The Associated Press
Published 4: 01 p.m. ET June 16, 2019
LE MANS, France — Fernando Alonso won the 24 Hours Le Mans endurance race for the second consecutive year after the Toyota Gazoo team’s other automobile came back on Sunday.
This was the most peculiar Formula One winner’s final race in the World Endurance Championship, and sealed the WEC name. Alonso and his co-drivers Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, who took the checkered flag, had fortune on their side at procuring the name.
With about one hour left, the Toyota No. 7 car driven by José María López had to pit for a bicycle shift when comfortably leading. The driver was not sure whether it was a sensor or a suspected vetting, but his enforced prevent efficiently handed the race lead to Alonso’s No. 8 car.
It was the same effect to last year using the No. 7 car — featuring Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway — ending moment.
Though Toyota secured another 1-2, questions will be requested over the group about how No. 7 lost the race.
Buemi and Nakajima should have felt for them, also, having lost the 2016 race over the last lap following a mechanical failure.
“We really have the impression that we didn’t deserve this win. Regrettably they drifted directly close to the end,” Buemi informed broadcaster Eurosport. “We are well placed to understand how it feels for what happened to us 2016. We deserved the world title after all of the work we have completed this year, but also the No. 7 deserved the win today.”
Alonso given that.
“They really deserved the victory,” he said. “Luck is an essential portion of motorsport.”
He should know after his McLaren team failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 after a calamitous chain of mistakes.
The 37-year-old Spaniard still wants to win against the Indianapolis 500 so as to match British motorist Graham Hill’s accomplishment of completing the Triple Crown: winning Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500. He has won Monaco and Le Mans double, both back .
A total of 252,500 spectators attended the 87th edition of Le Mans, which was held in 1923.
It was just another frustrating result for Kobayashi, who drove four complete seasons in F1 with one podium finish.
Kobayashi was struck by a gear box collapse overnight while leading the 2017 race and needed to depart.
On Saturday, he secured pole position in approximately 3 minutes, 15 minutes around the 13.6-kilometer (8. 43-mile) track in northern France.
Kobayashi’s No. 7 car subsequently headed the first seven minutes of the race, before Alonso’s No. 8 briefly took the lead within the next hour.
Although No. 8 ) re-took the lead from the 11th hour, No. 7 immediately regained it and looked to have held it all the way.
Until the late incident undid 23 hours of hard work.
The Toyota staff quickly tweeted:”Dramatic and unexpected ending to the race, however it is a TOYOTA one-two nonetheless. We feel sorry for our #7 crew, but big congratulations to our newest @FIAWEC World Champions and two-time Le Mans winners”
Two individuals familiar to Alonso finished in third position at the No. 11 SMP Racing car.
One has been Stoffel Vandoorne — his former F1 teammate in McLaren — along with the other Vitaly Petrov.
From the deciding race of the 2010 F1 tournament, Alonso had a very good opportunity to secure a third domain.
But starting third, his Ferrari got stuck supporting Petrov’s Renault in the Abu Dhabi GP and that he ended up the race in seventh place. It cost him dearly, as he finished second in the title race only four points behind Sebastian Vettel.
This time, the luck moved Alonso’s manner as he celebrated becoming a dual world champion across two motorsports.
He found the time to commiserate with Kobayashi, providing him a very long hug.