THE LONG-AWAITED SPECTACLE FINALLY ARRIVES
It looked to be on shaky ground, this annual spectacle of speed and longevity. When the time came, in June, for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to take place, the track was empty and fans of the biggest World Endurance Championship event of the year had to get their racing fix from the virtual edition. Not that it didn’t deliver – there was action aplenty… even if it was all happening on high-speed servers, instead of high-speed corners.
Near-unprecedented it might have been, but not even this global pandemic could dampen the racers’ competitive spirits. The 2020 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours was a go, and oh, what a race it has been!
For Toyota, it seems that history has a way of repeating itself. For several decades, the Japanese outfit relentlessly competed but fell short of lifting the ultimate motorsport trophy. Then, in 2018, Fernando Alonso joined the team, and he, along with teammates Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, completed the longest distance over the 24-hour period and lifted the trophy – a first for Toyota on its 20th try. And then did it again in 2019. This year, however, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki
Nakajima were joined by Brendon Hartley and again, this gruelling track smiled on Toyota.
Rebellion Racing finished in second after the team announced that it will not compete again in 2021, while the number seven Toyota Gazoo Racing entry stood on the third step of the LMP1 podium. The 22 United Autosports won the LMP2 category following a tight in-class race that definitely delivered on the spectacle front, with Aston Martin having one of its best-ever race weekends as it clinched victories in both the GTE Pro and Am classes.