Toyota joins Mazda as only Japanese manufacturers to win Le Mans

BMW M8 GTE Le Mans 22 830x553

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display

Fernando Alonso has a big decision to make after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours on his debut with Toyota on Sunday, and it could lead him to America and away from Formula One.

It also means Alonso is one step closer to the "Triple Crown", having already won the Monaco GP and now Le Mans.

Alonso shared the number eight Toyota TS050 hybrid with Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima, who secured pole position and took the chequered flag.

Brown, who is here overseeing the progress of his own team, United Autosports, which has two teams participating in the second tier category, says Alonso has approached this weekend in a similar fashion to his debut appearance at the Indy 500 past year.

Only Englishman Graham Hill has won all three classic races in the entire history of motorsport.

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In the 16th hour of the race, Nakajima retook the lead and the number eight auto was in control for the duration. With this win, Toyota becomes the second Japanese manufacturer to win outright, after Mazda.

The second vehicle fielded by Toyota and driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and José María López, the #7, managed to finish the race in second place.

Toyota drivers Fernando Alonso, right, and Sebastien Buemi celebrate on Sunday after winning the 86th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours Race.

The number three non-hybrid Rebellion R13 vehicle - driven by Frenchman Thomas Laurent, Switzerland's Mathias Beche and American Gustavo Menezes - finished third and 12 laps behind.

But in the end, both cars made it to the finish, to complete the company's dream result - a one-two, with Alonso's vehicle the victor.

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The 2009 world champion, racing with ex-F1 driver Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin, dropped out of the running when they lost two hours in the pits and ultimately retired in the final hour when their engine failed.

The Spaniard left Ferrari at the end of 2014 having lost faith in their ability to deliver a title-winning auto, only to find that McLaren-Honda were in far worse shape.

Hayden reckons that the team's 12-lap deficit to Toyota was at least partially down to these mechanical and reliability problems rather than the regulations. Former rivals Porsche and Audi pulled out after previous year in the wake of the parent company Volkswagen's diesel scandal. The automaker best known for Camrys and Corollas will create the advanced hypercar in line with a new Le Mans racing class set to arrive in 2020. It means that no one was able to relax until the very last minute and the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing auto was safely home. 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?

The 2018 race saw a first win for G-Drive in six attempts, this year with TDS Racing, the French team finally scoring a win after a second place back in 2014.

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The weekend earnings of the third instalment of "Race" series stood at Rs 106.47 crore. Race 3 will cross the Rs 200 crore mark today at the ticket windows.

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