Just Electric

Buemi, Hartley and Lynn win their respective classes at Le Mans

The #8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley claimed the overall win in the 88th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It was the third year in a row that Buemi - who also races for Nissan e.dams in Formula E - and Nakajima have won the great race. For Hartley, who competed in the first five rounds of the last Formula E season for Dragon Racing, it was his second triumph at Le Mans after also winning for Porsche in 2017.

Despite having to pit to have the brake ducts cleaned, they were able to win by 5 laps from the #1 Rebellion R13 of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato, with former Mahindra FE racer Senna also setting the fastest lap of the race.

The other Toyota, the #7, of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez - all of whom have Formula E races on their respective CVs - came third, despite losing half an hour to have a turbo replaced whilst they were leading the race.

The LMP2 class was won by the #22 United Autosports Oreca of Phil Hanson, Filipe Alberquerque and Paul di Resta, from the #38 Jota Oreca of Anthony Davidson, Roberto Gonzalez and reigning Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa.

The #31 Panis Racing entry for Nico Jamin, Julien Canal and Matthieu Vaxiviere was third in class, albeit two laps behind the others.

As for the other entries with Formula E drivers in them, the #26 G-Drive Oreca/Aurus of Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Mikkel Jensen lost third place in the final hour of the race after Vergne went straight on at Indianapolis with broken suspension.

As for the #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca of Frits van Eerd, Nyck de Vries and Giedo van der Garde, the drama started just a handful of laps into the race.

A water leak, and then some off-track excursions - including a collision with the #63 Weathertech Ferrari - put paid to their chances of getting a top-10 in the class.

In LMGTE Pro, Aston Martin secured first and third with the #97 of Mahindra's Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin and Harry Ticknell beating the #95 of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Richard Westbrook.

The results also sealed the Manufacturers' Championship for Aston Martin Racing in the World Endurance Championship.

Another point of note is that the winning Aston Martin didn't need to pit for a brake change during the race, unlike rival cars in the class.

They were split by the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado, who competed in the last Formula E season for Jaguar, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra.

The sister Ferrari, the #71 with Formula E veteran Sam Bird, Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina were not classified after the car stopped on track on the final lap of the race with gearbox failure.

Finally, the LMGTE Am class saw another win for Aston Martin, this time the TF Sport entered car for Jonathan Adam, Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood.

They were followed by the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Matt Campbell, Riccardo Pera and Christian Reid, and the #83 AF Corse Ferrari for Francois Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Emmanuel Collard.

The #72 Hub Auto Racing Ferrari of Morris Chen, Marcos Gomes and Tom Blomqvist ended up not being classified.

Photo:  John Rourke/AdrenalMedia.com

Rob Lomas

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