Toyota wins action packed WEC 6 Hours of Imola

Toyota wins action packed WEC 6 Hours of Imola

The #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry clinched victory in dramatic and action-packed 6 Hours of Imola, round two of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship season, with Kamui Kobayashi keeping the #6 Porsche 963 of Kévin Estre at bay in the closing stages of the race held in mixed weather conditions


The Japanese manufacturer took victory on Ferrari’s home turf after rain brought drama and uncertainty, with teams facing difficult tyre strategy choices in the final two hours of the race while certain portions of the track remained wet and others were bone dry.


Kobayashi crossed the finish line just two seconds ahead of the second-placed Porsche, but the Qatar-winning trio of Estre and team-mates André Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor maintained the lead in the FIA Hypercar World Endurance Drivers’ Championship standings.


Rounding out the podium was the second of the Porsche Penske Motorsport cars, the #5 machine of Matt Campbell, Frederic Makowiekci and Michael Christensen.


Ferrari seemed to be on course to win Sunday's race, having clinched a 1-2-3 in Saturday’s qualifying session, but a tyre strategy decision when rain fell during the race's fourth hour ultimately led to the #50 and #51 499Ps dropping down the leaderboard.


The #50 car shared by Nicklas Nielsen, Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco clawed back up the order to finish fourth, owing to Fuoco passing Brendon Hartley’s Toyota at Tamburello in the final moments of the race.


#31 Team WRT BMW M4 of Augusto Farfus, Darren Leung and Sean Gelael clinched a perfectly judged LMGT3 victory in what was also the first-ever WEC class win for the Bavarian marque.


The trio got the better of the sister machine shared by Maxime Martin, Ahmed Al Harthy and local MotoGP legend turned GT racer Valentino Rossi, making it a BMW M4 1-2, after the #46 car had to serve a drive-through penalty for speeding under virtual safety car.


The podium was completed by the pole-sitting Manthey PureRxcing Porsche trio of Joel Sturm, Aliaksandr Malykhin and Klaus Bachler, who, by adding a podium finish to their triumph in the Qatar season-opener, extended their points lead in the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGT3 Drivers.

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