Alonso's Toyota wins 24 Hours of Le Mans

Alonso looking good for the Le Mans win and a step closer to the triple crown.

Fernando Alonso claims Le Mans victory with Toyota as he closes in on motor racing's Triple Crown

The #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Romain Rusinov lived up to the billing of pre-race favourites in LMP2 and led virtually the whole race to give the TDS-run squad its first Le Mans victory.

Having been behind since the sixth hour of the race after picking up a 60 second stop/go penalty for speeding in a slow zone area, the #8 vehicle was over two minutes behind the sister #7 auto of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi.

Nakajima moved the #8 auto back ahead at Arnage in the 16th hour, and from thereon it held the advantage, helped by a spin for Lopez at the Dunlop chicane with a little over three hours to go.

"Until it crossed the line I couldn't believe it", explained Buemi after the race. Remember the TS010 and GT One from the Nineties?

It's Toyota's first victory at the 20th attempt, and the first win for a Japanese manufacturer since Mazda's success in 1991.

Both Porsche and Audi had long since shut down their Le Mans programmes, meaning 2018's LMP1 top class was a two-horse race between both Toyotas.

In the early hours of the morning, both Toyotas were handed 60 second stop/go penalties for speeding in slow zones the second one for the #8 auto, this meant the gap was maintained between the leaders. Alonso strapped himself in and incredibly managed to claw back a huge deficit to give the #8 auto a fighting chance.

After a tough start for the #1 Rebellion, it has joined its sister vehicle on the lead lap in a battle a final six hour battle for the final spot on the overall podium.

Nakajima, who was leading the 2016 race with two laps to go when his vehicle lost power, said he was relieved to "finally" win the race. "We had to be really focused until the chequered flag".

McLaren ace Alonso was driving for Toyota alongside Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastian Buemi, with the trio holding off the team's sister auto to take a gruelling victory.

'Sure, ' you might be thinking, 'it was easy for Toyota because it had no proper competition.' And yet, as Damon Hill remarked after this year's Le Mans race, "you have to beat Le Mans". That would leave the Indy 500.

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