OPINION – Toyota’s victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Roglic’s impressive pre-Tour, disastrous Ferrari in Azerbaijan… Our tops and flops of the sporting weekend.
24 Hours of Le Mans: Toyota’s fifth win in a row
A near-perfect race this weekend at the Le Mans 24 Hours for the Japanese manufacturer, who simply broke into a cold sweat with an alarm on Sunday morning with the GR010 Hybride No. 7 as a temporary breakdown hit the car on the exit of the corner paralyzed by Indanapolis. The Toyotas crushed the race from start to finish to claim another double at La Sarthe and a fifth straight win. Toyota Gazoo Racing is now ahead of Ford and Alfa Romeo (4 wins). Next goal: Get Bentley (6 achievements).
The ten worst accidents in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Perpignan breaks the curse
Since the construction of the dam between the 13the the top 14 and finalist of the Pro D2 had always prevailed the club of the lower league. We had to wait for the fourth edition of this “Access Match” to see how the big one pulls away. Credit goes to Perpignan, who, after a stubborn first half, unrolled in act two to confidently win 41-16. Incidentally, future Toulousain Melvyn Jaminet showed the way in his departure from the Catalan jersey. The stern of the XV of France scored 26 points (1 try, 8/9 on foot). For a successful farewell.
Mbappé, 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 under the spell of his striker, saving scorer on Friday night in Austria (1-1). As soon as he entered the game, the Parisian changed the face of his team before scoring and coming very close to a double. This player is exceptional, it’s no longer a secret for anyone and when he plays, the face of the French team changes immediately. His presence on Monday night at the kick-off of the last June game against Croatia (8.45pm, Stade de France) is a good reason to go to Saint-Denis or to sit in front of his TV.
As the winner of the Dauphiné, Roglic makes an impression with a view to the Tour de France
Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic (Jumbo) won the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday on the Plateau de Solaison just under 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 be on the Dauphiné price list twelve years after Janez Brajkovic. At the age of 32, he clinched his second WorldTour stage race win that year in the absence of Tadej Pogacar, his compatriot and main competitor in the Tour de France. In March, in Paris-Nice, the Slovenian won a race he lost on the last day of 2021. The Dauphiné had also turned him down in August 2020 when, on the morning of the last stage, he had given up after a fall while wearing the leader’s yellow jersey. Long live the sequel.
Paris SG will have dominated French handball
On Saturday night at Bercy, Paris SG ended their excellent national season by winning the final of the Coupe de France at the expense of Nantes (36-31). His sixth trophy in the competition. And an excellent icing on the cake after capturing the title of French champion with 30 wins in as many games played at the end of a perfect drill. The people of Nantes only lasted 10 minutes in this final, in which they put on a good show thanks to their good defense and the efficiency of Thibaut Briet, the game’s top scorer (8 goals). But Paris, led by their MVP of the season Luc Steins and their Polish giants Kamil Syprzak (6 goals) and protected at the rear by Vincent Gérard, quickly overtook the second and went so far as to increase the lead to +6 in the 25th minute. The Paris goalkeeper, who will continue to develop at Saint-Raphaël next season, was able to celebrate this successful farewell: “I end my history with Paris in the most beautiful way, leaving PSG at the top of the bill.” see what will happen with his departure, especially that of Nedim Remili and Mikkel Hansen.
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 struck at Baku, taking advantage of Ferrari’s reliability woes (see below). With that, Max Verstappen won the race, his 25th career win, and Sergio Perez offered his team a very easy double. The consequences for the ranking are colossal. The Dutchman consolidates his lead with 150 points, but now it’s his Mexican teammate who is second in the drivers’ standings with 129 points. The same with the manufacturers. Red Bull collect 44 points in Baku and widen the gap with 279 points on the clock, 80 more than Ferrari (199).
Ferrari, a disastrous Sunday
Let’s start with the case of Carlos Sainz. Fourth, the Spaniard was forced to retire on lap nine following a brake problem during Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The third retirement in eight races for the Iberian. The blow was already hard for the Scuderia to take, but what about Charles Leclerc’s engine failure? Leading on the twentieth lap, the Monegasque’s engine then exploded on the big straight in Baku, just like in Spain. Reliability is clearly an issue at Ferrari. Because after Sainz and Leclerc, the engines of Magnussen and Zhou also pushed the two drivers into retirement and Haas and Alfa Romeo are powered by … Ferrari. Aside from the lost points for the Scuderia, it also creates a parts problem as each broken engine has to be changed and drivers are limited to three engines for the season or they will be penalized. And that can quickly become expensive. Especially on an accounting level. Scuderia Ferrari are now 80 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship and Charles Leclerc is back in third place in the Drivers’ Championship, 34 behind Max Verstappen. A black Sunday for the Reds.
Racing still can’t
Since winning the French Champion title in 2016, Racing 92 has always been present in the final stages. But he never managed to reach the final at the Stade de France. Another failure this season, the Parisians sank in the barrage atomized from the Bordelais 36 to 26. Fickou and his partners faked a half (8-10) before exploding after the break. Four conceded attempts for a rout 36 to 16. The leaders didn’t react for a long time. And inevitably the Travers method is called into question. Change seems imperative to avoid experiencing the same disappointment season after season.
A hard cloud for actor Michael Fassbender
Learning for Michael Fassbender is complicated to say the least. Headlining this 90th edition of which he was one of the curiosities, the prolific actor was hit hard by the difficulty of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Lacking rhythm at the wheel of his Porsche 911 (record lap of 4:03.632, or 10 seconds better than teammate Zach Robinchon, another rookie at Sarthe), Fassbender particularly shone through his setbacks on track as nightfall came on Saturday. From a first collision with the Ferrari N.61 that caused a violent shock a few minutes after returning to the track before spinning. Enough to start at the lowest level with a little more confidence. But the main thing is, except for the interpreter of Magneto in the X-Men, if the 51st place (out of 53, not counting the abandonments) is not very good, he has successfully made a bet: the one, to the end walk.