Discover the starting grid for the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans

Discover the starting grid for the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans
Discover the starting grid for the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans

Porsche, a surprise Hyperpole?

Let’s start with the premier category, the Hypercar. No manufacturer really seems to dominate the pack. If the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 of Kévin Estre/André Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor won the Hyperpole thanks to the first named, it was never seen at the top of the timesheet this week during the other sessions. You have to look at the verdict from Sunday’s Test Day to find her at such a party. Since then, it was Toyota which first took the lead with the GR010 Hybrid #8 of Sébastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa, during the first two free practice sessions. Then we found the #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 of Dries Vanthoor/Raffaele Marciello/Marco Wittmann, best in qualifying, and finally the #50 Ferrari 499P of Antonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen, before a final cool and rainy session with the Toyota GR010 Hybrid #8 at the controls.

Remarkably, the #6 Porsche is the only one – along with the #2 Cadillac V-Series.R – to have improved its absolute best time between the qualifying session and the Hyperpole. A detail ? Maybe not. Contested in cooler conditions on Thursday, with a heavier sky, the Hyperpole brought together elements which seem to better suit the 963. For comparison, the times had dropped by two seconds between the two sessions in 2023.

We should also not minimize the effort made by Kévin Estre, who knows how to be decisive in strong moments. “ It was a very complicated Hyperpolis. We had to save energy and get the tires up to temperature. It was stressful because, after the red flag, we knew it was going to be just two laps, explains the Porsche driver. I had good instructions from the pit wall. The incredible car to drive on less fuel. I had to overtake an LMP2 at Indianapolis and it cost me a little time, but I undoubtedly gained some with the slipstream. The trick was not far from perfect. It’s really a great feeling to be here in pole position for the biggest endurance race in the world. The team did an exceptional job compared to our position last year. We have changed planets. Now there are 24 hours of racing ahead of us, so everything remains to be done. »

The #6 Porsche 963 will start first. A privilege which allows – sometimes – to prevail. In more than 20% of past editions, the car that started first has won (since the introduction of pole position in 1963).


And Cadillac? the V-Series.R #2 of Earl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Alex Palou, second after the Hyperpole, will however start in seventh place because of a penalty. This was imposed following the accident for which Earl Bamber was found responsible at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, leading to an interruption of the race. The American brand almost won the Hyperpole with Sébastien Bourdais (Cadillac V-Series.R #3). Last year, Cadillac took its three cars to the finish (third, fourth, seventeenth). For 2024, the goal is victory.

Note that, on the side of the outgoing winners, they will have to deal with a handicap from the start. Two Ferrari 499Ps (the #50 and the #83) will have to remain parked for ten seconds more at their first refueling during the race, for non-compliance with the stopping procedure during practice. Ten seconds which will probably have an impact during the first burst of passages through the pits.

Louis Delétraz at the top of his art?

The LMP2 category only sees Oreca 07 chassis with Gibson engines competing. A one-design that pushes teams to look for the best settings. For pilots, this is also an important element. Every individual performance is noticed. In this game, we know, Louis Delétraz is a driver you can count on. Winner in March of the 12 Hours of Sebring, double European Le Mans Series (ELMS) champion, titled in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Swiss is already a reference in endurance. His rich experience in single-seaters – from Formula BMW to F2 including a role as reserve driver in F1 – make him a valuable asset when chasing the time. On the Oreca 07-Gibson #14 AO by TF, he makes up a crew with PJ Hyett and Alex Quinn among the favorites.

Louis Delétraz concentrates before the start of the Hyperpole session. Versatile, he won the 12 Hours of Sebring this year with an Acura AR-06 from the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti team.

Alexis GOURE (ACO)

On the eve of the start, however, it is very difficult to give a favorite as the individual performances are remarkable. The 14 best absolute times in the category come from drivers on… 14 different cars. This shows that one crew does not dominate the others. It is complementarity that will be the key this weekend, once again.

McLaren returns to the forefront of LMGT3

In 1995, McLaren created a surprise by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its first attempt. Almost 30 years later, thanks to the LMGT3 regulations, McLaren returns (the last appearance of the F1 GTR dates back to 1998). And this return is a celebration. With three chassis entered, the British manufacturer is solidly armed. Brendan Iribe brought deliverance with the Hyperpole. But we should not underestimate Lexus and Ford, which we also often see up front. Like the Hypercar, the LMGT3 category also has 23 entries, and also nine brands. The starting grid reflects a first hierarchy, but, remember, this category is new in Sarthe.

McLaren knows how to make history. With the overall victory in 1995, and why not also with a category success during this 92nd edition, the first seeing LMGT3s at the start?




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