Toyota beats Ferrari by more than a lap to win second consecutive race

World Endurance Championship

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Toyota dominated the Six Hours of Portimao with the number eight car winning by over a lap from the number 50 Ferrari and the number six Penske Porsche.

After losing the lead at the start, Sebastien Buemi caught the sister number seven Toyota, taking the lead through the pits and never letting go to win more than a lap ahead of Ferrari. The number 50 Ferrari secured the 499P’s best finish in second, with Andre Lotterer surviving a late fuel scare in the number six Penske Porsche to finish third.

At the start, the pole winning number eight Toyota driven by Sebastien Buemi was immediately swamped on the run to turn one and was overtaken by its number seven team mate driven by Mike Conway around the outside into turn one. The number 51 Ferrari with James Calado behind the wheel then demoted Buemi down to third by also sweeping around into number eight Toyota to third.

After five minutes of racing, Buemi muscled his way passed the Ferrari into the kink of turn two, claiming the position under braking for turn three and restoring a Toyota one-two at the front, albeit with the number seven car holding an advantage of around five seconds out front. While Ferrari lost second place, they soon regained fourth with the number 50 car when Nicklas Nielsen passed the Penske Porsche of Laurens Vanthoor which had overtaken him during the start.

As Buemi began reeling in his team mate out front, the two Ferraris quickly fell away from the Toyotas behind. Calado vocally disputed his team’s request to move over and allow his team mate by, but it was not long before Nielsen took the position on the track, taking advantage of Calado being caught behind a GT car to out-drag his team mate into third on the exit of turn four.

After the first round of pit stops, the number eight Toyota found itself out in the lead ahead of its previously leading team mate. However, an hour and 15 minutes into the race, the second place number seven Toyota suddenly received a black-and-orange warning flag by race control due to a driveshaft data problem, forcing Conway to pit to change the driveshaft and falling over eight laps down to its leading team mate. This moved the two Ferraris into second and third, around half a minute behind the leading number eight Toyota.

As Jose Maria Lopez began the number seven car’s fight back through the field, Hirakawa took over the leading Toyota and gradually extended the number eight’s lead to sit at 45 seconds at the midrace stage. In the third placed number 51 Ferrari, Antonio Giovinazzi dropped back slightly from the sister Ferrari, later reporting a minor brake by wire problem with his car.

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The number 51 Ferrari was taken over by Alessandro Pier Guidi and dropped to seventh place behind the number five Penske Porsche, spending several laps behind until eventually getting past with just over two hours remaining.

Nearing the four hour mark, Hirakawa’s lead over the number 50 Ferrari had stretched to well over a minute, with Kevin Estre moving into third place in the number six Penske Porsche another half a minute behind. The top two cars both pitted with just over two hours remaining, with Brendon Hartley taking over the number eight Toyota for the final stint and Antonio Fuoco being installed in the Ferrari.

Michael Christensen reported power steering problems with the number five Penske Porsche, bringing the car into the pits where it was wheeled back into the garage. Then, the LMP2 leading number 23 United Autosports car was handed a five second time penalty for a pit lane infringement, putting its position under threat from Daniil Kvyat in the number 63 Prema.

After recovering from their driveshaft problem up to 22nd, Kamui Kobayashi was told to stop his number seven Toyota after losing power. He returned to the pitlane to perform a powercycle before rejoining the track soon after. With 80 minutes of the race remaining, Hartley had caught the back of the number 50 Ferrari in second place, putting it a lap down on the 175th lap.

Just before the five hour point, the race was interrupted for the first time as the Safety Car was deployed when Jacques Villeneuve suffered a front brake failure on his Vanwall hypercar, sending him spinning into the barriers. The Safety Car was deployed for almost ten minutes, with the race resuming with 53 minutes remaining. Hartley immediate pitted as the pit lane opened to fuel up to the end of the race, with the number 50 Ferrari following suit on the next lap.

With under 30 minutes remaining, the number 51 Ferrari began suffering braking issues and backed off the pace. It was passed by the number 94 Peugeot, dropping down to sixth. Andre Lotterer had to make an emergency fuel stop in the later moments in order to make the finish, but successfully retained third place in doing so.

But there were no concerns for the race leaders, with Hartley casually counting down the remaining time to take the chequered flag and secure Toyota’s second consecutive victory of the season and the number eight car’s first of the year. The number 50 Ferrari secured a first podium for the 499P in second, a lap behind, with Lotterer holding onto third for the number six Penske Porsche.

Cadillac took fourth ahead of the number 94 Peugeot and the 52 Ferrari. The number 93 Peugeot finished seventh ahead of Glickenhaus and the number seven Toyota, which recovered to ninth.

It was a United Autosports one-two in LMP2, with the number 23 finishing ahead of its sister number 22 car with WRT’s number 41 taking third. An epic battle for the GT AM victory between the Corvette and the AF Corse number 83 Ferrari was won by Corvette by two tenths of a second, with Iron Dames completing the podium in third.

Six Hours of Portimao race results

18Hypercar (Hybrid)ToyotaToyota GR010 HybridSebastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa222
250Hypercar (Hybrid)Ferrari AF CorseFerrari 499PAntonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen221
36Hypercar (Hybrid)Porsche PenskePorsche 963Kevin Estre/Andre Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor221
42Hypercar (Hybrid)CadillacCadillac V-Series.REarl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Richard Westbrook220
594Hypercar (Hybrid)PeugeotPeugeot 9X8Loic Duval/Gustavo Menezes/Nico Mueller220
651Hypercar (Hybrid)Ferrari AF CorseFerrari 499PAlessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Antonio Giovinazzi219
793Hypercar (Hybrid)PeugeotPeugeot 9X8Paul di Resta/Mikkel Jensen/Jean-Eric Vergne219
8708HypercarGlickenhausGlickenhaus 007Romain Dumas/Ryan Briscoe/Olivier Pla217
97Hypercar (Hybrid)ToyotaToyota GR010 HybridMike Conway/Kamui Kobayashi/Jose Maria Lopez215
1023LMP2United AutosportsOreca 07 – GibsonJoshua Pierson/Tom Blomqvist/Oliver Jarvis215
1122LMP2United AutosportsOreca 07 – GibsonFrederick Lubin/Philip Hanson/Filipe Albuquerque215
1241LMP2Team WRTOreca 07 – GibsonRui Andrade/Robert Kubica/Louis Deletraz215
1363LMP2PremaOreca 07 – GibsonDoriane Pin/Mirko Bortolotti/Daniil Kvyat215
1448LMP2JotaOreca 07 – GibsonDavid Beckmann/Yifei Ye/Will Stevens215
159LMP2PremaOreca 07 – GibsonFilip Ugran/Bent Viscaal/Andrea Caldarelli215
1631LMP2Team WRTOreca 07 – GibsonSean Gelael/Ferdinand Habsburg/Robin Frijns215
1728LMP2JotaOreca 07 – GibsonDavid Heinemeier Hansson/Pietro Fittipaldi/Oliver Rasmussen215
1836LMP2AlpineOreca 07 – GibsonMatthieu Vaxiviere/Julien Canal/Charles Milesi215
1934LMP2Inter EuropolOreca 07 – GibsonJakub Smiechowski/Fabio Scherer/Albert Costa214
2035LMP2AlpineOreca 07 – GibsonAndre Negrão/Memo Rojas/Oliver Caldwell213
2133LMGTE AmCorvetteChevrolet Corvette C8.RBen Keating/Nicolas Varrone/Nicky Catsburg206
2283LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOLuis Perez Companc/Lilou Wadoux/Alessio Rovera206
2385LMGTE AmIron DamesPorsche 911 RSR 19Sarah Bovy/Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey206
2454LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOThomas Flohr/Francesco Castellacci/Davide Rigon206
2521LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOStefano Costantini/Simon Mann/Ulysse de Pauw206
2656LMGTE AmProject 1 AOPorsche 911 RSR 19PJ Hyett/Gunnar Jeannette/Matteo Cairoli205
2777LMGTE AmDempsey-ProtonPorsche 911 RSR 19Christian Ried/Mikkel Pedersen/Julien Andlauer205
2825LMGTE AmORT by TFAston Martin Vantage AMRAhmad Al Harthy/Michael Dinan/Charlie Eastwood205
2988LMGTE AmProton CompetitionPorsche 911 RSR 19Ryan Hardwick/Zacharie Robichon/Harry Tincknell204
3057LMGTE AmKesselFerrari 488 GTE EVOTakeshi Kimura/Scott Huffaker/Daniel Serra204
3186LMGTE AmGRPorsche 911 RSR 19Michael Wainwright/Riccardo Pera/Benjamin Barker204
3260LMGTE AmIron LynxPorsche 911 RSR 19Claudio Schiavoni/Matteo Cressoni/Alessio Picariello203
3398LMGTE AmNorthwest AMRAston Martin Vantage AMRPaul Dalla Lana/Nicki Thiim/Axcil Jeffries202
3410LMP2Vector SportOreca 07 – GibsonRyan Cullen/Matthias Kaiser/Gabriel Aubry193
355Hypercar (Hybrid)Porsche PenskePorsche 963Dane Cameron/Michael Christensen/Frederic Makowiecki189
364HypercarFloyd VanwallVanwall Vandervell 680Tom Dillmann/Esteban Guerrieri/Jacques Villeneuve174
37777LMGTE AmD’StationAston Martin Vantage AMRSatoshi Hoshino/Casper Stevenson/Tomonobu Fujii42

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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7 comments on “Toyota beats Ferrari by more than a lap to win second consecutive race”

  1. with Hartley casually counting down the remaining time to take the chequered flag and secure Toyota’s second consecutive victory of the season and the number eight car’s first of the year.

    Good. Well done.

  2. It was a bit like F1. Excluding the distant leaders, the race was decent and enjoyable. And I definitely prefer a 6h than a 24h format.

    1. @spoutnik hope you’re not following anybody in the LMP2 category though – the organising body is reportedly planning to expel the LMP2 cars because they want more manufacturer entries in the Hypercar class and to create more room for GT3 cars for 2024. They’re not particularly interested in the privateer LMP2 entries, who have basically been told to get out and go race somewhere else.

      1. Having both P2 and LMDh (or DPi) didn’t work in IMSA either. They’re too similar.

        It’s just the natural eb and flow of sportscar, unfortunately. When manufacturers leave again, which they always do, the FIA and ACO will proclaim a new refreshed P2 series and act like it’s all fine.

        1. MichaelN, IMSA clearly think that LMP2 cars do work in their races, because IMSA have confirmed last month that they are going to be retaining the LMP2 category for their championship until 2025 (they’re currently waiting for the FIA to sort out the 2026 LMP2 regulations).

          1. FlyingLobster27
            18th April 2023, 10:24

            I don’t think that’s not what MichaelN is referring to, anon. He’s referring to the first years of DPi and LMP2 being scored in the same Prototype class, 2017-2018. It didn’t work, in my opinion, because of the Pro-Am mandate in LMP2, while the DPi were being driven by all-Pro line-ups. Colin Braun managed to single-handedly win some races overall in an LMP2 car, and I say single-handedly because his co-driver and boss Jon Bennett typically did the bare minimum drive time of 5 minutes at the start, before Braun took the remaining 2 1/2-ish hours (most IMSA races last 2 hours and 40 minutes).

            On the subject of WEC, I’ve not watched since the first half of 2017. The second half of the season always devolved into a team order show, and I’m not up to waste 6+ hours of my time to watch a fix. And Toyota’s management from the first race of 2018 made it clear that it would be team orders all year, so yep, I was out, except for Le Mans, which I always made a point of following. Toyota, a team I would have rooted for in years before, won their first Le Mans in 2018 and I didn’t feel a smidge of joy. The end of the 2019 outright made me angry. Last year, I even skipped Le Mans altogether. I just didn’t care. And don’t tell me about Monza last year – so you’ve had ONE good race in five years? Wow.
            “But the other classes are good” they’d say, but look, I like Formula Three, just not 4-6-8-24 hours of it, and as good as GTE once was, there are GT3 competitions that are just as good and don’t have a weak headline category hanging over them.

            I’m glad competition is returning to the top class, but the FIA & ACO’s track record with BoP isn’t good (EoT, P1 hybrid vs non-hybrid…), so be prepared for it to take as much as two years for WEC to be consistently close. Meanwhile, I feel it’s not worth my attention, I’ll be skipping the Le Mans Centenary Edition because I’ll probably find something else to do, and I’ll be content with GT3, and IMSA when the time zone is convenient enough. That said, I’ll admit, I’ve been so disgruntled with big decisions the organisers have made and the “racing” I’ve been reading about, that WEC might be a hard sell for me even if it gets better.

          2. They keep them around, but they can’t participate in all races, and the last few years has seen them be a bit of an afterthought. Especially with P3 now in the mix too, and hopefully more teams being able to run customer GTP/LMDh options (Porsche is pushing this quite a bit), it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep filling these categories with worthwhile entries.

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