Still at Le Mans, not everything was about Porsche, as we saw spectacular wins in the other categories in this edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In the LMP2 class, Hong Kong-based guys of KCMG brought the ORECA 05 to its first class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Paul Ip and company were in their third participation at La Sarthe, but brought a rookie car to the top step of the podium.
Matt Howson, Richard Bradley and Toyota’s reserve driver Nicolas Lapierre made an almost faultless race, commanding the table from green to checkered, coming from the pole position. This feat was the first Asian class win at Le Mans since 2004, when Audi Sport Team Goh, from Japan, won overall and LMP1 class trophies with the Audi R8 LMP1 car.
In the LMGTE-Pro class, Corvette Racing finally showed the power of the C7.R model, dealing with the fact of reduced numbers to get a class win against AF Corse and Aston Martin, being the first Corvette victory at Le Mans since 2011.
The effort was a two car one, but was cut half as Jan Magnussen crashed the No. 63 car, leaving the hard task to the No. 64 one, driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor. But in the end, task addressed, task done, as they dealt with a charging No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage, knocked out of the fight due to mistakes, and with the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 458, which succumbed with a few hours to go with gearbox problems, and stood firm on track during most of the time, remaining always competitive.
In the LMGTE-Am class, the Russian guys of SMP Racing got a jackpot win with 45 minutes to go, proving that everything can happen at Le Mans.
The Russian squad, composed by Andrea Bertolini, Victor Shaitar and Aleksei Basov was preparing to settle for second place in the last hour, but surprisingly the leader Aston Martin car, driven by Paul Dalla Lana, crashed heavily without any chance of recovery, opening the way for an American entry in the podium, as the Dempsey-Proton Porsche and the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari went up in the ranks, completing the podium.
PHOTOS: Wayne Taylor Racing, FIA, SMP Racing