Le Mans 24h : Rotten luck strikes Toyota again

After last year at the 24 h of Le Mans where Toyota broke down whilst in the lead with 3 minutes of the 24 hour race to go, they turned up this year and dominated qualifying by smashing the Le Mans lap record.

So, with them being so dominant and Audi pulling out of the sport, surely this is the year Toyota win Le Mans right?


Unbelievably, Toyota’s rotten has come back to haunt them. Badly.

At the 10 hour mark, the Toyota #7 car was leading the race with the second placed Porsche #1 car over a minute behind, and the Toyota #9 car not more than a lap behind.

Then, everything changed at the safety car restart after a Ford GT spun at Indianapolis.

Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota car reported a clutch problem and as he limped around in 1st gear, he was overtaken by the #1 Porsche and the #9 Toyota. Attempts to get back to the pits in hope of a fix were to no avail as Kobayashi had to park the car ending race hopes for the #7 car.

lemans-24-hours-of-le-mans-2017-rob-leupen-team-manager-toyota-gazoo-racing-reacts-to-the.jpgPhoto : Rainier Ehrhardt

Just as Toyota were getting to grips with having lost their lead car, their #9 car had an accident with a Manor LMP2 car and suffered damage and a left rear puncture. As the #9 driver Nico Lapierre tried to bring it back into the pits, the car momentarily caught fire and that meant curtains for the Toyota #9.

As an absolute misery compiler, Toyota’s third competing car, the #8 also needed a front-end powertrain replacement and has now rejoined the race way down the order with no chance of victory, as the Porsche leads.

In a matter of minutes, Toyota went from having a comfortable lead of the 24 hour race, to having 2 of their 3 cars suffer terminal damage and the 3rd one left out there pretty uncompetitive. Heartbreak. Agonising heartbreak.

bj.JPGPhoto : Rainier Ehrhardt

It’s almost as if the Le Mans Gods don’t want Toyota to win.

With 4 hours to go, the #1 Porsche leads with the #8 Toyota in P13.

Feature image : Rainier Ehrhardt

– Aditya Bhat.



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