WEC: Nielsen, Molina, Fuoco win mixed-weather Le Mans for Ferrari

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Ferrari has clinched its second consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans victory owing to the trio of Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina, sharing the #50 499P, which took their maiden triumph at Circuit de La Sarthe

Nielsen brought the car home, driving a brilliant final triple stint to secure a well-judged victory in a race marked by changeable weather conditions and lengthy safety car periods during the night.

The #50 crew took Ferrari’s second Le Mans victory in as many years amid issues with one of the car’s doors and an investigation for an unsafe pit stop release.

In hugely treacherous conditions in the final hours of the race, Nielsen was able to forge to the front and open up a gap over the chasing pack which was bunched up after morning’s safety car periods.

Toyota with its #7 GR010 Hybrid finished second as super-sub José María López tried to chase down Nielsen in the closing stages of the race but was unable to do so, eventually finishing second aboard a car shared with team-mates Kamui Kobayashi and Nyck de Vries to split the factory Ferraris as the #51 entry of Antonio Giovinazzi, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado rounded out the podium.

Pier Guidi was in contact with the second of the two Toyota GR010s, driven by Brendon Hatley, at Mulsanne Corner in the penultimate hour and received a five-second penalty.

The Italian was also susceptible to the chasing #6 Porsche 963 of Laurens Vanthoor in the final 20 minutes but was able to keep the flying Belgian at bay.

Fourth overall allowed the crew of Vanthoor and team-mates Kévin Estre and André Lotterer to keep both their championship lead as well as their 100% podium record in 2024.

Hertz Team Jota took a 1-2 in the FIA World Cup for Hypercar Teams ahead of the other Porsche customer team, Proton Competition.

The #91 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R of Morris Schuring, Yasser Shahin and Richard Lietz became the first-ever LMGT3 class winner at Le Mans. Schuring also becomes the youngest-ever category winner at 19 years of age.

The trio followed up on their last month’s Spa-Francorchamps success after a faultless display which saw a smooth run throughout the entire 24 hours.

Lietz, the most experienced Le Mans racer of all the 186 drivers taking part in the race (with 18 previous starts), crossed the finish line ahead of the #31 Team WRT BMW of Darren Leung, Augusto Farfus and Sean Gelael.

Completing the podium at Le Mans was the #88 Proton Competition Ford Mustang LMGT3 entry driven by Dennis Olsen, Giorgio Roda and Mikkel Pedersen, who took the first-ever podium position for a Mustang in the renowned French endurance classic.

The #22 United Autosports trio of Oliver Jarvis, Nolan Siegel and Bijoy Garg enjoyed a strong run to LMP2 victory to register the outfit’s second LMP2 class win after its maiden triumph in 2020.

Inter Europol Competition Oreca-Gibson in the hands of Clement Novalak, Vlad Lomko and Kuba Śmiechowski took the runners-up position, a year on from the Polish team winning LMP2.

Novalak applied late-race pressure on Jarvis but the experienced British driver was able to resist and bring the car home to secure the victory.

Rounding out the podium in LMP2 was the IDEC Sport Oreca-Gibson entry of Job van Uitert, Paul Lafargue and Reshad de Gerus.