Toyota claimed its second victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in dramatic circumstances as two late punctures for its #7 car handed victory to #8 drivers Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

The #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid shared by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez dominated proceedings at the Circuit de la Sarthe, only losing its advantage for less than an hour on Saturday night before forging a two-minute lead at the front of the pack heading into the closing stages.

The gap was sustained until the end of the 23rd hour when Lopez’s car was forced to pit on consecutive laps due to two separate punctures, giving Nakajima the chance to catch up in the #8 car after struggling to match the #7 for much of the race.

Nakajima swooped past an ailing Lopez on-track to take the lead with one hour to go, leaving the #7 crew in disbelief after appearing to be in such control of the race.

Lopez emerged from the pits after his second stop a minute down on Nakajima, and while the Argentine was able to whittle the gap down to just 25 seconds after making his final fuel stop in the pits, he was asked to “bring the car home” through the final 20-minute stint, ultimately crossing the line 16 seconds behind.

The result saw Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima all score their second straight Le Mans victory following their maiden success in 2018, as well as clinching the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers’ title together.

Alonso has also become the first driver since 1939 to hold a 100 percent record at Le Mans across multiple starts.

Conway, Lopez and Kobayashi were left crestfallen in second place, ending the season empty-handed for major silverware after the late, cruel twist of fate at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

SMP Racing completed the LMP1 podium with its #11 BR Engineering BR1 AER as Stoffel Vandoorne, Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin saw off a challenge from Rebellion Racing to be the leading non-hybrid team in the race.

Rebellion looked on-course to finish third with its #3 R13 Gibson, only for a penalty and spin for Gustavo Menezes to drop the car off the same lap as the #11 SMP Racing entry.

Rebellion was left to finish fourth and fifth overall, with further issues for the #3 car dropping it behind the sister #1 entry.

Signatech Alpine Matmut took a comfortable LMP2 class victory with Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet in the #36 Alpine A470 Gibson car as the trio finished over a lap clear of the field.

The #36 car spent the first half of the race engaged in a close battle with G-Drive Racing’s #26 Aurus 01 Gibson, with the pair breaking clear of the rest of the LMP2 field overnight.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Job van Uitert and Roman Rusinov managed to pull G-Drive a minute clear after striking lucky on a Safety Car period in the early hours, only for a starter motor issue to force the team to park its car in the garage for 20 minutes with six hours to go.

This dropped G-Drive out of contention, leaving the Signatech crew to see out the remainder of the race and finish two minutes clear of Jackie Chan DC Racing’s #38 Oreca 07 Gibson, while TDS Racing completed the podium in P3 with its #28 Oreca.

Ferrari claimed victory in GTE-Pro with its factory AF Corse team as James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra came out on top after challenges from Porsche, Corvette and Ford through the 24 hours.

After the #92 Porsche 911 RSR’s win hopes were ended after an exhaust replacement was required overnight, the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo was able to break clear along with #63 Corvette in the morning, putting them two minutes ahead of the rest of the field.

Calado saw a Safety Car called with less than four hours to go work in his favour as he ended in a different queue to Jan Magnussen in the #63 Corvette, giving him a buffer that he would maintain to the flag.

The success for Ferrari came 70 years since its maiden win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and was the first in class at Le Mans for the marque’s factory squad since 2014.

A spin for Magnussen while trying to make up time to Calado ended Corvette’s podium hopes, allowing Porsche to get its #93 and #91 cars up onto the podium.

Keating Motorsports scored a hard-earned class victory in GTE-Am as Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga dominated the second half of the race in the #85 Ford GT, marking the car’s first customer win at Le Mans.

Bleekemolen came under late pressure from Team Project 1’s Joerg Bergmeister in the #56 Porsche 911 RSR after a penalty cost the Keating car time, but was able to hold on to win the class by 44 seconds.