24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 proves to be the ultimate test of endurance

24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 proves to be the ultimate test of endurance

21.09.2020: The 88th running of the world’s oldest and greatest endurance race concluded at 14:30 (local time) when the No. 8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, co-piloted by Sébastien Buemi


The 88th running of the world’s oldest and greatest endurance race concluded at 14:30 (local time) when the No. 8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, co-piloted by Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley, took victory after a gruelling 24 hours. Held in September for the first time since 1968, the delayed 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 provided a unique challenge for the 59 entrants, with longer periods of darkness, unexpectedly dry conditions and a compressed pre-race schedule.



This year marked Rolex’s 20th edition as the Official Timepiece of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an event that forms an integral part of the brand’s enduring relationship with motor sport. This association, established in the 1930s when Sir Malcolm Campbell and his car, Bluebird, pushed the boundaries of speed and reliability, recognizes the ongoing quest for excellence, innovation and ground-breaking technology.

Record nine-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a Rolex Testimonee for over a decade, Tom Kristensen says: “Le Mans demands the very highest levels of preparation and performance from drivers, teams and cars, which is echoed in Rolex’s culture and pursuit of perfection.”


 


From the opening lap, the cars vied for position throughout the field, with the drivers showing craft and expert handling around the 13.626-km track. At the halfway point, having built a commanding lead, the No. 7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing was forced into the garage for a turbo change, handing first place, and ultimately a hat-trick of 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, to the No. 8 sister car.



It was an intense and attritional contest in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class with the No. 22 United Autosports narrowly taking victory from the No. 38 Jota entry. In the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance (LMGTE) categories, Aston Martin secured wins in both the Pro and Am classes, with the No. 97 and the No. 90 respectively.


 


The closing stages of the endurance epic reminded the teams and drivers how critical reliability and resilience are for the duration of the 24 hours, with a tense final sprint to the flag. Speaking from his home in Denmark, having not travelled to Le Mans for the first time in 23 years due to the event taking place behind closed doors, Kristensen continues: “It was a strong race with very deserved winners in all four categories. Everyone had to deliver the necessary skills to overcome the mythical challenge of Le Mans. It was especially exciting to see some very talented young drivers showing great performance, which bodes well for the future of the sport.”


 


The victorious No. 8 drivers fittingly received a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona engraved with the word ‘winner’ during the podium ceremony. Created for racing drivers, this legendary watch embodies the relentless determination and expertise displayed lap-after-lap by those who took the chequered flag first.


 



Virginie Chevailler, Sophie Harrison - photos Rolex


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/24h-le-mans-2020-ultimate-test-endurance---212971.html

21.09.2020 / MaP

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