agony and De Chaunac was in tears after the hard work put into this race was wasted.
The #2 Porsche then took the lead with a lap to go and won the race. The Porsche team was beside themselves after their rival broke down. Lieb and Dumas were floored in triumph as Jani bring the 919 home in victory. I’ve never seen such emotions that came out of LeMans on the last lap of the race. As for the other classes, Ford made it triumph return by winning the GT Pro class with the new Ford GT by Ganassi/Multimatic team. The GT Pro class was more controversial with the balance of performances that was done to slow the Fords and Ferraris down but it didn’t benefit Corvette, Porsche and Aston Martin for the race. The Fords and Risi Ferrari were dominating the pro class while the Vettes, Porsche and Aston Martin couldn’t keep up with them. Unfortunately, the #64 Vette crashed and the #91 Porsche lost the motor. After the race both Ford, Risi Ferrari and Aston Martin teams lodged a protest against one another. The stewards penalized the winning Ford GT and Risi Ferrari teams but the results stand as of now. This controversial BoP will continue for the next WEC race in a couple of months.
The other class winners were Signatech Alpine P2 team and the Scuderia Corsa team for the GT AM classes. Unfortunately, the AM class throughout the 24 Hours of LeMans hadn’t gotten most of the camera time as it producers were concentrating on mostly P1, P2 and GT Pro classes. Fairly disappointed in the way Fox handled its LeMans coverage with the Golf, Nascar Trucks and UFC that was in a clusterfuck of a schedule. Now us racing fans will look forward to the 2017 24 Hours of LeMans.