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24 Hours of Le Mans: Ecstasy for Ferrari, Disappointment for Toyota

Written by Benjamin Crudwell, Edited by Meghana Sree


Before qualifying, with the most experience, and in the lead of the championship, Toyota were the favourites, but Ferrari stole the front row in a dominant Hyperpole session.


Ferrari lost the lead early in the race to the Toyotas, however Ferrari soon turned it around, when they found some blistering pace. With the number 7 Toyota retired, and the number 50 Ferrari laps down, the number 8 Toyota chased the number 51 Ferrari all morning.


Toyota’s chance came when Ferrari struggled to start their car in the pits, giving the lead away, but no more than 2 laps later Pier Guidi took his Ferrari around the outside of the second chicane to clinch back 1st place.


Although Toyota kept the gap to the leaders at under 20 seconds, Ryo Hirakawa (the Toyota driver) hit the wall at Arnage, putting the car 3 minutes back.


Ferrari would face pit stop problems again in their final stop, but the gap was too large for Toyota to take any advantage of it.


After 24 hours and 342 laps of racing, a Ferrari crossed the line in first place for the first time since 1965. The spark in the Italian's Motorsport legacy has been reignited, and Ferrari is back with their tenth win at this prestigious racing event.

LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: The No.51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P team of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi celebrate on the podium after winning the 100th anniversary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe June 11, 2023 in Le Mans, France.
Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images

While Ferrari gets the champagne this afternoon, Toyota knows that all is not lost, as the championship hunt is still on.


They still have the chance to prove themselves as worthy winners, but they must focus on nailing the final few races and erasing the little mistakes that eventually cost them the Le Mans win today.


There is no doubt they will be disappointed now, but they have been mighty the previous five years, and it has never been more important that they regain that winning form to win a sixth championship.


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