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WEC at Monza: No. 7 Toyota wins Hypercar battle after action-packed six hours

Monza, Italy, July 18/21 (WEC): The No.7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid driven by Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi won the WEC 6 Hours of Monza after a dramatic race which saw a close battle between Toyota Gazoo Racing and Alpine Elf Matmut in the event’s closing stages. It marks the first victory of the season for the reigning World Champions in the No. 7 car, but the third win in a row in 2021 for Toyota Gazoo Racing.

The all-new Toyota Hypercar led for the majority of the race after starting from pole position but a puncture and a technical issue gave Alpine a last minute chance to seize the victory. WEC newcomers Glickenhaus Racing were also leading the race for a short period of time in the race’s fifth hour. However, the No. 709 Glickenhaus 007 Hypercar had to pit from the lead with brake issues which saw the American team drop four laps and knocked the squad out of winning contention.

In the end, it was Alpine Elf Matmut and its trio of drivers - Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere – who secured the runners-up spot. The French squad’s chances of a debut WEC victory was hindered when a Full Course Yellow with 35 minutes left on the clock meant the No. 7 Toyota could refuel Conway essentially allowing the Briton a free pit stop.

Following today’s race, the overall Hypercar World Endurance Drivers’ Championship is looking extremely close with the No. 8 Toyota crew now leading the sister car by just six points. The No. 36 Alpine A480 Gibson car is third – a further nine points behind in the standings.

LMGTE Pro: Porsche beats Ferrari in epic race-long battle

Porsche beat Ferrari on their home patch after a sensational race-long battle between the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Kevin Estre and Neel Jani and the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi. The two cars were never separated by more than a few seconds over the duration of the 6 Hours of Monza but it was a late race splash for fuel by the Ferrari squad which ultimately settled the result.

It had been a manic ‘cat and mouse’ race up until the final moments in what was one of the closest LMGTE Pro class races for many years as the two completed laps almost at qualifying levels of pace.

Both cars spent time in the lead during the race as the battle undulated on-track and in the pitlane. Ultimately Estre and Jani took the checkered flag after Alessandro Pierguidi headed for his ‘splash stop’ with just three minutes of the race remaining.

The Other Classes

There were cars competing in a total of four classes in all. In the LMP2 class, the No. 22 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson of Philip Hanson/Fabio Scherer/Filipe Albuquerque finished third overall and first in class.

In the LMGTE-Am class the No. 83 Ferrari 488 of François Perrodo/Nicklas Nielsen/Alessio Rovera was the class winner, finishing 19th overall.

The next round of the WEC will be the rescheduled 24 Hours of Le Mans, to be run this year on August 21-22.

• Click HERE for the race results

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