WEC Imola: Toyota Beats Porsche in Rainy Race

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WEC Imola: Toyota holds off Porsche to win rain-hit thriller

At Imola, Mike Conway, Nyck de Vries, and Kamui Kobayashi secured victory in their #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar, finishing 7.081 seconds ahead of the #6 Penske Porsche Motorsport 963 LMDh driven by Laurens Vanthoor, Andre Lotterer, and Kevin Estre. Both teams capitalized on switching to wet tires at a critical moment, while the leading Ferraris struggled with their dry tires.

Conway made crucial overtakes early on, moving up the field and benefitting from strategic pit stops to gain positions. De Vries continued the momentum, leapfrogging Lotterer to maintain their position. Meanwhile, the Ferraris, led by Nicklas Nielsen and Antonio Giovinazzi, battled for the lead but faced challenges defending against Miguel Molina.

As the race progressed, changing weather conditions added to the complexity. A full course yellow was triggered by a crash, followed by a virtual safety car and then a full safety car after Callum Ilott’s incident. The deteriorating weather led to a crucial decision point: whether to switch to wet tires. Kobayashi and Estre opted for wets, while the Ferraris initially stayed out, but eventually followed suit.

Toyota Beats Porsche in Rainy Race
Toyota Beats Porsche in Rainy Race (Credits: Motorsport)

Despite efforts to recover lost time, the Ferraris couldn’t challenge for the podium due to the time lost on slick tires. Matt Campbell’s late switch to wets propelled him ahead, securing third place. Meanwhile, penalties and mishaps affected several teams, including Estre’s penalty for overtaking under safety car conditions.

In the LMGT3 class, Team WRT’s BMW M4 GT3s dominated, with Darren Leung, Sean Gelael, and Augusto Farfus securing a 1-2 finish ahead of the sister car driven by Ahmad al Harthy, Valentino Rossi, and Maxime Martin. Polesitter Alexander Malykhin initially led but faced setbacks due to driver changes and penalties, ultimately finishing third.

The race saw intense battles, with strategic decisions and weather conditions playing a significant role in the outcome. Despite challenges, Toyota emerged victorious in the Hypercar class, while Team WRT showcased its dominance in the LMGT3 category. Penalties and incidents added drama to the race, underscoring the unpredictability of endurance racing at Imola.


By Rajdeep Singh

Rajdeep (New Delhi) sparks electric vehicle enthusiasm with engaging content, empowering everyone to join the EV revolution.

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