The Toyotas controlled the race almost from the very off, with the Number Eight car – driven by Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso – looking the likely winners from the moment they overtook their Toyota team-mates just after 6am on Sunday morning.

Watch the moment that Toyota and Alonso won Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans 24hr
Le Mans winner Buemi admits he was nervous until the end of the last lap
17/06/2018 AT 13:44

The 2018 edition is the first time that double Formula One world champion Alonso has competed in Le Mans. And Alonso's chances of Le Mans success had appeared to fade with 14 hours to go when the #8 Toyota dropped two minutes behind when Buemi collected a stop-go just after midnight.

But the Spaniard put in a remarkable stint during the night to reduce the deficit before Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima did their bit to take back control of the race.

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"Tell me if you want another stint, eh? I've got into the rhythm of the night," Alonso had said over the team radio as he closed the gap.

Instead, he handed over to Nakajima, who then passed fellow-Japanese Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota for the lead.

The Toyota, emblazoned with the #8 logo, never looked back, and the celebrations were memorable as the iconic black-red-and-white car took the chequered flag.

Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima celebrate in style after Le Mans victory

Toyota's triumph comes at the 20th attempt for the manufacturer, who become the second Japanese company to have won the world's most famous endurance race - following in the footsteps of Mazda in 1991.

A Toyota victory had been widely predicted after last year's champions Porsche withdrew from the 2018 edition.

Le Mans 24hr
Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima celebrate in style after Le Mans victory
17/06/2018 AT 13:26
Le Mans 24hr
Watch the moment that Toyota and Alonso won Le Mans 24 Hours
17/06/2018 AT 13:21