Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb (l-r)

It’s a finish that will have everyone talking for years. After running like clockwork for nearly the entirety of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, the leading #5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima broke down on the main straight just three minutes from the end, giving the chequered flag to the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb.

The last few minutes of the race were unbelievably heartbreaking for Toyota Gazoo Racing, which was all set to clinch the overall win for the first time since the world’s largest carmaker started its first Le Mans race in 1985 – right up until Nakajima radioed in from the Mulsanne Straight, less than six minutes until the end of the race, that the car had run out of power.

From there, the Japanese driver limped all the way around in a last-ditch attempt to bag the win, but it was not to be. Jani swept by as the Toyota stopped just after the start/finish line, and went around one last time to clinch the LMP1 trophy – Zuffenhausen’s 18th overall win and its second in a row, extending Porsche’s record as the winningest constructor in the history of the world’s most prestigious endurance race.

Le Mans 24 Hours 12th- 19th June 2016. Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France.

The #2 Porsche passes the stricken #5 Toyota to take the lead on the last lap

Worse still for Toyota, while Nakajima eventually restarted the car and went around the track again to cross the finish line, he was not classified as having finished the race, as his last lap of nearly twelve minutes was more than double the time of the winning Porsche’s.

As such, second place instead went to the #6 Toyota of Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, while the #8 Audi R18 of Lucas Di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis nabbed third place – continuing an unbroken string of podium finishes that stretches back to Ingolstadt’s debut in 1999.

Down the order, the #7 Audi of Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Tréluyer finished fourth after a turbocharger had to be replaced just two hours in, while the #1 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley finished 13th overall and 38 laps down on their teammates after spending time in the garage twice to fix high engine temperatures.

Porsche Team: Romain Dumas,

Elsewhere, the #36 Signatech Alpine A460 driven by Menezes Gustavo, Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi took the LMP2 class victory, while the Chip Ganassi Team’s #68 Ford GT of Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais clinched the win in GTE Pro ahead of the Risi Competizione #82 Ferrari 488 GTE.

Dearborn’s win on its return to Circuit de la Sarthe marks 50 years of Ford’s first victory – in a GT40, no less, and also beating Ferrari – in fine fashion. Rounding off the winners is the Scuderia Corse #62 Ferrari 458 Italia of William Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Jeffrey Segal in GTE Am.