Toyota breaks its curse, Alonso feeling the 'rhythm of the night'

Toyota breaks its curse, Alonso feeling the 'rhythm of the night'

Toyota breaks its curse, Alonso feeling the 'rhythm of the night'

The Japanese motoring giant announced over the weekend that a production version of its current generation Le Mans race auto has been green lit - that means a race vehicle legally rolling around on public roads, people.

Toyota have secured victory in the Le Mans 24 Hour race at their 20th attempt, as a team made up of Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima led them to the title for the first time.

The number 7 auto was always out of reach.

The number seven Toyota finished second, a lap down, to complete the one-two.

In the 16th hour of the race, Nakajima retook the lead and the number eight auto was in control for the duration.

Alonso's auto was left more than two minutes behind the other Toyota but the Spaniard managed to claw back the difference through the night, putting Nakajima in position to retake the lead from Kobayashi early on Sunday.

Alonso looking good for the Le Mans win and a step closer to the triple crown.
Le Mans: Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso victorious in Toyota 1-2

But the Spaniard put in a remarkable stint through the darkness to reduce the deficit and his team mates - both former F1 drivers - did their bit to take back control after dawn had broken over the Sarthe circuit. It later turnout out that Kamui Kobayashi had simply forgotten to pit and was asked to conserve fuel to make it through the lap.

Expected to dominate the 86th edition of the race, as the only major manufacturer in the top LMP1 category after champions Porsche withdrew a year ago, Toyota's victory came at the 20th attempt.

It just shows the effects of downforce and diffuser pressure as cars attain blistering speeds across the track.

The 36-year-old's ambition has become to win motorsport's famous "triple crown" and he competed at Indianapolis last year, impressing the regulars by running competitively and being in with a chance of victory until his engine failed in the closing stages.

In 2016, Nakajima had also been heading for victory when he slowed with five minutes remaining and came to a halt with victory falling into Porsche's lap.

Alonso's hopes had appeared to dim as the race entered the early hours, with his vehicle two minutes adrift of the sister Toyota after a stop-go penalty. Will he stop F1 at the end of this year to focus on Indycar totally, or stay in F1 and just do the Indy 500 again next year, as he did in 2017?

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