Toyota Finally Victorious at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018!

James Marshall
June 18, 2018

The number seven Toyota finished second, a lap down, to complete the one-two.

Toyota joins Mazda as the only Japanese manufacturers to win the event, when they did so back in 1991.

"It has been incredible", said Alonso, referring not just of the victory but also about the entire Le Mans experience.

Alonso, a double Monaco Grand Prix victor and twice F1 world champion, is aiming for the "Triple Crown of Motorsport", and the Indianapolis 500 is now the only box remaining to be ticked. Alonso is a two-time victor in Monaco. All other LMP1 cars competing were run by privateers.

But in a series of stints in the dead of night, Alonso clawed back the deficit and put the number eight vehicle right back on the tail of the number seven.

Alonso's vehicle was left more than two minutes behind the other Toyota but the Spaniard managed to claw back the difference through the night, putting Nakajima in position to retake the lead from Kobayashi early on Sunday. Near the end, he also missed a signal to pit for fuel, and did a slow lap largely on electric power as a result.

But in the end, both cars made it to the finish, to complete the company's dream result - a one-two, with Alonso's auto the victor.

There was no joy for another former F1 champion, though. However, as time has shown, having the fastest vehicle is no guarantee of success. Former rivals Porsche and Audi pulled out after past year in the wake of the parent company Volkswagen's diesel scandal.

His auto went in to Le Mans as strong favourite and the classic event has now been ticked off in clinical style.

But Toyota insisted that the two cars went into the race with equal chances of winning.

Toyota's win is made all the more special after the team came within a lap of victory in 2016 only to have it taken away from them by reliability issues.

Can Alonso now win Indianapolis? "I don't think too much about how competitive we will be next year as it is impossible to predict: It is just about the sport".

He will be back in action for McLaren at the French Grand Prix next week, with the race returning to the calendar for the first time since 2008.

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