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Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota #7 breaks curse with dominant victory as last lap drama strikes Kubica
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Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota #7 breaks curse with dominant victory as last lap drama strikes Kubica

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota #7 breaks curse with dominant victory as last lap drama strikes Kubica

F1 News

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota #7 breaks curse with dominant victory as last lap drama strikes Kubica

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota #7 breaks curse with dominant victory as last lap drama strikes Kubica

Toyota's #7 squad finally broke its Circuit de la Sarthe curse by taking victory in the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours.

The car driven by Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi finally took top honours after years of heartache caused by mechanical failures and punctures.

Not even suspected gearbox issues or two separate rain spells could halt the charge this year as the #7 finally crossed the line first.

The sister #8 car of Sebastian Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley recovered from a disastrous first lap - in which it was hit at the Dunlop Chicane and then stopped on the Mulsanne straight and at Arnage - to finish second, two laps down after Toyota staged a late pit-stop and created a formation finish.

Alpine followed home third with Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere ending four laps down on the #7 having kept the Toyotas honest before a spin into the gravel during the night.

Glickenhaus impressed with its fuel conservation with both cars on debut to complete a Hypercar top-five lockout.

Toyota's win, its fourth in a row at the event, was the first overall victory at Le Mans in the Hypercar era.

LMP2

Drama struck the #41 Team WRT car on the final lap as the Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Yifei Ye entry ground to a halt from the lead with the Chinese driver at the wheel.

The sister #31 car of Ferdinand Habsburg, Robin Frijns and Charles Milesi inherited the win on the team's debut Le Mans.

The #28 Jota, which once led the race in the early stages, trailed home second at the hands of Tom Blomqvist, Stoffel Vandoorne and Sean Gelael, with the #65 Panis Racing of Will Stevens, Julien Canal and James Allen taking third.

The LMP2 category saw the most drama across the 24 hours, with multiple leaders hitting issues in the opening half of the race.

Kevin and Jan Magnussen's race was effectively ruined by the #26 G-Drive machine, the same car that had taken the all-female #1 Richard Mille entrant out of the race.

The well-fancied United Autosports team had three entries in the race, but when the #32 retired after contact with the sister #23 car - taking away that car's chances of a podium - and the #22 hit multiple issues through the night, Team WRT never looked back.

GTEPro

Ferrari emerged victorious from the GTEPro category that saw Corvette Racing mount a surprise challenge.

The #51 Ferrari of Come Ledogar, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi held the #63 of Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at arm's length for the final few hours to take honours.

Porsche staged a brilliant fightback from a difficult week to get the #92 of Kevin Estre, Neel Jani and Michael Christensen - a car that had been rebuilt twice ahead of the race due to separate incidents - onto the podium in third.

The two privateer Porsches retired, the #79 Weathertech car crashing out in the night and the #72 pole-sitting HubAuto car suffering from a mechanical issue.

GTEAm

The #83 Ferrari of Francois Perrodo, Niklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera took GTEAm class honours to ensure a GTE sweep for the Italian manufacturer.

The AF Corsica operation hardly put a foot wrong to lead home the #33 TF Racing Aston Martin of Ben Keating, Dylan Pereira and Felipe Fraga which had led most of the early running before a puncture derailed its progress.

Ferrari F1 reserve driver Callum Ilott partnered Matteo Cressoni and Rino Mastronardi in the #80 Iron Lynx entry that claimed the final podium position.

The special entrant for the race this year - given to innovative entrants such as the Nissan Deltawing in past runnings - was the SRT41 Association.

The #84 car was an altered iteration of an LMP2 chassis to allow paraplegic drivers Takuma Aoki and Nigel Bailly to compete alongside Matthieu Lahaye. The team finished 32rd overall out of 61 starters.

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