LE MANS, France—The No.7 and No.8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar won first and second place at the 89th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans—marking their 4th consecutive win, while the new Chevrolet Corvette C8 finished in 21st place after falling behind the No.51 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO.
The Toyota team enjoyed an almost trouble-free run with no major mechanical issues throughout the 24-hour race, which was marred by several accidents throughout the night, according to Motor Sport.
The No.8 Toyota had fuel pickup issues, which restricted them to shorter stints. The No.7 Toyota also suffered from similar fuel issues, however, Toyota managed to find a solution and got both cars to finish the final four hours of the race.
The New Corvette C8 wasn’t as fortunate this week during their first laps of Circuit de la Sarthe in preparation for Le Mans.
Engine failure midway through last Sunday’s opening session hit the No.63 Corvette team hard and they were forced to replace the car’s engine and gearbox in the middle of the race.
“We had a powertrain issue,” Marc Maurini, team manager told Sportscar365.
“We saw the car stop on track and saw some flames. It was not what we were looking for but we had everything here to get the car back together.”
AF Corse Ferraris were looking to completely lock out the Corvette team, however, the No.52 Ferrari suffered a left-rear suspension failure during the night and left team Ferrari with only one car. That left just the No.51 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO against the #63 Corvette C8. The cooler nighttime temperature allowed the Corvette to take the lead.
However, as day broke and the afternoon became warmer, the new Corvette was not able to maintain extreme speed and was soon overtaken by the No.51 Ferrari driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, and Come Ledogar.
This 4th consecutive win for Toyota was an emotional one because it solidifies Toyota’s hypercar dominance in Le Mans. The last time a car company won four straight races in Le Mans was Ford in 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969. The first of these races was depicted in the movie Ford v. Ferrari in 2019, starring Christian Bale, Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby, and Jon Bernthal as Lee Iacocca.
Back in 2016, the Toyota TSO50 Hybrid was on the verge of victory after dominating the race for 23 hours and 40 minutes, however, their car shut off at the final lap, allowing the Porsche 919 to take the victory.