How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title
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How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

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Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

Toyota duly collected another clean sweep of World Endurance Championship titles – drivers’ and manufacturers’ – as well the piece of silverware that mattered: the one on offer at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Yet unlike last year in season one of the Le Mans Hypercar rules, it was made to sing for its supper, though more in terms of the mathematics of the points table than the action out on the race track. Alpine went into the curtain-closer in Bahrain equal on points with the Japanese marque in the drivers’ championship.

The French manufacturer may have had the points on the board ahead of the Bahrain 8 Hours last month, but it didn’t have the performance to mount a challenge when the WEC circus arrived in the Middle East. Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa duly sealed the title with a safe second aboard the #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID behind the sister car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez. The Alpine-Gibson A480 shared by Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao trailed home third to no great surprise.

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