Two-time Le Mans Fernando Alonso conceded yesterday's win at the Circuit de la Sarthe involved a good portion of luck, as the rivalling No. 7 Toyota had to make two pit stops at the end of the race that gave away the lead to the Spaniard's No. 8 auto.
While the No.7 crew ended the race second, it meant that the No.8 team, with Nakajima behind the wheel, ended up crossing the finish line first, and also claimed victory in the World Endurance Championship.
Toyota's No 7 TS050 hybrid auto, crewed by Britain's Mike Conway, Japan's Kamui Kobayashi and Argentina's José Maria López, led most of the way but suffered two late punctures and dropped to second in a one-two finish for the Japanese manufacturer.
The #47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara picked up a three-minute stop/go penalty after exiting the pitlane whilst the red light was on, meaning the team lose a lap to the LMP2 leaders.
Hisatake Murata, Team President "We have an unusual feeling because we have won our second Le Mans but everyone in the team is sorry for Mike, Kamui and Jose and the #7 crew, who would have been deserving winners". Racing for the last time at Le Mans, none of Ford's factory GT's made the podium, but all would finish the race. It was a worthy win, and the TS050 Hybrid cars are true track beasts.
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Despite the kerfuffle at the end of the race, Toyota came out on top.
The Spaniard needs to win the Indianapolis 500 to complete that, a race he failed to qualify for this year after leading for 27 laps on his debut in 2017. "The world championship feels great".
Buemi, the former Toro Rosso driver and long-serving Red Bull test driver, is now a two-time WEC champion after previously winning the crown with Sky F1's Anthony Davidson in 2014.
There was heartbreak for both Corvette, on the 20th anniversary of Chevrolet's modern-day Le Mans programme, following accidents, and likewise for Aston Martin, with both Pro-class Vantage entries falling within 20 minutes.
At Le Mans he teamed up with Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima and Swiss Sebastien Buemi, reuniting the line-up that won the French race past year, and they repeated the feat. We got stronger during the race but admittedly vehicle #7 was quicker in the end. "They really deserved the victory, but today the luck decided that we had the better trophy". I would have been satisfied to finish the race in second so what happened to auto #7 is really painful.