Tourqe Esports

Magnussen, Montoya win in Legends Trophy doubleheader at Lime Rock

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Four-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jan Magnussen held off a hard-charging Jenson Button at virtual Lime Rock Park to become the first two-time winner in Torque Esports’ Legends Trophy racing series Saturday.

After winning in the previous weekend at virtual Sebring International Raceway, Button took the pole at Lime Rock Park but was beaten to the first corner by the hard-charging Magnussen.

“That was a fantastic race! Jenson was being very sportsmanlike about it because he had more speed than me,” Magnussen said. “He had a couple of attempts into turn one, and we hit and got sideways – but he did it in such a way that none of us went off. That was a tough race, I’m shaking all over after that – it was amazing.”

Although they were located halfway across the world from each other throughout the 11-lap battle, the Dane and the LA-based Englishman were separated on track by mere inches with Magnussen eventually crossing the line just three-hundredths of a second ahead of Button and notching a second victory after taking his first Legends Trophy win at NOLA Motorsports Park two weeks ago.

“What a fun race,” Button said. “Jan was awesome in terms of knowing where to put the car.” 

“I threw it on the inside once, and we tapped and we were drifting through (turn) 2 – it was a lot of fun. It’s a little bit more difficult to feel in the simulators, so for us to be able to race that close it was awesome.”

Twenty-three racing legends lined up on the grid as they raced virtual versions of the World Championship-winning McLaren M23. The weekend’s Legends Trophy field combined for four Formula 1 World Championships, 11 Indy 500 wins, 10 IndyCar titles, plus 16 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a World Rally Championship crown.

Race two of the doubleheader featured a reverse starting grid and was won by Juan Pablo Montoya

“I got a 10-second penalty so I didn’t qualify too well. Then I got tangled, and tangled, and tangled in the first race,” Montoya said. “It was nice to win the reverse grid race after that. These guys put on a hell of a show. It was great to complete a race without any major incidents.

“It’s a lot of fun, but it’s frustrating as hell because each of us are way too competitive. We all get moody. You should see my wife, she is not happy with me when I do not do well.”

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

24 Hours of Le Mans

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.