Brendon Hartley’s ambitions of a third successive win in this year’s World Endurance Championship were scuppered at Monza overnight with several mechanical issues.
Hartley and co-drivers Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi finished the six-hour race in 33rd and a mammoth 43 laps behind their victorious teammates in the sister Toyota hypercar.
A variety of power-related problems kicked in at the 90-minute mark, putting Hartley and the No.8 crew on the backfoot.
The car had four separate trips to the garage, where their challenge for the win was ultimately lost.
Hartley still leads the championship with three races remaining, sitting six points ahead of the second Toyota.
It wasn’t an entirely clean affair for the No.7 Toyota Hypercar either, despite winning their first race of the season.
Kamui Kobayashi grounded to a halt at the top of the four-hour mark with a presumed technical drama.
By the time the car refired itself, the No.7 was nearly a minute behind new race leaders – the No.709 Glickenhaus Hypercar.
However, Glickenhaus then threw in the towel when they brought the car in for a brake change, gifting the lead back to Toyota.
Yet despite moving back into the race lead, Toyota would have to do one more fuel stop before the chequered flag.
That meant that the ‘grandfathered’ LMP1 Apline car, which was in second, had a realistic shot at victory.
But a late Full Course Yellow to recover some stricken debris allowed Toyota to bring the No.7 in for its necessary fuel top-up and re-join still in front of the Alpine.
The margin between the two cars at the race’s end was one minute.
Winners in the LMP2 class, United Autosports, capitalised on the troubles for Glickenhaus and the No.8 Toyota to finish third overall.
Porsche took top honours in GTE-Pro, while Ferrari triumphed in GTE-Am.
Jaxon Evans finished fifth in GTE-AM class and 23rd overall.
The Kiwi was driving a Proton-Dempsey Porsche with Matt Campbell and Christian Reid.
The next round of the WEC is the 24 Hours of Le Mans on August 21-22.
Main Image: Tim Hearn