Toyota takes 1-2 in the stop-start race



Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi scored their second win in a row in the # 7 TS050 Hybrid over the sister # 8 car shared by Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.

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The order was mixed up as different cars made their first pitstops at different times, but the superiority of the Toyotas over the non-hybrid LMP1s was clear and the two TS050 Hybrids quickly hit the front once the race began in earnest.

It was the # 8 car that had been ahead during the early stages, but the # 7 managed to jump ahead because it made its second stop on a lap that the field was being led through the pitlane anyway.

The # 8 then lost further time being held up by a red light at the end of the pits when Alonso took over from Buemi, handing the # 7 car an advantage of some 20 seconds.

That grew to as large as half a minute before Nakajima began to close the gap to Conway, but the safety car was deployed again with 20 minutes to go after a crash for the # 17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1.

However, the two Toyotas held position in the final six minutes when the safety car came in, Conway crossing the line 1.4 seconds clear of Nakajima.

Jenson Button secured his first podium of the year in the surviving # 11 SMP BR1 he shares with Russian duo Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov, a lap down on the winning Toyota.

The final safety car wiped out the # 11 car's advantage over the # 1 Rebellion R-13, but Neel Jani, Bruno Senna and Andre Lotterer had to be content with fourth after Lotterer dropped 16 seconds in the wet closing stages.

The # 3 Rebellion lost two laps early on when Thomas Laurent hit the barriers under the safety car, but the first stoppage allowed the car to be repaired and it recovered to fifth, three laps down.

DragonSpeed's customer BR1 made it to the finish in sixth, while the solo ByKolles ENSO CLM P1 / 01 dropped out with engine failure.

LMP2: Jackie Chan DC Racing wins again

LMP2 honors went to Jackie Chan DC Racing for the third time in a row, with Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi picking up their second victory of 2018.

The # 38 Oreca trio came out on top in a straight fight with the # 31 DragonSpeed ​​machine shared by Anthony Davidson, Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez, despite two late spins for Aubry.

Third in class went to the # 28 TDS Racing Oreca, which was removed from victory contention when it was hit by the # 95 Aston Martin at the start of the penultimate hour.

The Fuji-winning # 37 Jackie Chan Oreca lost a lap when Weiron Tan suffered an off at Turn 2 and ended up fifth in class.

GTE: Aston Martin dominates in wet

Aston Martin secured its first victory in the GTE Pro class with its all-new Vantage GTE, which finished seventh overall ahead of the LMP2-winning # 38 Oreca.

The # 95 shared by Danish duo Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen took full advantage of the British marque's speed in the wet conditions, as Aston stayed at the head of the class for much of the race.

However, the # 97 machine of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin was reeled in and passed with around 30 minutes to go by Richard Lietz in the # 91 Porsche 911 RSR he shares with Gianmaria Bruni.

The points-leading # 92 Porsche took third after Michael Christensen relegated Martin in the dying moments.

Christensen's teammate Kevin Estre escaped sanction after tapping the pole-winning # 66 Ford GT of Olivier Pla into a spin during the first batch of green flag laps.

Ferrari's best representative was the # 51 car of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in fifth, followed by the lead BMW M8 of Martin Tomczyk and Nicky Catsburg in sixth.

Corvette's lone one-off C7.R entry struggled for pace and ended up 10th in class.

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Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer and Christian Ried came out on top in the # 77 Porsche, 8.7s ahead of the Project 1 car shared by Fuji winners Jorg Bergmeister, Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey.

Race results:


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