Porsche snatched their 18th Le Mans 24 Hour Race victory in the most dramatic of circumstances after Toyota suffered engine failure with just three minutes left on Sunday.
Neel Jani took the Porsche 919 Hybrid over the line, to elation and tears of joy in their garage, after Kazuki Nakajima’s Toyota TS050 stuttered to a halt when looking nailed-on to win the endurance race for the Japanese team for the first time in three decades of trying.
Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, drivers of the Porsche number two car, celebrated wildly in front of 263,500 fans in the 84th edition of the gruelling showpiece, which began on Saturday under driving rain and behind a safety car.
In contrast, Toyota saw their Le Mans jinx strike at the worst possible time.
The Toyota garage looked on aghast as Nakajima’s car suddenly began slowing with only five minutes of the 24 hours to go.
He had been as much as 90 seconds ahead at one point, but suddenly it all went wrong and he began to lose power, allowing Jani to close fast.
Nakajima came to an agonising stop on the straight as Jani sped past to victory.
Toyota’s number six car with Stephane Sarrazin at the wheel crossed the line in second with an Audi third.