Toyota extends championship lead after winning dramatic WEC 6 Hours of Monza
Photo: WEC

Toyota extends championship lead after winning dramatic WEC 6 Hours of Monza

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.

Next in the 2023 FIA WEC calendar is the 6 Hours of Fuji as the World Championship prepares for its first trip to Asia this year for the Japanese classic which takes place at the iconic Fuji Speedway (8-10 September).