"Our main goal was to win the World Championship. We're very proud to have won."
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing won the 87th Le Mans 24 Hours with a one-two finish at the Circuit de la Sarthe following a dramatic final hour of the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season.
Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso, in the #8 TS050 HYBRID, defended their Le Mans crown and secured the drivers' World Championship in the process, winning by 16.9secs from team-mates Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in the #7.
But those bare facts do not reflect the true drama of the closing stages, which denied the #7 what seemed a certain victory in front of 252,500 spectators.
On the 367th lap, with a lead of over two minutes, data on the #7 car indicated a puncture and José pitted to replace the tyre. A sensor issue resulted in the wrong tyre being identified, meaning José left the pits still with a deflating tyre. That necessitated a slow lap back to the pits when all four tyres were changed, handing an unassailable lead to K [...]