OPINION – Toyota’s victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Roglic impressing for the Tour, disastrous Ferrari in Azerbaijan… Our Tops and Flops of the sports weekend.
24 Hours of Le Mans: Toyota’s fifth win in a row
An almost perfect race this weekend at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the Japanese manufacturer who simply caused a cold sweat with the GR010 Hybrid n°7 on Sunday morning with a warning when a temporary malfunction immobilized the car as it exited the Indanapolis corner. The Toyotas crushed the race from start to finish to take another double and fifth straight win at La Sarthe. Toyota Gazoo Racing is now ahead of Ford and Alfa Romeo (4 wins). Next goal: Reach Bentley (6 successes).
The ten biggest accidents in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Perpignan breaks the curse
Since the creation of the dam between 13e of Top 14 and the finalist of Pro D2, the lower tier club had always been victorious. We had to wait for the fourth edition of this ”access match” to see the big one come out. The honor goes to Perpignan who, after a stubborn first half, unrolled in the second act to win with authority 41 against 16. By the way, before his retirement from the Catalan jersey, the future Toulousain Melvyn Jaminet showed the way. The rear of France’s XV scored 26 points (1 attempt, 8/9 on foot). For a successful goodbye.
Mbappe, the Mozart of the Blues
† Kylian is Kylian, if I could get him to play from the first minute… “The statement comes from Didier Deschamps, more than ever captivated by his striker, who saved the goalscorer on Friday night in Austria (1-1). As soon as he came into the game, the Parisian changed the face of his team, scored and was very close to a double This player is extraordinary, it is no longer a secret to anyone and when he plays the face of the French team changes immediately His presence on Monday evening at the kick-off of the last game in June against Croatia (8:45 pm, Stade de France) is a good reason to go to Saint-Denis or sit in front of his television.
Dauphiné winner, Roglic impresses ahead of the Tour de France
Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo) won the Critérium du Dauphiné on the Plateau de Solaison on Sunday, less than three weeks before the start of the Tour de France, ahead of his Danish teammate Jonas Vingegaard. In 74 editions, Roglic is the second Slovenian rider to appear on the Dauphiné prize list, twelve years after Janez Brajkovic. At the age of 32, he took his second WorldTour stage race win this year in the absence of Tadej Pogacar, his compatriot and main rival for the Tour de France. In March, the Slovenian won in Paris-Nice, a match he had lost on the last day of 2021. the leader’s yellow jersey. Long live the sequel.
Paris SG will have ruled French handball
On Saturday night, in Bercy, Paris SG concluded its excellent domestic season by winning the final of the Coupe de France at the expense of Nantes (36-31). His sixth trophy in the competition. And a wonderful icing on the cake after taking the title of champion of France at the end of a perfect exercise, with 30 victories in as many matches played. The people of Nantes only lasted 10 minutes during this final, during which their good defense and the efficiency of Thibaut Briet, the top scorer of the match (8 goals), allowed them to put on a good show. But Paris, led up front by its MVP of the season Luc Steins and his Polish giant Kamil Syprzak (6 goals), and protected behind by Vincent Gérard, quickly passed second and went so far as to widen the gap to +6 at the 25th minute. The Paris goalkeeper, who will continue to grow with Saint-Raphaël next season, could look forward to this successful farewell: “I end my story with Paris in the most beautiful way by leaving PSG at the top.” To see what will happen with his departure, and that of Nedim Remili and Mikkel Hansen in particular.
Red Bull hit hard
Third double of the season, fifth win of the year for Max Verstappen, Sunday was very sweet for Red Bull. The Austrian marque took a hit in Baku, taking advantage of Ferrari’s reliability problems (see below). Max Verstappen won the race, his 25th career success, and Sergio Perez offered his team a very easy double. The consequences for the ranking are enormous. The Dutchman consolidates his leadership with 150 points, but now his Mexican teammate is second in the driver standings with 129 points. Same with manufacturers. Red Bull collects 44 points in Baku and widens the gap with now 279 points on the clock, 80 more than Ferrari (199).
Ferrari, a disastrous Sunday
Let’s start with the Carlos Sainz case. In fourth place, the Spanish driver retired on lap ninth due to a brake problem at Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The third withdrawal in eight races for the Iberian. The blow was already hard to swallow for the Scuderia, but what about Charles Leclerc’s engine failure? Then on lap 20 in the lead, the Monegask’s engine exploded in the main Baku straight, as in Spain. Reliability is clearly a question at Ferrari. Because after Sainz and Leclerc, Magnussen and Zhou’s engines have also prompted the two drivers to retire and Haas and Alfa Romeo are powered by… Ferrari. Aside from the points lost for the Scuderia, it also creates a parts problem as every broken engine has to be replaced and drivers are limited to three engines for the season otherwise they will be penalized. And that can quickly become expensive. Especially in accounting. Scuderia Ferrari is now 80 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship and Charles Leclerc is in third place in the drivers’ standings, 34 points behind Max Verstappen. Black Sunday for the Reds.
It still can’t race
Since the title of champion of France in 2016, Racing 92 has always been present in the closing stages. But never managed to climb to the Stade de France for the final. Another failure this season, the Parisians sank in the barrage, atomized by the Bordelais 36 to 26. Fickou and his partners cheated a half (8-10) before exploding after the break. Four attempts conceded to a 36 to 16 defeat. The leaders did not react for a long time. And inevitably, the Travers method will be questioned. Changes seem necessary in order not to experience the same disappointment season after season.
A tough hazing for actor Michael Fassbender
Complicated learning to say the least for Michael Fassbender. Headliner of this 90th edition, of which he was one of the curiosities, the successful actor was hit hard by the difficulty of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With no rhythm behind the wheel of his Porsche 911 (record lap of 4:03.632, or 10 seconds more than his team-mate Zach Robinchon, another rookie at Sarthe), Fassbender particularly shined for his setbacks on the track at the fall of Saturday. From a first collision with the Ferrari N.61 which caused a violent jolt before a spin a few minutes after returning to the track. Enough to gain a little more confidence at the lowest. But most importantly, other than the portrayal of Magneto in the X-Men, if 51st place (out of 53, not counting the shutdowns) is not very good, he has managed to make a bet: that of the end.