No. 968
October 17, 2018

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JUNE 20, 2018

(Toyota images)
Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso (No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 HYBRID) won the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was Toyota's historic first victory in its 20th attempt. Buemi, Nakajima and Alonso started from pole position and completed 388 laps at the Circuit de La Sarthe. The second team car driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López (No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 HYBRID) led for long periods but finished second in front of 256,900 fans. The two Toyota machines basically ran unopposed during the race. Toyota, which had entered 47 cars at Le Mans prior to this weekend’s race and finished on the podium six times, becomes only the second Japanese manufacturer to win at La Sarthe (Mazda was the first), while Kazuki is the first Japanese driver to win in a Japanese car. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Judging by the comments on Twitter and other sources, racing enthusiasts were underwhelmed by the ACO's idea of "managed" competition. Mandatory fuel stop windows and other regulatory nonsense made for an uninspired show. Yes, there was some great racing in between, but the whole thing left a sour taste in people's mouths, which was compounded by the fact that the Toyotas ran against each other with no real competition. This is what happens when the French racing authorities at the ACO are allowed to run their show unimpeded by rational thought - they create their own Fog of War with rules that destroy spontaneity and creativity, which is a giant baguette of Not Good. -PMD

Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor (No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR) raced to the GTE Pro class victory in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans. While there was a spirited battle for second place in the GTE Pro class, the No. 92 “Pink Pig” Porsche shared by Vanthoor, Estre and Christensen scored a dominant victory, winning by a lap over its team car, the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Fred MakowieckiGimmi Bruni and Richard Lietz. The No. 91 Porsche battled for position with the No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team USA Ford GT driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais. The No. 68 trio wound up third for its second podium in the last three races at Le Mans after winning in 2016.
Matt Campbell, Christian Reid and Julien Andlauer (No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR) delivered the GTE Am win for Patrick Dempsey's team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr finished second, while 
Luca Stolz, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating finished third in the No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari 488 GTE fielded in cooperation with Texas-based Risi Competizione.
(The Express)
Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Romain Rusinov (No. 
26 TDS Racing G-Drive Racing Oreca) led almost the entire way in LMP2 to give the TDS team its first victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans; however, the team has been disqualified after a post-race inspection found an unapproved part in the fueling rig. The No. 36 Signatech-Alpine Matmut of Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet has been moved up to the class win, while the No. 39 Graff-SO24 Racing Oreca of Tristan Gommendy, Jonathan Hirschi and Vincent Capillaire has now been classified second. The No. 28 TDS Racing Oreca of Loic Duval, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Francois Perrodo which originally finished third, was also excluded from the results.
Jorge Lorenzo (No. 99 Ducati Team) 
made it back-to-back wins as he dominated Sunday’s Catalunya MotoGP for his second victory of the season. Following on from his breakthrough victory on the Desmosedici at Mugello, Lorenzo bagged his maiden pole for the Italian manufacturer at Catalunya and rode a faultless race to claim a maximum 25 points from Marc Marquez (No. 93 Repsol Honda Team), who finished second. Valentino Rossi (No. 46 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) finished third.
Ernie Francis, Jr. (No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang) captured his third win of the 2018 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli on Sunday in the Berryman Trans-Am at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After capturing pole and finishing second in the NASCAR K&N East race at New jersey Motorsports Park, Francis Jr. started from the back of the TA class field to capture his second consecutive Trans Am win in Indianapolis. Amy Ruman (No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette) was second and Tomy Drissi (No. 8 GoShare Chevrolet Camaro) finished thirdThe 102.06-mile race around the 2.43-mile combined road course saw machinery and drivers alike battle track temperatures in excess of 140 degrees and a slick surface at IMS. 
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Corvette Racing will close its 20th season of competition by competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2018 race in Shanghai. It will mark the first time that a factory-run Corvette will race in Asia. The Corvette C7.R racing cars will wear a special Redline livery for the competition. The 6 Hours of Shanghai will take place November 16-18 at the 16-turn, 5.45-km Shanghai International Circuit. Built in 2004, the venue plays host to a number of motorsports’ top championships, including the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix. Why is this really happening? The ACO and the FIA threatened Corvette Racing that they wouldn't get an invitation to compete at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans unless they competed in WEC events as well. Nice, right? Especially after GM and Corvette Racing has lavishly supported the 24 Hours of Le Mans for almost twenty years. But then again that's how the French play the game (see "Fumes" - WG). They want cash for the "privilege" of competing at Le Mans, but even that's not enough. Then they want to dictate how and when the participating manufacturers compete in their series, and it flat-out stinks. So GM Racing acquiesced to having Corvette Racing compete at one WEC race in 2018. And now you know. -PMD