The no.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing won the 6 Hours of Monza as the no.22 car of United Autosport finished third overall for the third time in history for the LMP2 class.
Everything was ready for the start of the 6 Hours of Monza. It was a hot day, and the expected tire wear was pretty high.
Right at the start, Alpine number 36 tried to attack Toyota number 8, but the move did not work, and everyone kept the same position. Both Glickenhaus maintained P4 and P5.
For the LMP2 it was car number 22 in the lead, while for the GTE Pro it was car number 92 in P1. Then, in the GTE Am, it was car number 33 that was leading the pack.
The battle between the first four cars was already on in the GTE Pro. It was Porsche number 92 in the lead, with Ferrari number 51 right behind.
It was a great race in the GTE AM, there were many fights for the third position. Speaking of the LMP2 class, the first three cars, numbers 22, 31, and 29, were extremely close to each other, but no one has tried the attack so far.
15 minutes after the start, the two Toyotas started to lap the first drivers of the GTE class.
In the Hypercar class, Alpine number 36 and Glickenhaus number 709 were very close. Number 709 was less than a second behind the French team’s car, and it was trying to go for the move.
In the LMP2 class, car number 70 spun in turn 1 without damaging the car but lost many positions. While in the GTE AM class, there was a battle between Ferraris number 54, and 83 and one Aston Martin, the number 33. They were fighting for the lead. Meanwhile, car number 88 of the GTE AM class spun at the second chicane and remained stuck in the gravel. Because of that, full course yellow was deployed.
Both Toyotas entered the pits for refueling, and many other cars did the same in the other classes. The full course yellow allowed the teams to pit without losing much time.
Porsche number 92 and Ferrari number 51 entered the pits together. The positions did not change, and the German team maintained the lead in the GTE Pro class.
In the LMP2 class, car number 82 jumped number 21, which was caught off guard, and lost one position, dropping to P5 in the class.
The battle for P3 in the GTE Am class was on, with Egidio Perfetti attacking Thomas Flohr, it was Porsche against Ferrari once again.
After one hour, Aston Martin number 33 of the GTE Am pitted, and Ferrari number 83 took the lead. Porsche number 56 did the same while it was sitting in P4.
In the LMP2 class, car number 34 overtook number 44 for P8 in the class.
Porsche number 91, which was sitting in P3 in the GTE Pro class, went wide in turn 1. It lost a lot of time but did not lose the position from Ferrari number 52.
After one hour and twenty minutes, almost all LMP2 cars dived into the pits to change tires and drivers.
It was time to pit for Alpine number 36 of the Hypercar class. That meant that the Glickenhaus number 709 took P3.
Right when the Alpine pitted, Ferrari number 47 of the GTE Am class crashed at Lesmo 2. That caused a little damage to the front part of Porsche number 92, leader of the GTE Pro class.
Ferrari number 47, driven by Roberto Lacorte, restarted and the driver was able to bring it back to the pits, but the damage was critical. The rear wing was completely broken, and Lacorte lost a lot of time.
There was a problem for Toyota number 8 as well, that was going slow in the second sector right after the pit stop. During the team radio, the driver said he had no power. Both Alpine and Glickenhaus overtook Brendon Hartley. The latter managed to bring the car back to the pits.
In the GTE Pro class, Alessandro Pier Guidi, driver of Ferrari number 51, was attacking Kevin Estre in the Porsche. It was the battle for P1 in the class.
Meanwhile, Toyota number 8 reentered the track, but it was three laps down. However, after some laps, the car slowed down again. There were problems with the brakes probably since Hartley went completely straight in turn 1, almost hitting other cars.
For the second time, Toyota number 8 reentered the track in the last place.
In the GTE Pro class, Richard Lietz was very close to Daniel Serra. The two were battling for P3 in the class. Lietz finally managed to take the position over Serra.
2 hours in, Aston Martin number 33, which was leading the GTE Am class, suffered a puncture right before the pitstop. The tire completely exploded and the car was highly damaged. The incident forced the Safety Car to enter the track.
With three hours and forty minutes to go, the Safety Car left the track and the race restarted. Meanwhile, Alpine number 36 entered the pit, leaving P2 to Glickenhaus.
During the restart, some cars restarted regularly, while others did not understand that the race was underway and lost a lot of time.
In the GTE Pro class, Ferrari number 51 finally managed to take the lead, overtaking Porsche number 91.
With three hours and thirty minutes to go, Aston Martin number 33 reentered the track after the puncture.
Once again, Toyota number 8 slowed down before Parabolica and had to enter the pit. The problems did not stop.
In the GTE Pro class, the two Porsches were fighting for P2, with Neel Jani attacking Lietz at the second chicane.
For the third time on Sunday, Toyota decided to send back number 8 on track.
Returning to the GTE Pro class, Lietz pitted, and Jani got up to P2, with Daniel Serra in the Ferrari gained P3. After two laps, Serra pitted too, and Lietz retook P3.
Then, both James Calado and Neel Jani pitted together, Ferrari had a slow pit stop and lost the lead of the GTE Pro class.
Toyota was not the only Hypercar to have problems since Glickenhaus’ 708 car slowed down in the second sector.
With less than three hours to go, the competition started to increasingly get intense in the Hypercar category, as the Glickenhaus’ started to trouble the Alpine number 36.
The Hypercar category saw an intense battle for second between Glickenhaus and Alpine, as the two teams traded positions back and forth.
In LMP2, United Autosport maintains the lead, with the number 22 car, with a penalty for pit lane speeding in the form of 20 seconds being added.
GTE Pro was the site of an intense battle between the Porsche GT Team and AF Corse cars of number 92 and number 51.
Car number 82 has 20 seconds added to the next pit stop for not respecting an emergency pit stop under the safety car in the GTE Am category.
In GTE Pro, the gap between the AF Corse and leading Porsche GT, driven by Neel Jani started to slim as the latter tried to extend the gap.
The battle for sixth in LMP2 started to get intense, 40 minutes into hour 4 as the number 20 High Class Racing and the number 28 of Jota had a close call, with gaps of less than a second throughout the hour, with Tom Blomqvist in the number 28 eventually going into sixth ahead of the High Class Racing car.
The number 709 Glickenhaus struggled in traffic, mostly filled by LMP2 as the gap to the race leader number 7 of Toyota Gazoo Racing, driven by Kamui Kobayashi, was slowly being reduced.
Misery was brought upon Glickenhaus as the number 708 car was forced to retire from the race due to a gearbox issue, thus bringing out the first retirement of the race.
With close to 2 hours left, GTE Pro saw cars coming in for a new set of tires and fuel, with a change in drivers in a few cases as all 4 cars came into the pits.
LMP2 saw Jota, Team WRT, and Racing Team Nederland in a three-way battle for track positions as United Autosport tried to consolidate its lead in the LMP2 category at 4th place overall.
Four hours in, drama unfolded for the race leader as the number 7 car stopped in the middle of the track, briefly bringing out the yellow flags and gifting the lead to Glickenhaus at Monza, losing a full minute.
The number 709 Glickenhaus came into the pits for fuel, further fuelling the battle for first place as the number 7 car retook the lead as the Glickenhaus lost time due to a brake change, in a 10-minute pit stop, pushing the LMP2 number 22 into 3rd place overall and bringing the number 36 Alpine into first.
The battle for a podium position intensified between Racing Team Nederland and Jota, as both teams competed to the edge closer to the number 22 car. Lower down the order, the battle for 8th raged on, between the number 20 High Class Racing and number 21 Dragonspeed USA, as Juan Pablo Montoya narrowly squeezed his way past to 8th.
With less than 90 minutes to go, teams in LMP2 started to pit and exit quickly, in an attempt to maintain track position for points.
GTE Pro saw Porsche and Ferrari at each other’s throats as number 91 Porsche attempted to close the gap to the number 52 AF Corse, with many attempts by the former being thwarted in dramatic fashion.
The number 7 Toyota regained the lead of the race after an error occurring during the pit stop of the number 36 Alpine, in another race leader change. In GTE Pro, after a long-fought battle, the number 91 Porsche finally went up to 3rd place, ending a dramatic challenge.
In the Hypercar category, the previously pitted number 8 Toyota finally went on the track, with a massive 17 lap deficit to the leader and sister car number 7, in what was turning out to be an intense race for Toyota Gazoo Racing.
In GTE Am, the battle for third got heated as the number 56 Team Project 1 car aggressively defended track position from the number 98 Aston Martin Racing, eventually losing out and letting the number 98 car claim third in the GTE Am category.
In LMP2, the number 38 clipped the grass and went off slowly, briefly bringing up the yellow flags and losing valuable track position in the process, and eventually going into the pits due to unknown troubles.
With an hour to go, the number 7 car was the first to enter the pits, with a driver and tire change, as well as refueling, allowing the number 36 Alpine to retake the lead in the process, once again resuming the fight for the leading position.
With almost 40 minutes to go, the number 709 Glickenhaus struggled to gain positions and creep back up into the top 3, as the number 7 Toyota went off into the run-off, after going in too deep at turn 1. This would not be an issue as the lead was regained when the number 36 Alpine pitted.
A full course yellow was announced 35 minutes before the checkered flag after debris on the track obstructed the entry to Ascari, which lasted till 17:34:30 local time.
The restart saw a battle for first in GTE Pro, between the number 92 car of Porsche and the number 51 car of AF Corse in a “ping-pong game,” as described by Porsche’s Neel Jani.
After a long battle, the number 709 Glickenhaus overtook the number 31 LMP2 car to go into 4th place, with 17 minutes to the checkered flag with further racing down the pack, with the number 70 Realteam Racing and the number 21 Dragonspeed USA battling for sixth, with the latter eventually winning the battle.
In the end, the number 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing won the race in the Hypercar category, with the number 22 United Autosport car being a part of the top 3 overall, at third place, while leading the LMP2 pack. In GTE Pro, the number 92 Porsche GT secured first while in GTE Am, the number 83 AF Corse was on top.
The winner’s of WEC’s 6 Hours of Monza:
|Hypercar||Toyota Gazoo Racing||#7||204 laps|
|LMP2||United Autosport||#22||+4 laps|
|GTE Pro||Porsche GT Racing||#92||+14 laps|
|GTE AM||AF Corse||#83||+17 laps|