Photo: Adrenal Media. The LMGTE Am podium from left to right: AF Corse Team Manager Batti Pregliasco, Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas; Scuderia Corsa's Giacomo Mattioli, Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell; Abu-Dhabi Proton Racing's Khaled Al Qubaisi, David Heinemeier Hansson and Pat Long.
In LMGTE Pro it was the opposite case as the podium places were filled by teams from the USA, with Ford securing a triumphant victory on its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans 50 years after its 1-2-3 podium lockout in the 1966 edition of the race.
Victory went to the No.68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT of Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Sébastien Bourdais. The top WEC competitor was the No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK entry of Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke and Billy Johnson, which finished 4th in class but collects the maximum 50 world championship points available.
The No.95 (Turner-Thiim-Sørensen) and No.97 (Stanaway-Rees-Adam) Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8s were 5th and 6th in class and will collect 36 and 30 championship points respectively – the result giving the British manufacturer the lead in the World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers.
In LMGTE Am the victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans also went to a competitor from the USA, the No.62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari F458 Italia. The 2015 car finished nearly three minutes ahead of the second-placed No.83 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia of Rui Aguas, Emmanuel Collard and François Perrodo, who were the top WEC competitors in the class.
The final podium place in the class went to the WEC-entered No.88 Abu Dhabi–Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Long, Khalid Al Qubaisi and David Heinemeier-Hansson, who finished one lap behind the two Ferraris.
Held in front of a crowd of 263,500 spectators, and finishing in bright sunshine to contrast with the very wet start, the cornerstone event of the FIA WEC has once again left everyone with multiple memories of some great performances on track.
The next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship is the 6 Hours of Nürburgring on 22-24 July 2016.
Results can be found HERE
Classifications can be found HERE