It was a dominant win for the #8 Toyota driven by Sebastian Buemi, Brendan Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa at the FIA World Endurance Championship at Portimão which saw five different manufacturers finishing in the top 5. One lap behind the Toyota was the #50 Ferrari AF Corse of Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsenwhich in turn finished 1 minute 6 seconds ahead of the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport of Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthour and Andre Lotterer.
The top 5 was rounded out by the #2 Cadillac taking P4 ahead of the #94 Peugeot.
At the start it was mostly a clean getaway with some jostling in the mid-pack and the Toyotas were split immediately by the #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi. There were immediate problems for the #93 Peugeot which experienced power steering issues and ended up starting from the pit lane already 2 laps down after getting the problem fixed.
Toyota also wasn’t immune from problems and the #7 found itself pushed into the garage to replace a failed sensor. The lost time effectively ended their race, finishing down in P9.
This gave the #50 Ferrari a clear run at P2 whilst the #51 car suffered from major brake issues with clouds of dust billowing from the front right corner in the later pitstops. By the end, it was a matter of nursing the car home but still managing a solid sixth place some 15 seconds ahead of the #93 Peugeot which after its early troubles had done well to make up the lost time.
In LMP2 United Autosports took a one-two win with the #23 of Josh Pierson, Guido van der Garde and Oliver Jarvis taking the win despite radio problems which lost the team time during a confused pitstop where no one seemed sure if there was a driver change due. Second place went to the sister #22 of Frederick Lubin, Phil Hanson and Ben Hanley. Third place just 4.5 seconds behind the United Autosport pair was the #41 Team WRT car of Luis Delatraz, Robert Kubica and Rui Andrade.
GTE-AM saw a thrilling battle at the end with Nick Catsburg in the #33 Corvette he shares with Ben Keating and Nicholas Varrone finishing just two-tenths ahead of the #83 Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari of Luis Perez Companc, Lilou Wadoux and Alessio Rovera. Adding to their victory at Sebring the result extends the Corvette team’s lead at the top of the standings. The #85 Iron Dames Porsche of Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey took the final podium spot.
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