“Without the mechanics, we wouldn’t be up here again today.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing had been tipped to take the title from the German carmakers by both fans and bookmakers, but once again it was not to be. Within a 20 minute period just after 1am, the Toyota’s dream appeared to be in tatters with two vehicles out of the race, both with engine issues.
The solitary car that remained, driven by Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, limped to ninth overall and second in their category with the other LMP1 winning the race.
Beaming from his maiden victory, 27-year-old Hartley said: “When I saw the sister car running so slow, then I knew we were fighting for the victory [instead of just a podium]. But I’m so happy to be sharing it with Earl who I’ve known since I was starting out in racing at the age of seven.
“It’s a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
The biggest shock of the day was the LMP2 car from Jackie Chan Racing finishing second in the race, and top of their class.
While Nelson Piquet Junior, son of the Formula One legend of the same name drove for nearly 12 hours to help his Vaillante Rebellion team come third in the final rankings.
Original post: Sporthappy wheels