07/2023 WEC MONZA
PHOTO BY DIEGO CROTTI
Copyright (C) Diego Crotti
Toyota Gazoo Racing have got their 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship title fight back on track after the Japanese manufacturer won today’s 6 Hours of Monza, round five of the FIA World Endurance Championship.With 65,000 fans in attendance over three days in sweltering hot conditions, today’s race saw action from start to finish including three different manufacturers on the overall Hypercar podium – Toyota, Ferrari and Peugeot.Monza race winners Mike Conway, Jose-Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi crossed the finish line in the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid 16.250s ahead of the No. 50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P Hypercar driven by Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina. It was the second win of the season for the No. 7 Toyota and sees Toyota extend its lead in the overall standings over Ferrari by 26 points.Peugeot TotalEnergies claimed the third step on today’s Hypercar podium, the No. 93 Peugeot 9X8 driven by Jean-Eric Vergne, Paul Di Resta and Mikkel Jensen securing the French manufacturer’s first WEC podium since making its Hypercar debut at Monza one year ago. Porsche Penske Motorsport clinched fourth with the No. 5 Porsche 963 driven by Dane Cameron, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki – the trio promoted to fourth after the No. 51 Ferrari was given a late race penalty after being given a drive-through penalty. The infringement demoted the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning Ferrari to fifth, 32.9s adrift of the Porsche. The No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa ended the race sixth – the crew knocked out of podium contention after taking two penalties for early on track incidents including contact with the No. 51 Ferrari and the No. 777 D’Station LMGTE Am entry. Following the race, the team also received a 50 second penalty for exceeding maximum allocated power.The No.6 Porsche Penske was penalised with a drive-through penalty on the penultimate lap as the Porsche 963 driven by Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor finished the race seventh. American outfit Glickenhaus Racing took a strong eighth position after running as high as fourth in race which involved various strategies. Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963 recovered from electronic issue associated with steering to finish in ninth position ahead of the No.2 Cadillac Racing entry driven by Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Richard Westbrook – the trio knocked down the running order after an emergency pitstop for fuel.Eleventh position went to the No. 94 Peugeot TotalEnergies entry ahead of the Floyd Vanwall Racing Team after Peugeot passed the No. 4 Vanwall Vandervell 680 on the final lap.The Proton Competition Porsche retired after stopping on track in the race’s fifth hour. The all-new Porsche 963 made an impressive debut after briefly leading the Hypercar category on two occasions and can leave Italy with crucial seat-time gained going into the season’s final two races.
A complex and exhilarating LMP2 battle went the way of Jota at the 6 Hours of Monza after a tight battle with the No.31 Team WRT entry in the last 90-minutes of the race.David Heinemeier Hansson, Pietro Fittipaldi and Oliver Rasmussen took their first victory of the season after a complex race of strategy saw the trio lead the 12-car field home.Fittipaldi had qualified the gold Oreca-Gibson on pole position for David Heienemeier Hansson to start the race.The Dane, who won his only other WEC LMP2 race at Sebring in 2019 with Jota, fought valiantly against many other higher categorized drivers including the United Autosports duo of Giedo van der Garde and Ben Hanley.He was able to hand the car over to teammate Oliver Rasmussen in a strong position and his fellow Dane completed several strong stints to ensure that Fittipaldi was able to mount an attack for the class win in the final two hours. It ultimately came down to a fight between the Brazilian and Robin Frijns in the Team WRT entry, but when the Dutch ace was forced to pit with a mechanical issue in the last hour, Fittipaldi was left unopposed at the front.Completing the LMP2 podium was the Alpine ELF Team car driven by Charles Milesi, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Julien Canal, who achieved their best result of the 2023 season so far.Completing the podium was the points leading No.41 Team WRT car of Louis Deletraz, Robert Kubica and Rui Andrade. Deletraz hunted down and overtook Oliver Jarvis in the final laps to snatch the final podium position.
Dempsey Proton trio Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer and Mikkel Pedersen took a stealthy victory in the LMGTE Am class, while Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone and Nicky Catsburg sealed the title with two rounds to spare.The No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19 made its way through the field in strong fashion
making one fewer pitstop than the No.60 Iron Lynx Porsche of Matteo Cressoni, Alessio Picariello and Claudio Schiavoni who trailed the winners by just 11.184 seconds.Taking their second podium in succession was the GR Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 squad of Michael Wainwright, Riccardo Pera and Ben Barker. They led at stages of the race, as did the Iron Dame Porsche squad of Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Sarah Bovy.But it was the fourth placed No.33 Corvette Racing team of Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone and Nicky Catsburg that that made the biggest headlines as they scooped the LMGTE Am category. After taking three wins in the first four races Keating, Catsburg and Varrone were the hot favorites to take the championship trophy and they delivered with a poised performance to take fourth position. In doing so Ben Keating became the first American driver to become a double champion in WEC history, while Nicolas Varrone and Nicky Catsburg claimed their first ever world titles.
Copyright (C) Diego Crotti