Winning comeback for the Scuderia

Winning comeback for the Scuderia

Despite a final scare, Ferrari number 51 won the hundredth edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, fifty-eight years after its last success in the Sarthe and for the Scuderia’s return to Le Mans. The number 8 Toyota, which had long trailed its rival, saw its hopes of victory disappear after the Japanese Harakaa lost control of the car. The defending champion nevertheless finished 2nd.

Winning return for the Scuderia. Nearly sixty years (58 years, to be exact) after its last victory on the legendary Sarthe circuit, Ferrari returned to success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and at the same time signed its tenth success in the event, this Sunday in Sarthe on the occasion of the centenary edition. Until the end, the fight which had animated the meeting from the start, given on Saturday by the NBA superstar LeBron James, between this Scuderia which was making its return to Le Mans and Toyota suggested that the victory would be decided at the end. resulting from an insane finale between the two cars, practically neck and neck.

Unfortunately for Toyota, it decided to put Japanese Ryo Harakawa on the track when the context probably called for leaving Sébastien Buemi (four victories at Le Mans) or the New Zealander Brendon Hartley, much more experienced than the third member of the crew. , driving a few more laps. Especially since Ferrari’s lead, with the Italian Antonio Giovinazzi on track, had just passed ten seconds. A perfect scenario for Toyota, which was still dreaming of retaining its title when Harakawa sent the number 8 Toyota into the wall.

No podium for Bourdais

As in addition, the Japanese took an incredible amount of time to get back in the right direction and his car, no longer roadworthy, had to make a detour, certainly quickly, through the garage, the suspense, still unbearable one lap later early, exploded suddenly in flight. In the Scuderia camp, however, there was no question of smiling at the moment, especially after the mishap at the start of the morning which had allowed Toyota; most beaten in Sarthe since 2018, to briefly take the lead again, but everyone knew internally that with the outgoing winners out of the race, they could already prepare to pop the champagne around Charles Leclerc, who had come to support his colors. They ultimately had to wait an hour to do so, with Alessandro Pier Guidi having the honor of raising his fist in front of the checkered flag after his compatriot handed over to him at the wheel.

And not without a final scare, when Pier Guidi, stuck in the pits, had to wait for the intervention of a mechanic who came to calmly explain to him how to do it before being able to restart. Ferrari then still had almost a minute (53 seconds) on Toyota, which finished second despite this end of the match being very poorly negotiated on all points. Regarding the fight for the last place on the podium, between the two Cadillacs, it turned as one could imagine to the advantage of the number 2 Cadillac of the Bamber-Lynn-Westbrook trio at the expense of the number 3 led in particular by Sébastien Bourdais, who therefore failed at the foot of the podium.

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