2016 24 Hours of Le Mans: Photos from the History-Making Race

Driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sébastien Bourdais, the No. 68 Ford GT of Chip Ganassi Team USA finished first in the GTE Pro class, 50 years after Ford captured the overall win in 1966.The no. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 car, driven by Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, and Brendon Hartley.The no. 68 Ford GT of Hand, Müller, and Bourdais.Tommy Milner of Corvette Racing waits in the cockpit.Kamui Kobayashi of Toyota Gazoo Racing.Pitstop practice with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.The no. 66 car was one of four Ford GTs in the race. It was piloted by Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke, and Billy Johnson and finished fourth in GTE Pro.The Chevrolet Corvette C7.R racers (no. 64 car pictured here) were among the best-sounding cars on track.The no. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, running in second place at the very end of the race, would go on to win after the leading Toyota's devastating mechanical failure on the final lap.The start of this year's race was wet—great for photography, not so great for the competitors, who needed to scramble at the last minute to accommodate the weather.Speaking of the wet, here is the no. 68 Chip Ganassi Ford GT looking quite cool on the damp Circuit de la Sarthe.AF Corse Ferrari campaigned several Ferraris—488 GTBs and 458s—in both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes. This 458 Italia driven by Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard, and Rui Aguas was one of the stronger-performing entries.The two Porsche 919s, earlier in the race before the no. 1 car (the favorite to win within the Porsche camp) ran into trouble that ultimately held it out of contention for the win.A crowded field early on in the race.A lonely shot of the no. 5 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 hybrid, long before its final-lap breakdown.It may look incredible, but this no. 91 Porsche 911 RSR placed dead last in the GTE Pro class.The GTE AM Scuderia Corsa 458 Italia piloted by Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, and Jeffrey Segal.Le Mans fans angle to get their own shots.The no., 67 Ford GT's early issues weren't dire enough to keep it off of the track during sunset.The Ford GT races in some dramatic low light.A dramatic spin at sundown? When it's a Corvette C7.R doing the rotation, it somehow looks incredible.The no. 66 Ford GT in action.As the sun sets over Le Mans, the lights come on and the driving continues.A long straight, shot with a long exposure.Ford GT no. 69, being worked on late in the evening.This stop doesn't hamper the no. 69 GT's efforts, as the Ford would go on to place third in its class.Porsche crews work on the no. 2 919 Hybrid as the race moves into its night portion.As night falls over Le Mans, the course can become a blur—not only in the pits, but out on the track, where lights coming off the carnival set up near the start/finish line cast a strange glow.Another AF Corse Ferrari, the 488 GTE driven by Gianmaria Bruni, James Calado, and Alessandro Pier Guidi, placed near the back of the GTE Pro class.A dirty Ferrari is a hot Ferrari. Right?Porsche crews perform a final wipe-down for the no. 2 919's windshield and headlights before sending it back into the darkness.The no. 67 Chip Ganassi Ford GT suffered problems early, with a transmission problem hampering the team before the race even started. Ultimately, the car would finish the race, but the other three GTs fared far better.The no. 5 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050, cruising in the lead.While the turbocharged Ford GTs and the Ferrari 488 GTE ran away with the GTE Pro class, the Aston Martin teams managed to fare okay. The no. 97 Vantage pulled out a sixth-in-class finish, just behind the other Vantage and ahead of the Corvettes, Porsches, and two Ferraris.The no. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, straddling the curbing. The 63 car would go on to be the highest-placing Corvette, running a few laps behind the winning Ford GT.Leading most of the race, the Toyota Gazoo Racing team's no. 5 TS050 appears poised to become only the second Japanese Le Mans winner in history. Mazda, the lone Japanese maker to win overall, did so 25 years ago.The no. 6 Toyota TS050 LMP1 car ended up finishing in second place overall after its sister car failed while in the lead. Stéphane Sarrazin, Michael Conway, and Kamui Kobayashi shared wheel duties.Every team's worst nightmare: A breakdown. Not only that, but the no. 5 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 began to struggle with about three minutes left in the race. Here, it comes to a halt at the start/finish line—with just one lap to go and the no. 2 Porsche 919 gaining fast.One can only imagine the anguish Toyota driver Kazuki Nakajima is suffering behind his visor as he exits the stricken TS050 and Porsche wins the race.With the race over, the confetti comes out.Porsche drivers Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Marc Lieb take to the podium after their unlikely win.The overall win may have eluded Toyota, but the other TS050 hybrid, the no. 6 car, managed to finish in second place. The no. 5 car, however, wasn't even counted as a Le Mans finisher after it failed to complete its final lap within the time required by the rules after managing to restart. Between the Toyota Gazoo Racing drama and the fierce Ford-vs.-Ferrari battle in GTE Pro, the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hour will go down as one of the most memorable ever.
from Car and Driver Blog http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/2016-24-hours-of-le-mans-photos-from-the-history-making-race

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