Toyota wins Le Mans for fifth year running
Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa won the 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours in the No. 8 Toyota.
Toyota scored its fifth back to back victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the No. 8 crew of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa winning the 2022 edition of the iconic endurance racing event. This is the first time that a factory manufacturer has secured five straight wins at Le Mans since Ferrari achieved this feat between 1960 and 1964.
Toyota never really faced a challenge from Glickenhaus and Alpine throughout the 24 hour race. Instead, the No. 8 and No. 7 cars swapped the lead a few times. The No. 7 crew had a brief scare when Jose Maria Lopez stopped on track and had to perform a full system reset. This allowed Hartley to take the lead in the No. 8 Toyota.
By the time Lopez was in and out of the pits, the No. 7 car was over a lap down which gave the No. 8 car a clear run to victory – Buemi claiming his fourth Le Mans win, Hartley his third and Hirakawa winning at Le Mans for the first time. The No. 7 Toyota made up some time and finished 2mins 1.222secs off the lead.
With double points at Le Mans, both Toyota crews also collected some much-required points after a rocky start to the 2022 World Endurance Championship. Lopez crashed out of the Sebring season-opener, while the No. 8 car suffered a hybrid issue at Spa.
Glickenhaus completed third and fourth, respectively. The No. 709 crew of Ryan Briscoe, Franck Mailleux and Richard Westbrook had to make an early, unscheduled pit stop for a sensor change, but they fought back up the order to secure the final podium spot.
A clutch issue, an accident and other smaller issues meant the sole Alpine entry could just manage finishing 23rd.