Porsche has claimed victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours after rivals Toyota suffered a dramatic failure five minutes from scoring their first win in the race.
Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb’s Porsche 919 won the race after the Toyota TS050 of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima stopped while leading.
Nakajima got his car going again but it was not classified due to the length of time he took to complete the final lap.
The Japanese manufacturer had taken the lead from Porsche early in the race and kept last year’s winners behind. The two cars were covered by half a minute until the final ten minutes of the race when the Jani car was forced to make an extra pit stop.
Toyota’s second car, shared by Kamui Kobayashi, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, was promoted to third.
Audi suffered several setbacks with their R18s which spent prolonged spells in the pits on their way to third and fourth overall. The number one Porsche of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard also lost many laps due to technical problems.
Ford won the GTE Pro category on their return to Le Mans with Sebastien Bourdais, Dirk Muller and Joey Hand. But there was controversy at the finish as closest rivals Ferrari refused to obey an instruction to pit to have their position lights repaired.
Nicholas Lapierre, Stephane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes shared victory in the LMP2 category in their Signatech Alpine-run ORECA-Nissan.
GTE Am was won by Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Jeff Segal’s Ferrari 458 Italia.
The first 50 minutes of the race were spent behind the Safety Car due to wet conditions at the circuit.