Porsche wins dramatic Le Mans 24h race

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Just like the previous edition, Porsche has won the Le Mans 24 hours race, once again in a race that largely saw its outcome decided by reliability. The winner #2 car was steered to victory by Timo Bernhard, Brandon Hartley and Earl Bamber.

Toyota dominated the first hours of the race as their #7 went off from pole position to build a healthy lead over the #1 Porsche. By that time, the first of the LMP1 contenders, the #4 of ByTeamKolles has already retired, and he would be joined by several others later on.

The first of which was the leader of the race, the #7 Toyota of Conway-Kobayashi-Sarrazin. At the time, it was holding a strong lead over the No.1 Porsche when, just towards the end of the 10th hour, the car suffered a clutch problem. Kobayashi at the wheel and the team in the pits tried everything to bring it back to pitlane for repairs but eventually had to park the car at the exit of the Porsche Curves and retire.

In a cruel further twist, just 15 minutes after that disappointment, the No.9 TS050 HYBRID of Nicolas Lapierre, Yuji Kunimoto and José María López was hit by an LMP2 competitor approaching the first corner, causing damage to the rear left of the car which was too severe for the car to continue. A small fire as a result of the collision brought out the safety car.

No.2 Porsche 919 Hybrid was on a charge back through the field and was 16th overall at the half way mark while the No.8 Toyota is far behind but still circulating after losing over an hour in the pits for a new front motor and battery.

Surging through the field, and eventually taking back the overall lead one hour from the end, the No.2 Porsche went on to win the race, more or less like the last team standing strong.

In LMP2 the winner was No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing, a car which also led the race for several hours between the retirements of the Porsche #1 4 hours from the end, until being overtaken by the eventual race winner.