FIA World Endurance Championship

Toyota wins 6 Hours of Portimão

Drivers Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa crossed the finish line, having completed 222 laps.

Toyota won the 6 Hours of Portimão this Sunday, the second race of the World Endurance Championship.

The Toyota, car number eight, piloted by the Swiss Sebastien Buemi, New Zealander Brendon Hartley and Japanese Ryo Hirakawa, crossed the finish line having completed 222 laps, leaving Italian Antonio Fuoco, Spaniard Miguel Molina and Danish Nicklas Nielsen’s Ferrari in second, one lap behind.

André Lotterer, Kevin Ester and Laurens Vanthoor’s Porsche came third, also a lap behind.

Buemi, who started in ‘pole position’, lost the lead at the start to Brit Mike Conway, a teammate in the other Toyota. Buemi even dropped back to third after the poor start, but it took him just two laps to regain the lead.

The other Toyota, which won the previous race in Sebring (United States), had to go to the pits due to a sensor problem and, as a result, lost seven laps and was the last of the hypercars.

As for the LMP2, Portuguese pilot António Félix da Costa said goodbye to the category (as he will now drive a Porsche in the hypercars) in fifth place, 31.723 seconds behind the winning car, United Autosports’ Oreca, driven by Joshua Pierson, Giedo van der Garde and Oliver Jarvis.

“It wasn’t an easy day. I honestly thought we had a good chance of fighting for victory, but from the start of the race, I felt the car was quite difficult to drive. The race involved a lot of sacrifices. We fought to the fullest to finish fifth, and I feel that it was really the best possible result, given our progress”, explained Félix da Costa.

For the Cascais driver, “It’s time to turn the page and start a new and challenging chapter” in the hypercars category at the 6 Hours of Spa.

The Project1 Portuguese race drivers, Pedro Ramos, Guilherme Oliveira and Matteo Cairoli, finished sixth in the GTE.

The next race will take place on April 29 in Belgium.