Echoes of ’98 WRC as Toyota hands Porsche last minute Le Mans 2016 victory

Le Mans 24 Hours

RELIVE THE MOMENT Toyota last lost a massive victory at the very last minute.

Anyone watching the 2016 Le Mans race will have experienced some pretty strong emotions, with the number 5 car dominating the race and looking set to finally give Toyota its maiden victory at the famous 24-hour endurance race, only for it to break down with just five minutes left on the clock; handing victory for the second year in a row to Porsche.

It was utterly heartbreaking as fans, teams and drivers around the world tweeted messages of support; however it is a situation that Toyota’s motorsport division knows only too well!


It was the 1998 World Rally Championship, and coming into Wales Rally GB, the final round of the championship, it was Toyota’s Carlos Sainz vs Mitsubishi’s Tommi Makinen. Makinen led in the points but retired after crashing out meaning Sainz only needed to finish in the points to take the title. What happened next is written in infamy and you can watch it below, but it led to Sainz famously hurling his helmet through the rear window of his stricken Corolla in frustration.

Not that we necessarily needed it, but today was an abject reminder,that it’s not over until it’s over!


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