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Race report
Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours: Ferrari survives late drama to score back-to-back wins

Ferrari outgunned Toyota and Porsche to claim its second consecutive victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours, despite both its factory cars running into trouble late in the race.

Nickas Nielsen, Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina took the chequered flag in the #50 Ferrari 499P with a 14s margin over the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID of Nyck de Vries, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez, as the #51 Ferrari of defending champions Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the podium.

There was drama in the penultimate hour as the right-side door of the #50 Ferrari began flapping rapidly, prompting race control to show a black-and-orange flag. Nielsen was forced to bring the car back into the pits just six laps into the stint, but was able to hold the net lead over the #7 Toyota.

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Nicklas Nielsen celebrates victory

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Nicklas Nielsen celebrates victory

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Nielsen’s run to the finish was made easier by Lopez spinning at the Dunlop Curve and briefly stopping on track, a mistake that ended any remaining chance of Toyota adding to its five wins at Le Mans.

Ferrari had looked rapid from the get go in the 92nd running of Le Mans, with all three 499Ps - including the AF Corse-entered customer entry - charging to the front in the opening hour.

The #50 factory car and the #83 customer entry elected to stay out when rain hit the track briefly on Saturday evening, a decision that put the two 499Ps well clear of the rest of the field as most cars - including the #51 Ferrari - had to return to the pits to switch back to slicks.

The race was neutralised for the first time after night fell at La Sarthe, when the #15 BMW of Dries Vanthoor crashed at the end of Mulsanne after contact with the #83 Ferrari then driven by Robert Kubica.

It took the best part of two hours for the marshals to replace the barriers, with the action resuming just past midnight. Another safety car period followed in the early hours of the morning, as rain and fog made the track unsafe for racing, with Toyota, Porsche and Ferrari all trading the top spot.

It wasn’t until the break of dawn that the race went back to green, with the complexion of the race changing virtually every hour as a number of manufacturers enjoyed stints at the front.

The #50 Ferrari made major headways in the 18th hour before the final rain shower, as Fuoco overtook the #83 Ferrari and the #5 Porsche of Frederic Makowiecki to take second, which became first when an out of sync #2 Cadillac stopped to switch to wet tyres.

Pier Guidi managed to hang on to the final spot of the podium in the #51 Ferrari he shared with James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi despite coming under serious pressure from the #6 Porsche 963 driven by Laurens Vanthoor.

Pier Guidi was hit with a five-second time penalty for colliding with the #8 Toyota of Brendon Hartley in the penultimate hour, an incident that left Hartley facing the wrong side of the track at the Mulsanne corner.

Pre-race favourite Porsche had to settle for fourth position, with Vanthoor finishing just 1.1s behind Pier Guidi in the #6 963 LMDh he shared with Kevin Estre and Andre Lotterer

The #6 Porsche had moved into the front in the 18th hour after pitting under a slow zone, which was ironically caused by Felipe Nasr crashing the sister #4 entry into Indianapolis. However, the #6 had to make its next pitstop under a safety car - brought by the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3’s shunt at the same turn - which dropped the trio back down the order.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

The #8 Toyota delayed by the incident with Pier Guidi ended up fifth, Sebastien Buemi bringing the car he shares with Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa to the finish line ahead of the #5 Porsche of Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki.

Cadillac emerged as a surprise contender for victory on Sunday afternoon, as a well-timed pitstop before the last safety car put the #2 V-Series.R of Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Alex Palou in the lead - albeit out of sync on pitstops with its immediate rivals.

However, any advantage the factory Chip Ganassi crew could potentially derive from their pit strategy was negated when rain hit the track in the final three hours, which put the entire Hypercar field on wet tyres at roughly the same time.

Two-time IndyCar champion Palou eventually brought the #2 Caddy to seventh at the finish, ahead of the two customer Jota Porsches.

The #12 Jota Porsche, which was rebuilt around a new chassis in record time after a crash in FP2 on Wednesday, finished eighth ahead of the #38 car.

Peugeot endured another troubled outing with the new 9X8 2024 that made its debut in the Imola round of the World Endurance Championship, with the car struggling for pace in all conditions.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Paul di Resta and Loic Duval finished 11th in the best of the two factory cars from the French manufacturer, three laps down on the winning Toyota, after picking up a drive-through penalty for overtaking under the slow zone.

The #93 car also had to drive through the pitlane after Mikel Jensen was deemed responsible for a collision with the #95 United Autosports McLaren 720S GT3 car. That combined with a crash for Nico Muller under the safety car left him, Jensen and Jean-Eric Vergne down in 12th place in the final reckoning, a lap adrift of the sister car.

Lamborghini was the best of the newcomers in the Hypercar class after a solid if unremarkable run for the Iron Lynx-run factory squad at Le Mans. The Italian marque never had the pace to bother its more established factory rivals, but its two SC63s ran without any major hiccups - save for a couple of spins in the fourth hour.

The #63 Lamborghini entered for the full WEC season finished ahead of the Peugeot in 10th with Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat and Edoardo Mortara, while the sister #19 car brought over from IMSA and driven by Romain Grosjean, Andrea Caldarelli and Matteo Cairoli ended up in 13th place.

Isotta Fraschini was the only other new manufacturer to be classified, after Jean-Karl Vernay, Carl Wattana Bennett and Antonio Serravalle managed to take the #11 Tipo6-C to 14th place. 

Both BMW and Alpine were out of the running before midnight on Saturday, despite having shown promising pace in the lead-up to the race.

Engine failures were to blame for Alpine’s double retirement at Le Mans, with Ferdinand Habsburg parking the #35 A424 LMDh at Arnage in the fifth hour and Nicolas Lapierre pulling the sister car shortly after into the garage.

BMW’s troubles began in the opening hour itself as Marco Wittmann went off at the Esses and immediately put the #15 M Hybrid V8 on the back foot. Team-mate Dries Vanthoor was trying to recover from the early setback when he had a coming together with the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Kubica at the end of Mulsanne at night, with the impact sending him head-on into the armco barriers.

By this point, the #20 BMW was already in the garage after Robin Frijns ran over the kerbs at the Ford Chicane and sustained what appeared to be terminal damage against the barrier. BMW was eventually able to get the car repaired to send team-mate Sheldon van der Linde back on track in the final hour, but the car was not classified as it failed to complete the required 70% distance.

The #83 customer Ferrari that led a major portion of the race on Saturday and was well in contention in the early hours of the afternoon eventually retired with technical issues in the 20th hour, with TV images showing plumes of smoke coming out of the front.

 

The #3 Cadillac and the #4 Porsche were among the six Hypercar entries to not be classified.

#22 United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson: Oliver Jarvis, Bijoy Garg, Nolan Siegel

#22 United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson: Oliver Jarvis, Bijoy Garg, Nolan Siegel

Photo by: Shameem Fahath

United takes unlikely LMP2 win

The LMP2 honours went to the #22 United Autosports ORECA of Oliver Jarvis, Bijoy Garg and Nolan Siegel, with Siegel grabbing the lead from the #28 IDEC Sport driver Reshad de Gurus in the 22nd hour.
The IDEC Sport team and the #34 InterEuropol Oreca had previously enjoyed a long battle on Sunday, with the #10 Vector also in the play in  the afternoon before the rain shook the order up again in LMP2.
Eventually, it was last year’s race-winning InterEuropol team that took second with Clemen Novalak, Jakub Smieschowski and Vladislav Lomko, as IDEC Sport trio de Gurus, Job Van Uitert dropped to third in class.
A late off for the #10 Vector ORECA contributed to Patrick Pilet, Ryan Cullen and Stephane Richelmi dropping to fifth behind the #183 AF Corse Francois Perrodo, Ben Barnicoat and Nicolas Varrone that had led at sunrise on Sunday.
#91 Manthey Ema Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3: Yasser Shahin, Morris Schuring, Richard Lietz

#91 Manthey Ema Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3: Yasser Shahin, Morris Schuring, Richard Lietz

Photo by: Shameem Fahath

Porsche triumphs in new-for-2024 LMGT3 class

Porsche scored yet another WEC win in the LMGT3 class as Richard Lietz, Yasser Shahin and Morris Schuring took top honours in the #91 Manthey EMA 911 GT3 R.

The victory in the production-based class boiled down to a straight fight between the Manthey Porsche and the #31 WRT of Augusto Farfus, Sean Gelael and Darren Leung in the closing stages, as a number of leading contenders dropped out due to a variety of reasons.

Gelael managed to grab the lead of the race when rain returned on track with just over two hours to go, but factory Porsche driver Lietz had little trouble getting past his silver-rated rival on the run to Indianapolis to lead the #91 crew to the first-ever LMGT3 victory at Le Mans.

The sister #92 Manthey PureRxcing entry was also in the victory battle for much of the enduro and was actually leading the class when Klaus Bachler was forced to bring the car to the garage with electrical problems.

Proton Competition took spots three and four with its pair of Ford Mustang GT3s, the #88 car of Dennis Olsen, Giorgio Roda and Mikkel Pedersen finishing ahead of Christopher Mies, Ben Tuck and John Hartshorne in the sister entry.

All three McLaren 720S GT3 entries, including the pole-winning Inception Racing car, suffered a spate of issues on Sunday that left them out of the reckoning.

   
1
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4
   
   
1
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2
   
Cla Team # Drivers Car Laps Time Interval Pits Retirement Points
1
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
50 Italy A. Fuoco Spain M. Molina Denmark N. Nielsen Ferrari 499P 311

24:01'55.856

  26    
2
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
7 Argentina J. Lopez Japan K. Kobayashi Netherlands N. de Vries Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 311

+14.221

24:02'10.077

14.221 31    
3
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
51 Italy A. Pier Guidi United Kingdom J. Calado Italy A. Giovinazzi Ferrari 499P 311

+36.730

24:02'32.586

22.509 28    
4
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
6 France K. Estre Germany A. Lotterer Belgium L. Vanthoor Porsche 963 311

+37.897

24:02'33.753

1.167 28    
5
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
8 Switzerland S. Buemi New Zealand B. Hartley Japan R. Hirakawa Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 311

+1'02.824

24:02'58.680

24.927 28    
6
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
5 Australia M. Campbell Denmark M. Christensen France F. Makowiecki Porsche 963 311

+1'45.654

24:03'41.510

42.830 24    
7
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
2 New Zealand E. Bamber United Kingdom A. Lynn Spain A. Palou Cadillac V-Series.R 311

+2'34.468

24:04'30.324

48.814 27    
8
HERTZ TEAM JOTA HYPERCAR
12 United Kingdom W. Stevens France N. Nato United Kingdom C. Ilott Porsche 963 311

+3'02.691

24:04'58.547

28.223 27    
9
HERTZ TEAM JOTA HYPERCAR
38 Denmark O. Rasmussen United Kingdom P. Hanson United Kingdom J. Button Porsche 963 311

+3'36.756

24:05'32.612

34.065 31    
10
Lamborghini Iron Lynx HYPERCAR
63 Italy M. Bortolotti Russian Federation D. Kvyat Switzerland E. Mortara Lamborghini SC63 309

+2 Laps

24:04'05.323

2 Laps 25    
11
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
94 Belgium S. Vandoorne United Kingdom P. di Resta France L. Duval Peugeot 9X8 2024 309

+2 Laps

24:04'14.073

8.750 31    
12
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
93 France J. Vergne Denmark M. Jensen Switzerland N. Müller Peugeot 9X8 2024 309

+2 Laps

24:04'31.774

17.701 29    
13
Lamborghini Iron Lynx HYPERCAR
19 France R. Grosjean Italy A. Caldarelli Italy M. Cairoli Lamborghini SC63 309

+2 Laps

24:04'53.605

21.831 27    
14
Isotta Fraschini HYPERCAR
11
C. Bennett
France J. Vernay Canada A. Serravalle
Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 Competizione LMH 302

+9 Laps

24:02'15.874

7 Laps 29    
15
United Autosports LMP2
22 United Kingdom O. Jarvis
B. Garg
N. Siegel
Oreca 07 297

+14 Laps

24:05'21.890

5 Laps 30    
16
INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION LMP2
34 Poland J. Smiechowski Russian Federation V. Lomko France C. Novalak Oreca 07 297

+14 Laps

24:05'40.541

18.651 30    
17
IDEC SPORT LMP2
28 France P. Lafargue Netherlands J. Van Uitert France R. de Gerus Oreca 07 297

+14 Laps

24:05'55.112

14.571 31    
18
AF Corse LMP2
183 France F. Perrodo United Kingdom B. Barnicoat
N. Varrone
Oreca 07 297

+14 Laps

24:05'56.926

1.814 29    
19
VECTOR SPORT LMP2
10 Ireland R. Cullen France P. Pilet Monaco S. Richelmi Oreca 07 297

+14 Laps

24:06'01.039

4.113 31    
20
AO by TF LMP2
14 United States P. Hyett Switzerland L. Deletraz
A. Quinn
Oreca 07 295

+16 Laps

24:02'27.538

2 Laps 28    
21
DKR Engineering LMP2
33 Germany A. Mattschull Austria R. Binder Germany L. Hörr Oreca 07 295

+16 Laps

24:04'52.960

2'25.422 31    
22
Algarve Pro Racing Team LMP2
25 Liechtenstein M. Kaiser United Kingdom O. Caldwell Canada R. De Angelis Oreca 07 294

+17 Laps

24:04'03.049

1 Lap 30    
23
PANIS RACING LMP2
65 United States R. Sales Switzerland M. Beche United States S. Huffaker Oreca 07 293

+18 Laps

24:03'11.820

1 Lap 35    
24
Cool Racing LMP2
47
N. Rao
United Kingdom M. Bell Denmark F. Vesti
Oreca 07 291

+20 Laps

24:04'01.725

2 Laps 30    
25
NIELSEN RACING LMP2
24 Switzerland F. Scherer Denmark D. Heinemeier Hansson United States K. Simpson Oreca 07 291

+20 Laps

24:04'43.625

41.900 30    
26
Cool Racing LMP2
37
L. Fluxá
Denmark M. Jakobsen Japan R. Miyata
Oreca 07 289

+22 Laps

24:04'52.088

2 Laps 29    
27
Manthey EMA LMGT3
91
Y. Shahin
M. Schuring
Austria R. Lietz
Porsche 911 GT3 R 281

+30 Laps

24:05'50.230

8 Laps 28    
28
TEAM WRT LMGT3
31
D. Leung
Indonesia S. Gelael Brazil A. Farfus
BMW M4 GT3 280

+31 Laps

24:02'00.179

1 Lap 27    
29
Whelen Cadillac Racing HYPERCAR
311 Brazil P. Derani United Kingdom J. Aitken Brazil F. Drugovich Cadillac V-Series.R 280

+31 Laps

24:04'30.420

2'30.241 25    
30
Proton Competition LMGT3
88 Italy G. Roda
M. Pedersen
Norway D. Olsen
Ford Mustang GT3 280

+31 Laps

24:04'55.845

25.425 29    
31
Proton Competition LMGT3
44 United Kingdom J. Hartshorne United Kingdom B. Tuck Germany C. Mies Ford Mustang GT3 280

+31 Laps

24:05'54.591

58.746 28    
32
IRON DAMES LMGT3
85 Belgium S. Bovy Denmark M. Gatting Switzerland R. Frey Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 279

+32 Laps

24:01'55.953

1 Lap 26    
33
Vista AF Corse LMGT3
55 France F. Heriau France S. Mann Italy A. Rovera Ferrari 296 GT3 279

+32 Laps

24:03'41.797

1'45.844 30    
34
AKKODIS ASP Team LMGT3
78
A. Robin
Russian Federation T. Boguslavskiy South Africa K. van der Linde
Lexus RC F GT3 279

+32 Laps

24:04'12.131

30.334 31    
35
Spirit of Race LMGT3
155 Denmark J. Laursen
C. Laursen
United States J. Taylor
Ferrari 296 GT3 279

+32 Laps

24:04'40.609

28.478 28    
36
D'Station Racing LMGT3
777 Japan S. Hoshino
E. Bastard
Denmark M. Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 279

+32 Laps

24:05'55.786

1'15.177 28    
37
AKKODIS ASP Team LMGT3
87 Japan T. Kimura
E. Masson
United Kingdom J. Hawksworth
Lexus RC F GT3 279

+32 Laps

24:06'24.548

28.762 28    
38
TF Sport LMGT3
82 Japan H. Koizumi
S. Baud
Spain D. Juncadella
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 278

+33 Laps

24:03'59.352

1 Lap 28    
39
GR RACING LMGT3
86 United Kingdom M. Wainwright Brazil D. Serra Italy R. Pera Ferrari 296 GT3 278

+33 Laps

24:04'37.912

38.560 30    
40
INCEPTION RACING LMGT3
70 United States B. Iribe United Kingdom O. Millroy Switzerland F. Schandorff McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 275

+36 Laps

24:05'30.195

3 Laps 29    
41
Manthey PureRxcing LMGT3
92
A. Malykhin
J. Sturm
Austria K. Bachler
Porsche 911 GT3 R 273

+38 Laps

24:02'03.825

2 Laps 31    
42
UNITED AUTOSPORTS USA LMP2
23 United States B. Keating Portugal F. Albuquerque United Kingdom B. Hanley Oreca 07 272

+39 Laps

24:02'19.572

1 Lap 31    
43
TF Sport LMGT3
81 Belgium T. Van Rompuy Portugal R. Andrade Ireland C. Eastwood Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 267

+44 Laps

24:05'42.545

5 Laps 29    
44
IRON LYNX LMGT3
60 Italy C. Schiavoni Italy M. Cressoni
F. Perera
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 258

+53 Laps

24:05'11.290

9 Laps 27    
45
Proton Competition HYPERCAR
99 Switzerland N. Jani United Kingdom H. Tincknell France J. Andlauer Porsche 963 251

+60 Laps

24:05'35.985

7 Laps 24    
46
Proton Competition LMGT3
77 United States R. Hardwick Canada Z. Robichon United Kingdom B. Barker Ford Mustang GT3 227

+84 Laps

24:05'56.410

24 Laps 23    
 
AF Corse HYPERCAR
83 Poland R. Kubica Israel R. Shwartzman China Y. Yifei Ferrari 499P 248

+63 Laps

19:59'07.922

  21 Retirement  
 
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
3 France S. Bourdais Netherlands R. van der Zande New Zealand S. Dixon Cadillac V-Series.R 223

+88 Laps

18:20'58.055

25 Laps 22 Retirement  
 
United Autosports LMGT3
59 J. Cottingham N. Costa Switzerland G. Saucy McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 220

+91 Laps

19:40'37.969

3 Laps 23 Retirement  
 
United Autosports LMGT3
95 H. Hamaguchi Chile N. Pino Japan M. Sato McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 212

+99 Laps

19:07'00.816

8 Laps 21 Retirement  
 
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
4 France M. Jaminet Brazil F. Nasr United Kingdom N. Tandy Porsche 963 211

+100 Laps

17:12'11.091

1 Lap 24 Retirement  
 
Heart of Racing Team LMGT3
27 United Kingdom I. James Italy D. Mancinelli Spain A. Riberas Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 196

+115 Laps

17:31'56.738

15 Laps 17 Retirement  
 
Crowdstrike Racing by APR LMP2
45 United States G. Kurtz United States C. Braun Netherlands N. Catsburg Oreca 07 149

+162 Laps

11:03'58.405

47 Laps 16 Retirement  
 
DUQUEINE TEAM LMP2
30 United States J. Falb Australia J. Allen France J. Simmenauer Oreca 07 112

+199 Laps

8:25'05.860

37 Laps 14 Retirement  
 
JMW Motorsport LMGT3
66 Italy G. Petrobelli Netherlands L. ten Voorde Turkey S. Yoluc Ferrari 296 GT3 112

+199 Laps

8:58'58.762

33'52.902 14 Retirement  
 
TEAM WRT LMGT3
46 United Kingdom A. Al Harthy Italy V. Rossi Belgium M. Martin BMW M4 GT3 109

+202 Laps

8:41'04.707

3 Laps 10 Retirement  
 
BMW M Team WRT HYPERCAR
15 Belgium D. Vanthoor Italy R. Marciello Germany M. Wittmann BMW M Hybrid V8 102

+209 Laps

6:31'36.419

7 Laps 10 Retirement  
 
BMW M Team WRT HYPERCAR
20 South Africa S. Van Der Linde Netherlands R. Frijns Germany R. Rast BMW M Hybrid V8 96

+215 Laps

24:04'37.781

6 Laps 10 Retirement  
 
Alpine Endurance Team HYPERCAR
36 France N. Lapierre Germany M. Schumacher France M. Vaxiviere Alpine A424 88

+223 Laps

5:32'33.079

8 Laps 10 Retirement  
 
Proton Competition LMP2
9 Germany J. Ried
M. Capietto
Netherlands B. Viscaal
Oreca 07 86

+225 Laps

5:41'06.181

2 Laps 10 Retirement  
 
Alpine Endurance Team HYPERCAR
35 France P. Chatin Austria F. Habsburg France C. Milesi Alpine A424 75

+236 Laps

4:42'52.956

11 Laps 8 Retirement  
 
Vista AF Corse LMGT3
54 Switzerland T. Flohr Italy F. Castellacci Italy D. Rigon Ferrari 296 GT3 30

+281 Laps

2:08'26.769

45 Laps 3 Retirement  

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