Ferrari win Le Mans 24 Hours for second year in a row

Staff WritersReuters
The Ferrari 499P of Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen on the way to Le Mans victory. (EPA PHOTO)
Camera IconThe Ferrari 499P of Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen on the way to Le Mans victory. (EPA PHOTO) Credit: AAP

Ferrari's factory team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second year in a row after a tight and tense battle with Toyota to the finish.

Australian driver Matt Campbell was sixth in the No. 5 Porsche Penske Motorsport hypercar, one minute 45.654 sec behind the winners.

Almost out of fuel, Denmark's Nicklas Nielsen took the chequered flag at the wheel of a No. 50 Ferrari 499P hypercar shared with Italian Antonio Fuoco and Spaniard Miguel Molina over 311 laps of the Sarthe circuit.

The No 7 Toyota GR010 hybrid of Argentine Jose Maria Lopez, Japan's Kamui Kobayashi and Dutch driver Nyck de Vries finished 14.221 sec behind.

Ferrari's winning crew from last year - Italians Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Britain's James Calado - was third in the 51 car.

It was Ferrari's 11th win at Le Mans in the 101st running of the endurance event. Last year's win was the Italian marque's first victory in the event in 58 years.

Rain and fog brought out the safety car for nearly four hours in the early morning with Ferrari jostling with Toyota and Porsche for top spot.

But with dawn breaking, the racing resumed under a green flag with five teams still in contention and separated by less than a minute.

With less than six hours remaining the No. 50 Ferrari made its move just before more rain fell with Fuoco moving up the grid.

Nielsen then survived more late drama when a flapping door forced the car into an unscheduled pit stop but managed to hang on for victory in the treacherous wet conditions.

"Fantastic! It really is a dream come true," said Nielsen. "The victory seemed very difficult for part of the race, even at the end, when we had a problem with the door. But then everything went well.

with The AP

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