Home favourite Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López took victory from pole position in the #7 TS050 HYBRID to register the sixth consecutive win for reigning World Champions TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, despite its cars now carrying 99kg more weight than their nearest rivals under updated regulations.
Toyota claimed a 1-2 finish but had to fight hard amid Safety Car and Full Course yellow periods and a mid-race rain shower.
The #8 TS050 HYBRID of Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley fought all the way to the flag and earned second place, less than two seconds behind its sister car, in front of a weekend crowd of 49,600 who saw an action-packed race in changing weather conditions.
“It was a fantastic race for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing; the pit stops were good, the cars were well-prepared and there were no mistakes from any of the drivers, commented Hartley. “There’s a little disappointment not being first, but as we all know only one car can win so I am happy with my first weekend with TOYOTA and how I integrated with Kazuki, Sébastien and the team. I had an interesting first stint driving with slicks in the wet without a windscreen wiper but I am happy with my performance.”
LMGTE Pro fell to Porsche GT Team as Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz triumphed in the new-look 911 RSR-19. Their stablemates Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre made it a superb day for Porsche with the runners-up position.
Cool Racing claimed a memorable WEC debut win with Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga victorious in LMP2, while the No.83 AF Corse trio of Nicklas Nielsen, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo took the honours in LMGTE Am.