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Second place finish for Conway
Second place finish for Conway

Defending champion Mike Conway had to settle for a second place finish at this year’s Le Mans.

Mike and his #7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team mates Kamui Kobayashi and José María López finished in second place to complete Toyota’s fifth consecutive one-two finish at Le Mans. 

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, in their #7 GR010 HYBRID, crossed the line just 2mins 1.222secs behind their sister car piloted by Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa.

The two Toyota Hypercars were the class of the field and engaged in a close battle at the front, with the lead changing hands several times as the race ebbed and flowed, with traffic, slow zones and track evolution all coming into play.

However, the race changed decisively for Mike and the #7 on lap 256 when José pulled the race-leading #7 car to the side of the track following an issue relating to the front motor

José performed a system reset and was able to return to the pits, where further resets solved the issue and allowed the #7 to continue at normal racing speed, albeit nearly a lap behind the sister #8 car.

With closely-matched performance, that deficit proved too great for the #7 crew to overcome, and Mike and his #7 crew crossed the line in second place after 24 hours of racing.

Mike occupies 4th in the Drivers’ Championship as the series heads to Monza on 8 – 10 July

Speaking after the weekend, Conway said: “I don’t think this place likes us very much; there is always something. I know we won last year but we’ve had some tough times here. Congratulations to our team-mate in car #8, particularly Ryo. To win it on your first attempt is something else.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with Kamui and José and we gave our all for the Le Mans victory but unfortunately we came up short. But it’s a great one-two for the team and the fifth win in a row for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, which is something to be proud of.

“I’d like to say a big thanks to all the team, at Higashi-Fuji and Cologne. There is still a World Championship to fight for and we have three races to go, so that’s on my mind right now and we will keep pushing.”