Never give up a on a dream.
After decades of futility, Toyota have finally won 1st overall at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. The marque joins Mazda as only the second Japanese manufacturer ever to win the storied endurance race.
It was the team's 20th attempt; how many billions of money have been spent in chasing this glory.
With Porsche bowing out of P1 class this year the Toyota team had little competition other than lady luck herself. All eyes were on whether the two Toyotas can finish the race without the mechanical troubles that doomed them the past two years, and if so, which car would be on the top podium step.
The pole-sitting number 8 car of Nakajima/Alonso/Buemi have been faster all week than the sister 7 car driven by Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez, but during the race the 8 car encountered an unlucky safety-car plus a 60-second stop-go penalty that dropped them nearly 2 minutes behind. Supremely mighty night-stints by Alonso and Nakajima erased the deficit and when the sun came up on Sunday morning at La Sarthe the 8 car regain the lead it won't relinquish.
It was poetic and emotional to see Nakajima do the final-stint to the checkered-flag, him being the driver of the car that stalled-out before the final lap while leading the race in 2016. From ultimate heartbreak to ultimate redemption. During the podium ceremony Nakajima nearly lost his composure when the Japan national anthem was playing. To win one of the crown-jewels of motorsport with the team representing your home country is super special indeed.
Honestly it was emotional for me as well. I've been following the Toyota Le Mans effort since the GT-One (TS020) era at the tail-end of the 90's, so it's been a proper long time. I thought the 2016 tragedy with one to go was the Racing Gods telling Toyota it was never meant to be, but the team kept fighting and now they've finally achieved the result. Omedetou gozaimashita.