WEC – Toyota Take Drama Filled Victory in Italy; Porsche Beat Ferrari in Close Race
Mike Conway took the chequered flag to win the WEC 6 Hours of Monza after a dramatic event which saw a close battle between Toyota and Alpine in the final two hours.
The No.7 Toyota GR010-Hybrid led for the majority of the race after starting from pole position but suffered a puncture and a technical issue allowing Alpine a sniff of victory. The no8 Toyota had suffered problems earlier in the race with Brendon Hartley bring the car in for two trips to the garage.
Porsche and Ferrari put on a stunning battle in LMGTE Pro as No.92 Porsche of Kevin Estre and Neel Jani just beat the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, with the Ferrari having to pit for a ‘splash and dash’ two minutes before the chequered flag.
United Autosports USA takes second win of 2021 season in LMP2, while AF Corse takes LMGTE Am silverware with No.83 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo after mighty back of grid to lead drive.
- No7 Toyota GR010-Hybrid Hypercar of Jose-Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway takes its first win of the season and Toyota Gazoo Racing’s third
- But victory doesn’t come easy for no7 Toyota after a puncture and a brief technical issue costs the team time and allows Glickenhaus and Alpine ELF Matmut have spells in the lead.
- Mike Conway forced to go flat-out in final hour due to need for a ‘splash’ fuel stop in closing stages.
- However, a Full Course Yellow with 35-mins remaining allows Conway to re-fuel which proves decisive
- The no7 crew even survived a late pit stop investigation probe but received just a warning from the stewards.
- Alpine ELF Matmut eventually takes second place after fighting display from Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere
- The no709 Glickenhaus 007 LMH shows well and took up lead very briefly after the no7 Toyota stopped on track in fifth hour.
- However, Romain Dumas had to pit the Glickenhaus immediately with brake issues and dropped four laps as brake change is completed. However, team takes its first ever WEC podium for a fighting third position
- The no708 Glickenhaus has troubled day with spark plug and gearbox problems causes mid-race retirement.
- After repairs the no8 Toyota rejoined and finished the 6 Hours of Monza in 33rd overall, 43 laps behind their teammates, but, more importantly, 4th in the Hypercar class.
- Porsche wins massive LMGTE Pro battle after manic ‘cat and mouse’ race sees Kevin Estre just beat the no51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE driven in final stints by Alessandro Pier Guidi.
- Estre and Jani take second win of season after close battle over duration of the six hours that sees their no92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 and the Ferrari never more than 7-seconds apart
- However, deciding moment comes with less than three minutes remaining Pier Guidi is forced to pit for fuel.
- Win sees Estre and Jani go back into the championship lead by just two points ahead of Calado and Pier Guidi
- No91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Gimmi Bruni and Richard Lietz has similarly tight fight with no52 AF Corse Ferrari driven by Daniel Serra and Miguel Molina. Porsche wins that battle as well by just 6-seconds.
- United Autosports USA claims second victory of 2021 season as Filipe Albuquerque takes chequered flag after team took control of class in third hour
- Fabio Scherer and Phil Hanson also drive excellent stints to reap rewards and re-gain points lead in championship
- Early leaders Team WRT finish second after getting unlucky break when the only Safety Car of race came out just after third hour
- Robin Frijns, Charles Milesi and Ferdinand Habsburg takes second consecutive runners-up position for Belgian entry
- Racing Team Nederland place third as Nyck de Vries, Paul Loup Chatin and Frits van Eerd get better of Inter Europol Competition in final hour
- Dutch entry also wins the Pro-Am race despite drive-through penalty for earlier pitlane speeding
- Inter Europol Competition place fine fourth as Alex Brundle, Renger van der Zande and Jakub Smiechowski fightback from early penalty for contact.
- No83 AF Corse Ferrari takes epic win after Nicklas Nielsen brings car home with comfortable margin to seal second win of the season
- Alessio Rovera made sensational start to come from rear of grid after qualifying technical infringement.
- Nielsen along with teammates Francois Perrodo and Alessio Rovera drive faultless race to add to Spa success in May
- No98 Aston Martin places second as Paul Dalla Lana, Marcos Gomes and Augusto Farfus grab position in epic final fight with fellow D’Station Aston Martin
- D’Station Aston Martin Andrew Watson drives mega double stint before handing over to Tomonobu Fujii who holds second place and best WEC result so far
- Farfus catches Fujii in final laps and huge battle commences but Brazilian gets by on final lap and took the chequered flag by just 0.190s at the end of six hours of racing.