First pole of Le Mans Hypercar era for Toyota/Michelin
A perfect lap during this evening’s Hyperpole shootout saw Kamui Kobayashi put Toyota and Michelin at the front of the grid for Saturday’s Le Mans 24 Hours. ...
Michelin has extended its winning streak to a record-breaking 24 straight victories at Le Mans after Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José-Maria Lopez scored their first and Toyota Gazoo Racing’s fourth victory in the world-famous endurance race. The trio’s N°7 GR0101-Hybrid spearheaded an emphatic one-two finish for the Japanese make to celebrate the beginning of the exciting new Hypercar era in La Sarthe. Third-placed Alpine joined in the podium festivities, while newcomer Glickenhaus Racing completed the distance in fourth and fifth places. Michelin’s successful run in LMGTE continued, too, with AF Corse-tended Ferraris dominating both the Pro and Am classes.
The 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin claim its 24
“I am so proud of what everyone at Michelin Motorsport has achieved at Le Mans this year,” declared Pierre Alves, endurance racing program manager. “In less than a year, our engineers succeeded in developing new tires, virtually, that proved capable of running triple stints at first attempt at Le Mans. At the same time, our technicians provided our partners with an impeccable service in spite of the unsettled weather, while our fitters worked hard non-stop and our operation ran perfectly smoothly. To be leaving Le Mans with Michelin’s 24
For the first time in the event’s history, the 89
The N°36 Alpine/Michelin and N°708 Glickenhaus/Michelin spent much of the race in a battle for the podium’s third step which concluded in the French team’s favor.
The fledgling Hypercars celebrated their maiden appearance at the 13.626-kilometer circuit by combining astonishing speed (qualifying lap: 3m23.900s / fastest race lap: 3m27.607s) with remarkable reliability. The five new prototypes entered for the world’s most punishing endurance race effectively monopolized the top five places at the finish, while all three of the available Michelin tire specs (slicks, intermediates, rain tires) got an opportunity to showcase their longevity, consistency and performance.
Both LMGTE fights were won by Michelin-equipped Ferrari 488 GTEs. In the Pro class, the N°51 car of Pier Guidi/Calado/Ledogar successfully warded off pressure from the N°63 Corvette/Michelin and N°92 and N°91 Porsches (delayed by unfavorable Safety Car ‘trains’), and the top Am prize was claimed by the N°83 Ferrari (Perrodo/Nielsen/Rovera), ahead of the N°33 Aston Martin and N°80 Ferrari.
Forty-eight of the 61 starters reached the finish.
2021 Le Mans 24 Hours – Final positions:
Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez (Toyota GR010 HYBRID/Michelin), 371 laps (5,055km)
Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley (Toyota GR010 HYBRID/Michelin), +2 laps
Negrao/Lapierre/Vaxivière (Alpine A480-Gibson/Michelin), +4 laps
Derani/Mailleux/Pla (Glickenhaus 007 LMH/Michelin), +4 laps
Briscoe/Westbrook/Dumas (Glickenhaus 007 LMH/Michelin), +7 laps