Conway "crying like a little girl" after overdue Le Mans win

Mike Conway says he was "crying like a little girl" after finally winning the Le Mans 24 Hours with Toyota following many near misses, with teammate Jose Maria Lopez admitting the final hours were "very stressful" due to fuel issues.

Toyota scored its fourth consecutive win at the Circuit de la Sarthe, the first of the new Hypercar era, with Conway, Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi taking the win ahead of the sister #8 car and the #36 Alpine A480-Gibson.

It was a hugely emotional win as the past three editions were won by Toyota's #8 crew, while several issues denied the #7 trio of Conway, Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi every single year.

Kobayashi and Conway could also have won the race in 2017, when they famously suffered a burnt-out clutch in a pitlane misunderstanding.

Following years of frustration and heartbreak, all three drivers were very moved after finally breaking their Le Mans curse.

"We came close so many times, and to get it done here with the new hypercar as well with these boys... teammates did a stellar job as always," Conway told Eurosport after the finish.

"Full circle, a lot of emotions. I was crying like a little girl.

"It's a bit of everything, you work so hard for it each year you forget how hard it is."

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Lopez said the final few hours, when the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid began suffering similar fuel pickup issues that had plagued the #8 sister car, were particularly stressful despite the leaders' comfortable gap.

"We've come from far away from here. Tough times, I haven't seen my father for a long time, a lot of work.

"And when you suffer like we suffered in the years before I think it's special. First one is always very special.

"At the end when we had this fuel problem, we had to do a lot of things in the car. It was very stressful."

Kobayashi, who received the honour of bringing the car to the chequered flag in an orchestrated formation finish, said the #7 crew's Le Mans misses had made Toyota stronger as a unit.

"We had so many chances to win, and we lost, but finally we won," he added.

"I think we are more together as a team [than before], we can't do anything special at Le Mans, but we believe in each other as a team. 

"I think we are stronger as a team, I think this why we made it this time."

With much sterner, factory opposition on the way in the new Hypercar class after several transitional years, Kobayashi is looking forward to Toyota's battle against the likes of Peugeot, Ferrari, Audi and Porsche in the future.

"In the future the Hypercar and LMDh category will be big, and Le Mans will be a huge race," he explained.

"I'm looking forward to fighting with them."

Conway, Lopez and Kobayashi have also taken over the lead in the world championship with two rounds in Bahrain remaining.

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