The 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours may not go down in history as a classic, but it will surely stand as the last time Toyota has it easy in the world’s greatest endurance race.
The Japanese marque dominated the 89th running of the 24 Hours, with its twin GR010 Hybrid Hypercars running to a clear 1-2, some five laps clear of any other opposition. Both Toyotas enjoyed a relatively clean race, with the only drama coming for the No7 when José María López had to stop on track during the 16th hour to perform a reset of the frontal hybrid, losing a lap to the sister car. Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa brought No8 to the flag over 2mins clear of No7. In doing so it marked Buemi’s fourth Le Mans win and the third for Hartley – making them respectively the most successful Swiss and New Zealand drivers in Le Mans history.
Glickenhaus secured its first Le Mans podium, with the No709 car of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux recovering from a repair to a broken sensor to take third. The No708 car was fourth after suffering damaged suspension early on.
The British Jota Sport team showed once again why it’s such a Le Mans specialist by dominating LMP2, with the car of António Félix da Costa, Roberto González and Will Stevens taking the lead after the opening round of stops and pulling a full lap clear of the field. Jota’s second car – driven by Ed Jones, Jonathan Aberdein and Oliver Rasmussen – was third in class. WRC superstar Sébastien Ogier helped the Richard Mille Racing team to ninth in class. With confirmation that the ailing GTE Pro class will be axed after this year, the battle between Corvette and Porsche took on extra significance, and meant extra heartbreak when Corvette lost both its cars to retirement for the first time in over a decade – the stinger being when the No64 that had been leading by over a minute was shunted into the Mulsanne barriers by an unsighted LMP2 with six hours to go. Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki gave the No91 Porsche victory. TF Sport’s Aston Martin crew of Ben Keating, Henrique Chaves Jr and Marco Sorensen won GTE Am.
With a host of new Hypercar and LMDh entries on the horizon for 2023, the battle for victory in the centenary edition of the race has already begun…