2016 24 Hours of Le Mans: Porsche Snatch Last Lap Victory After Toyota Power Failure

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Jack Hunsley, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Jack Hunsley

    Jack Hunsley

    In what is quite possibly the single greatest ending to a 24 Hours of Le Mans, the pole sitting #2 Porsche inherited a last lap victory from the hands of Toyota after a power failure on the final lap robbed the Japanese manufacturer of their first outright Le Mans win.

    With both Toyota's battling for the lead alongside the #2 Porsche at the midway stage, a clever pit strategy in the 17th hour of the race, combined with a spin for Kamui Kobayashi in the #6 Toyota, gave the #5 a solid lead going into the dying moments of the race.

    However with the race seemingly all done and dusted Kazuki Nakajima began to slow drastically in what initially appeared to be an attempt to create a formation finish with their sister #6 which was in close proximity on the track. But when the #6 machine blasted past the #5 it quickly became clear that Nakajima was trouble, and with just three minutes left on the clock he was forced to pull over on the main straight and gift the race to Porsche.

    The result means that Mazda still hold the honour of being the only Japanese manufacturer to conquer Le Mans, whilst Toyota's 31 year win less streak at Le Mans continues for another year.

    Among all the commotion at the front an unusually uncompetitive Audi found themselves as the main beneficiaries of the drama. With Nakajima's final lap being recorded at almost 12 minutes long the #5 Toyota was not classified as per the regulations, allowing the #8 Audi to come home third. However this year will be a race to forget for Audi given that both of their cars suffered a tirade of technical issues across the 24 hours.

    Meanwhile the sister #1 Porsche will also have to wait for their first Le Mans triumph. Despite running competitively early in the race a water pump change left the #1 car in the pits for over two hours effectively taking them out of contention. For the privateers the race was relatively dull, with only the #12 Rebellion actually making it to the finish.

    In LMP2 Nicolas Lapierre added to his own Le Mans resume after bringing home the #36 Signatech Alpine entry in first place and a top five finish overall given the LMP1 dramas but it was by no means a walk in the park. The battle too went to the final hour, with the 3 minute gap between the #36 and runner up #26 G-Drive entry somewhat flattering Signatech.

    Meanwhile several other teams led at one point or another, with even Manor running in the top spot before crashing out of the race, but it was the #37 SMP Racing machine who took third.

    In the GT classes the pre-race 'BoP' change did little to impact the outcome of the race with Ford taking a comfortable victory on the 50th anniversary of their famous 1966 win. It as the #68 USA entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Muller, and Sebastian Bourdais that emerged out on top ahead of the #82 Risi Competition Ferrari. However it remains to be seen whether the #82 will retain their podium spot after they chose to ignore a stop-go penalty for displaying the incorrect signalling light in the final hour of the race. In GTE Am the #62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari took the honours after displacing the #88 Porsche late on in the race, eventually coming home with one lap to spare.

    Last but not least, the Garage 56 entry of quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset did make the finish, coming home 38th overall and with 315 laps completed.

    2016 24 Heures Du Mans - Official Race Results
    1. LMP1 - #2 Porsche Team (Dumas, Jani, Lieb) - 384 Laps
    2. LMP1 - #6 Toyota Gazoo Racing (Sarrazin, Conway, Kobayashi) - +3 Laps
    3. LMP1 - #8 Audi Sport Team Joest (Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis) - +12 Laps
    4. LMP1 - #7 Audi Sport Team Joest (Fässler, Lotterer, Tréluyer) - +17 Laps
    5. LMP2 - #36 Signatech Alpine (Menezes, Lapierre, Richelmi) - +27 Laps
    6. LMP2 - #26 G-Drive Racing (Rusinov, Stevens, Rast) - +27 Laps
    7. LMP2 - #37 SMP Racing (Petrov, Shaytar, Ladygin) - +31 Laps
    8. LMP2 - #42 Strakka Racing (Leventis, Watts, Kane) - +33 Laps
    9. LMP2 - #33 Eurasia Motorsport (Junjin, Gommendy, De Bruijn) - +36 Laps
    10. LMP2 - #41 Greaves Motorsport (Rojas, Canal, Berthon) - +36 Laps
    11. LMP2 - #27 SMP Racing (Minassian, Mediani, Aleshin) - +37 Laps
    12. LMP2 - #23 Panis Barthez Competition (Barthez, Chatin, Buret) - +37 Laps
    13. LMP1 - #1 Porsche Team (Bernhard, Webber, Hartley) - +38 Laps
    14. LMP2 - #49 Michael Shank Racing (Pew, Negri Jr., Vanthoor) - +39 Laps
    15. LMP2 - #43 RGR Sport by Morand (Gonzalez, Senna, Albuquerque) - +40 Laps
    16. LMP2 - #30 Extreme Speed Motorsport (Sharp, Brown, Van Overbeek) - +43 Laps
    17. LMP2 - #25 Algarve Pro Racing (Munemann, Hoy, Pizzitola) - +43 Laps
    18. GTE Pro - #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA (Hand, Müller, Bourdais) - +44 Laps
    19. GTE Pro - #82 Risi Competizione (Fisichella, Vilander, Malucelli) - +44 Laps
    20. GTE Pro - #69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA (Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon) - +44 Laps
    21. GTE Pro - #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK (Johnson, Mücke, Pla) - +45 Laps
    22. LMP2 - #40 Krohn Racing (Krohn, Jönsson, Barbosa) - +46 Laps
    23. GTE Pro - #95 Aston Martin Racing (Thiim, Sørensen, Turner) - +46 Laps
    24. GTE Pro - #97 Aston Martin Racing (Stanaway, Rees, Adam) - +47 Laps
    25. GTE Pro - #63 Corvette Racing (Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor) - +48 Laps
    26. GTE Am - #62 Scuderia Corsa (Sweedler, Bell, Segal) - +53 Laps
    27. GTE Am - #83 AF Corse (Perrodo, Collard, Aguas) - +53 Laps
    28. GTE Am - #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing (Al Qubaisi, Hansson, Long) - +54 Laps
    29. LMP1 - #12 Rebellion Racing (Prost, Heidfeld, Piquet Jr) - +54 Laps
    30. GTE Am - #61 Clearwater Racing (Sun, Sawa, Bell) - +55 Laps
    31. GTE Pro - #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing (Lietz, Christensen, Eng) - +55 Laps
    32. LMP2 - #22 SO24 (Capillaire, Maris, Coleman) - +56 Laps
    33. GTE Am - #86 Gulf Racing (Wainwright, Carroll, Barker) - +56 Laps
    34. LMP2 - #48 Murphy Prototypes (Keating, Bleekemolen, Goosens) - +61 Laps
    35. GTE Am - #60 Formula Racing (Laursen, Mac Jensen, Nielsen) - +65 Laps
    36. GTE Am - #99 Aston Martin Racing (Howard, Griffin, Hirsch) - +66 Laps
    37. GTE Am - #50 Larbre Competition (Yamagishi, Ragues, Belloc) - +68 Laps
    38. G56 - #84 SRT 41 (Sausset, Tinseua, Bouvet) - +69 Laps
    39. GTE Am - #57 Team AAI (O'Connell, Bryant, Patterson) - +78 Laps
    40. GTE Pro - #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK (Franchitti, Priaulx, Tincknell) - +78 Laps
    41. GTE Am - #78 KCMG (Ried, Henzler, Camathias) - +84 Laps
    42. LMP2 - #31 Extreme Speed Motorsport (Dalziel, Derani, Cumming) - +87 Laps
    43. LMP2 - #34 Race Performance (Leutwiler, Nakano, Winslow) - +87 Laps
    44. LMP2 - #28 Pegasus Racing (Taittinger, Striebig, Roussel) - +92 Laps
    45. LMP1 - #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing (Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima) - NC
    46. GTE Am - #55 AF Corse (Cameron, Griffin, Scott) - NC
    47. GTE Am - #98 Aston Martin Racing (Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda) - NC
    48. LMP2 - #38 G-Drive Racing (Dolan, Dennis, Van Der Garde) - NC
    49. LMP1 - #13 Rebellion Racing (Tüscher, Imperatori. Kraihamer) - NC
    50. LMP2 - #44 Manor (Graves, Rao, Merhi) - NC
    51. LMP2 - #46 Thiriet (Thiriet, Beche, Hirakawa) - NC
    52. LMP2 - #35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine (Cheng, Tung, Panciatici) - NC
    53. GTE Pro - #64 Corvette Racing (Gavin, Milner, Taylor) - NC
    54. LMP1 - #4 ByKolles Racing Team (Trummer, Webb, Kaffer) - NC
    55. GTE Pro - #51 AF Corse (Bruni, Calado, Pier Guidi) - NC
    56. GTE Pro - #71 AF Corse (Rigon, Bird, Bertolini) - NC
    57. GTE Pro - #92 Porsche Motorsport (Makowiecki, Bamber, Bergmeister) - NC
    58. GTE Pro - #91 Porsche Motorsport (Pilet, Estre, Tandy) - NC
    59. LMP2 - #47 KCMG (Matsuda, Howson, Bradley) - NC
    60. GTE Am - #89 Proton Competition (MacNeil, Keen, Miller) - NC​
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Glaurung


    What a blow for Toyota.
    I can't imagine a more suffering way to loose the Le Mans 24h, after such a dominant race.
    Great respect to them, honor to Porsche, Ford, Risi Competizione and particularly to Sausset.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Helmut Skrdla

    Helmut Skrdla

    Statistically they were overdue some problems on their cars... emotionally it's harsh as hell to have them fall on the leader, ten minutes before race finish.

    Though arguable had they kept the #6 further up in the running it would still have been a Toyota win.

    I'm not sure if it's a Toyota curse, or an Audi blessing. Maybe somewhere there is a rule saying Audi not on podium would open the seven gates of hell...

    Ford/Ferrari in GTE was entertaining, I particularly liked the selection of race numbers for the four challengers.

    And yes, huge probs to Saussett. By all accounts he did a great, professional and safe job out there. Best Garage 56 project in a long time.
    • Love Love x 1
  4. kedy89


    Heartbreaking finish
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Ryann


    Even though I have no favorites, that hurt. :(
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. SteffenLS


    Nobody deserves to finish/lose a race like that!
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim

    Mmm...let's turn up the heat: what about matchfixing in autosport? All P1 cars race with a OS onboard. Should be "easily" hacked...
  8. Blimey


    the end really was amazing, what would've been funnier is if the Porsche also couldn't finish and it would've been Toyota 1, Audi 2 and 3.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. fortyfivekev


    For sure heartbreaking for Toyota but I agree with Helmut that they should have kept the second car further up and not pulled it in for ages to fix what seemed to be fairly minor issues. Plus they didn't seem to press home the advantage of running an extra lap most of the time which over 24 hours should have resulted in a couple less stops for each car which is a good chunk of time.

    Glad everyone had a safe race and very happy for Frederic Sausset to realise his dream. Looking forward to the rest of the WEC season now and thanks to Jack for all the articles.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper

    Further information for you all...

    – There has been some post-race drama in the GTE Pro class with the winning #68 Ford receiving two retrospective time penalties: one of 50 seconds for speeding in a Slow Zone, and one of 20 seconds for faulty sensors. Given that their winning margin over the #82 Ferrari was just over a minute, this should have handed Risi Competizione victory, but they have also been given a penalty of 20 seconds for failing to fix broken leader lights. According to reports, a further protest against the Ford GTs’ performance levels at Le Mans is under investigation.

    Hindsight is a lovely thing but the #6 car was handicapped as soon as it had it's coming together with the GT car at night. It was losing time to the Porsche with aero damage as bits of it were falling off so they had to repair it. It couldn't stay in touch with the Porsche (Sarrazin kept saying the car was difficult to drive) so they opted to try and repair it. The extra lap strategy is interesting, it may have worked but when they did 14 lap stints they weren't as quick, when Porsche decided to throw everything at them, they had to respond to their pace. If the gap had been wider then yes I think they would have stayed on 14 lappers.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  11. Rodent


    What an awesome race it was, amazing how close it was after all those hours. I feel for Toyota, but it's pretty great/hilarious that Audi keeps the streak going. I was expecting a great race from the GTE Pro class and boy did it deliver, but I didn't expect the other racing to be quite as interesting as it turned out, great year.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Vapir


    I don't think I've felt more sorry for a group of people. What a tough one. Still an amazing race though! Roughly 40 sec. difference between first and second after 23:55h, come on!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. EpilepticToast


    Nice to see the Aston's somewhat challenge the Ford's through the night. It didn't last when the sun came up though because the thing was back to running 3:52's! Other GTE's at 54-56's. I feel like Aston will bring something big for next season, maybe Corvette as well... now that apparently prototypes are allowed in GTE!
    Huge respect for Risi team from IMSA, Fisichella and co. have been on the rise last few years and really kept up with the fords surprisingly. That 488 GTE has got to have the most potential of all new GT's, and an easy switch package between GT3/E is great engineering from Ferrari.

    Felt awful for Toyota, couldn't believe it with under 3 mins left. They came so close, surely next year will be the one!
  14. Tobiman


    Can definitely see Aston bringing the vulcan chassis to compete with the ford.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. fortyfivekev


    Had a close look over a Vulcan at Silverstone recently and although it is impressive as a track day car to compete with the Ford/Ferrari they would need a car conceived from day one for GT3/GTE which the Vulcan is not + way more cash than they probably have.

    As a Brit it makes me sad but unfortunately Aston as a company haven't been doing too well in recent years so unless some fairy godmother appears I am not sure we are going to see them back to winning Le Mans in the near future. :(
    • Sad Sad x 1
  16. Rob


    Aston didn't stand a chance. Although it would have been nice to have some close racing in the GTE class, Ford cleverly flipped the paradigm and simply built a whole "new" GT production model based on their race-engineered blueprint. Also clever was the sandbagging they did in IMSA races (and WEC) to de-prime the pump, despite the last minute efforts to even things out. It probably would have taken an act of God (or a well-planned act of another huge car maker) to stop them. Can't wait to drive that thing in a proper SIM.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. fortyfivekev


    Will be interesting now to see if Ford were actually sandbagging. Personally, I think they built a low drag/downforce car just for Le Mans as they don't care about the rest of the WEC and they wont be super quick for the rest of the season.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
    retired from this site.

    This is exactly what they did. The whole project was to build a purpose build Le Mans car.
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