Taylor wins Petit Le Mans as TUDOR champions are crowned

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10:00 p.m. ET: Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is in the books.

Easiest way to breakout the end of this race, for now, is just by listing the respective winners and champions:

  • Race winners: P, Wayne Taylor Racing (Jordan and Ricky Taylor, Max Angelelli; No. 10 Corvette DP); PC, Starworks Motorsport (Renger van der Zande, Mirco Schultis, Alex Popow; No. 8 Oreca FLM09); GTLM, Team Falken Tire (Bryan Sellers, Wolf Henzler, Marco Holzer, No. 17 Porsche 911 RSR); GTD, Paul Miller Racing (Bryce Miller, Christopher Haase, Matt Bell, UK, No. 48 Audi R8 LMS)
  • Driver champions: P, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi (No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP); PC, Colin Braun and Jon Bennett (No. 54 CORE autosport Oreca FLM09); GTLM, Kuno Wittmer (No. 91/93 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R); GTD, Dane Cameron (No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3)

Sean Rayhall was released from the medical center following an accident with 20 minutes to go. Rayhall, who was leading in PC, was contacted by Tracy Krohn in his Ferrari F458 GT. It put the race under its 13th and final full course caution, which took up nearly three hours of the race.

7:10 p.m. ET: Two hours to go. The biggest shift since the last update was a major accident for Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Audi R8 LMS, capping a miserable day at the office for driver and team.

Christian Fittipaldi (P), Tom Kimber-Smith (PC), Wolf Henzler (GTLM) and Christopher Haase (GTD) lead the race as we head toward the finish.

P and PC season titles have been decided while the GTLM and GTD champs are still to be determined.

4:45 p.m. ET: We were now past the halfway mark. The WTR Corvette in the hands of the Taylor brothers and now Max Angelelli continues to lead, with Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon, a pair of IndyCar champions, giving chase.

The herd has been thinned in PC, with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and RSR Racing in win contention. The second Porsche (No. 912) and Corvette (No. 4) have emerged ahead of the chaos in GTLM while in GTD, the Turner BMW is battling the pair of Alex Job Racing Porsches.

The latter battle is not only one for the race, but for the GTD class championship.

Thus far there have been 10 full-course yellows, one off the mark set at Sebring earlier this year.

2:40 p.m. ET: Since I last wrote, we’ve gone yellow. And we’ve gone yellow again. And we’ve gone yellow some more.

Past the three hour and 20 minute mark, we’ve had seven full-course yellows. It’s hard to keep track of all of them.

Jordan Taylor still leads overall with RSR Racing 1-2 in PC. Patrick Long lead GT Le Mans with Ben Barker leading in GT Daytona.

Perhaps the most interesting development has come in GT Le Mans. There was a three-way moment of contact in the pits that took the GTLM-championship contending No. 3 Corvette C7.R out of contention. The No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR and No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia also suffered damage, and Risi’s Ferrari was retired.

12:30 p.m. ET: The first hour is in the books at the 17th Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. Ricky Taylor led in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP overall.

Two yellow flags flew, the first for a spin by the 8Star Motorsports PC car at Turn 7 and the second for a stopped No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America on the exit of Turn 10.

Briefly, the DeltaWing led overall in its home race by virtue of running a longer first stint. Meanwhile the other non-DP of note in the Prototype field, the No. 42 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, made a charge from 47th to sixth by Alex Brundle but lost three laps on the first pit stop with its engine cover off. It’s been a troubled weekend for the team, which has had to make two engine changes.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.