The #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Hypercar of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi has denied Ferrari a home victory by taking race honours in this morning’s 6 Hours of Monza.
Having failed to finish at Le Mans, which seriously damaged their title credentials, the crew bounced back perfectly to take their third win of the season.
Three Safety Cars over six hours stripped the team of the opportunity to pull well clear. However, they were able to pull to a late 16-second lead over the #50 Ferrari 499P of Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen and Antonio Fuoco, which finished second.
Peugeot was rewarded with a podium result following an impressive display of pace in the days prior, as the #93 Peugeot 9X8 came home for the manufacturer’s first WEC top three result. Jean-Eric Vergne, Paul di Resta and Mikkel Jensen shared duties for the entry and led at points to claim a commendable result.
New Zealander Brendon Hartley and driving partners Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa were the fourth to cross the line in the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, overcoming an early 10-second penalty for spinning the #51 Ferrari at Turn 1 off the start and a further 60-second stop-go penalty for contact on a GTE entry before the mid-stages.
The team were relegated to sixth post-race for exceeding “the maximum released powertrain power” stipulated by the Balance of Performances over the concluding stages.
“First of all, massive congratulations to the team for the win,” said Hartley. “Car #7 did an amazing weekend, starting with Kamui taking pole. They took the fight to Ferrari.
“On our car, we had a tough race with the incidents at the beginning, which put us a lap down. We had an amazing fight back, and I had a great battle with the #51, who we are fighting against in the World Championship. I enjoyed the wheel-to-wheel action.
“It was tough doing three stints in these conditions; it was a challenge, but it was great fun. We didn’t stand on the podium today, but we can be happy with the performance.”
The post-race penalty elevated the #5 works Porsche 963 of Dane Cameron, Fred Makowiecki and Michael Christensen to fourth and the #51 Ferrari of James Calado, Antonio Giovanazzi and Alessandro Pier Guidi to fifth, leaving the championship leaders as classified sixth.
Porsche Penske Motorsport would come home seventh, ahead of Glickenhaus Racing and Hertz Team Jota, while the sole Cadillac Racing entry shared by New Zealander Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook would round out the top ten.
The early Safety Car had resulted in a split strategy between teams, with those who had stopped ultimately hurt by a second intervention not long after. The cars affected included the #51 Ferrari, Jota Porsche, Penske Porsche and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Team Cadillac entry.
Despite finishing sixth, Hartley, Hirakawa and Buemi retain their World Endurance Championship lead, now sitting at a comfortable 28 points.
Their teammates of Lopez, Kobayashi and Conway move to second in the standings, with the #51 Ferrari dropping to third.
Bamber’s Cadillac Racing team drops to fifth overall, having taken a sole point from the round, with the #50 Ferrari jumping to fourth.
The WEC returns for the penultimate round, the 6 Hours of Fuji, on the 10th of September before the season ends with the 8 Hours of Bahrain on November 4.