WEC: No.8 Toyota Takes First Win Of The Season At Portimão, Corvette Prevails In Nail-Biting GTE AM Finish

The No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercar driven by Sébastien Buemi, Ryō Hirakawa and Brendon Hartley won the WEC 6 Hours of Portimão.

The New Zealander took the chequered flag to sign off a perfect weekend for the crew and settle it into the points lead.

The No.7 sister Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar hit problems in the second hour of the race and was forced to have a lengthy pit stop following a torque sensor failure.

Ferrari AF Corse’s No.50 Ferrari 499P of Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen and Antonio Fuoco took its second consecutive podium, claiming second place.

Porsche Penske celebrated its first Hypercar podium as No.6 Porsche 963 of André Lotterer, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor completed the top three.

The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner was forced to take a late splash of fuel but managed to emerge ahead of the pursuing Cadillac V-Series.R in the hands of Alex Lynn and secured his maiden Hypercar podium finish.

Cadillac Racing placed fourth as Lynn along with Earl Bamber and Richard Westbrook recorded another solid result on what was the GM brand’s competitive European track debut.

The No.51 Ferrari of James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi and Alessandro Pier Guidi was running without the hybrid system for the majority of the race and therefore struggled with brake issues. Pier Guidi went straight on through gravel towards the end of the race and dropped down to sixth place.

The pair Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 Hypercars finished in fifth and seventh with the No.94 car of Loïc Duval, Gustavo Menezes and Nico Müller being the better of the two entries by the French manufacturer.

Glickenhaus Racing took eighth-place finish with Ryan Briscoe and Olivier Pla.

Floyd Vanwall retired after a brake problem forces Jacques Villeneuve into the barriers at T10 with just over an hour remaining. The incident triggered the only safety car period of the race.

Following the safety car period, the final hour saw a sensational race for the LMP2 honours.

Oliver Jarvis in the No.23 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson made the most of a clear lap at the final round of pit stops to leapfrog the No.63 Prema Racing entry and ensure victory for himself and teammates Josh Pierson and Giedo van der Garde, who stepped in to replace the team’s regular driver Tom Blomqvist.

The crew of the No.23 car bounced back to claim the win after a retirement in the season-opening 1000 Miles of Sebring race.

The Anglo-American outfit celebrated a 1-2 as the No.22 car of Ben Hanley, Frederick Lubin and Phil Hanson took the runners-up spot.

The Final podium went to the No.41 WRT car of Louis Deletraz, Ferdinand Habsburg and Rui Andrade after a late race move by Deletraz on Daniil Kvyat proved decisive.

The No.33 Corvette Racing converted pole position into a victory with the trio of Ben Keating, Nicky Catsburg and Nicolas Varrone claiming its second victory of the season.

In the closing stages of the race, Catsburg was under immense pressure applied by the No.83 Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo with Alessio Rovera behind the wheel. The Dutchman managed to keep the Italian at by to claim victory by a slender margin of 0.260s, with Rovera and team-mates Lilou Wadoux and Luis Perez Companc coming a close second.

The Iron Dames Porsche squad of Sarah Bovy, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting rounded out the top three to take its first podium of the season.

With Wadoux taking second and the Irona Dames trio third, this year’s 6 Hours of Portimão marked the first time when women drivers representing two different squads shared WEC’s class podium.

Bookmark the permalink.