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From Buemi to de Vries, who are the Formula E drivers racing at Le Mans this weekend?

Written by Vyas Ponnuri


In just a few days, the 92nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be underway. Drivers from around the world will descend on the holy shrine in motorsport located in the north-west of France. DIVEBOMB takes a look at some Formula E drivers taking part in Le Mans this year, past or present.


Norman Nato - #12 Hertz Team JOTA hypercar


Apart from serving as an Andretti racer, one-time race winner Norman Nato pilots the #12 Hertz Team JOTA car in the World Endurance Championship, alongside Callum Ilott and Will Stevens, who has become an endurance regular ever since his Formula One stint ended in 2015.


Nato's sportscar racing roots stretch back to 2018, when he moved from Formula 2 to the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), driving for SMP Racing in the LMP2 class. This move would also open up a chance to race in Le Mans, with Nato finishing tenth in his class.


After a successful ELMS stint, Nato would step up to the premier class of endurance racing, racing for TDS Racing in LMP2 in 2019, before stepping up to the LMP1s.


Wins at Shanghai and the Lone Star Le Mans in COTA during the 2019-20 season alongside former Formula One racer Bruno Senna, and Gustavo Menezes took the trio of drivers to third in the championship, only behind the two Toyota LMP1s.


For 2024, with Yifei Ye off to pilot the #83 AF Corse Ferrari hypercar, and Antonio Felix Da Costa stepping back to fulfill his Formula E commitments, Nato was signed to race for the team from Tunbridge Wells, alongside Ilott and Stevens.


It's fair to say the team have discovered a rich vein of form in 2024, having won the most recent outing at Spa after a lengthy red flag delay halted the race with one hour and 40 minutes to go.


The result put them second in the standings, backing up their runners-up finish at the season opener in Qatar, and they will fancy a shot at winning the greatest endurance race in history for the first time, and etch JOTA Sport into the list of Le Mans winners.



Nico Muller, Jean-Eric Vergne - #93 Peugeot TotalEnergies hypercar


What's better than one Formula E racer on an endurance team? Yes, two of them. DS Penske racer Jean-Eric Vergne and ABT Cupra racer Nico Muller joined forces to pilot one of the closely-watched hypercars in 2024, as the French team continued to experiment racing a hypercar without a rear wing.


However, the team realised the requirements of the new regulations required shifting to a more conventional design to remain competitive, and revealed a revised version of the Peugeot 9x8 hypercar after the season opener in Qatar, which did feature a race wing, and featured wider rear tyres.


Vergne has become a household name in Formula E, but hasn't quite set the endurance racing field alight in the same manner.


His second Le Mans event in 2018 would be a controversial one — his team G Drive Racing stripped of victory after the team were discovered to have been using illegal refuelling rigs to lessen the time lost in the pits during the race.


After three further years in the second tier of endurance racing, Vergne would receive a call-up to race for Peugeot from the fourth round of the 2022 WEC season, piloting the #93 hypercar till date.


Muller, on the other hand, has a wealth of experience in endurance racing, a regular entrant in the famous 24 Hours of Nurburgring, even winning the race in 2015. The Swiss racer has been in and around regional endurance series, and first took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017.


Muller made his hypercar debut in 2022, driving the #94 Peugeot for the final round of the season at Bahrain, before his first full season in 2023. He now races the #93 car alongside Vergne and Jensen.


The #93 experienced agony at Qatar, slowing down on the penultimate lap, with Vergne limping across the line, before the entry was disqualified for using ERS below the minimum speed. The team have been in the lower reaches of the points at Imola and Spa-Francorchamps, and will be eyeing a big result to reboot their season at their home race, the most popular endurance race of all.



Stoffel Vandoorne - #94 Peugeot TotalEnergies hypercar


Vergne's DS Penske teammate Vandoorne races the #94 hypercar, alongside former Force India racer Paul Di Resta and endurance veteran Loïc Duval, who won at Le Mans over a decade ago, back in 2013.


Vandoorne's WEC journey began only after his departure from the McLaren Formula One team in 2018, after a difficult season for the Woking-based team.


The Belgian racer stepped in for two races at SMP Racing, finishing third at Le Mans alongside co-drivers Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin, in the LMP1 class.


Vandoorne would race for JOTA Sport in 2021, piloting their LMP2 entries across endurance series, finishing second in the World Endurance Championship, including a runners-up finish at Le Mans for the team, driving alongside former F2 racer Sean Gelael and former Formula E racer Tom Blomqvist.


He would be signed on Peugeot's reserves ahead of their hypercar entry in 2022, and despite missing testing at Bahrain due to appendicitis, received his opportunity at Fuji a year later, stepping in for teammate Muller in the #94 hypercar, the latter recovering from a collarbone injury.


A steady showing would translate into seventh in Fuji, before Vandoorne stepped up to become a full-time driver in 2024, alongside Di Resta and Duval, and will be looking to make the difference for the #94 compared to 2023, and eye a strong result this time around.



Sebastian Buemi - #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing hypercar


You think of a successful driver around the mighty 13.6 km (8.4 mi) Le Mans circuit in the modern era, and Sebastian Buemi is one name who spring to mind. Four Le Mans victories, and second to the #51 Ferrari in 2023, he's a strong indicator of Toyota's recent reign over the historic motor race.


The Swiss racer has been another driver who didn't find his feet in Formula One, but made his name in Formula E, winning a championship, yet it is his endurance racing accolades he is best known for.


Four times a winner of the World Endurance Championship, four times a Le Mans winner, and a cornerstone in Toyota's dominant run of endurance championships certainly solidify his place as an endurance stalwart.


Buemi once again enters the race with his compatriots Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, his teammates for the third successive season, as they chase a third successive championship, and Buemi his fifth win at Le Mans.


Only five racers have gone on to capture glory at Le Mans five times or more, and Buemi has a chance to cement his name among the Le Mans greats, a stupendous feat considering the sheer number of racers to have taken to the circuit.


There's also the small matter of redemption — the #8 Toyota ran the winning #51 Ferrari close for most part of the race, before a spin for Hirakawa effectively handed the win to Ferrari. Victory would be the perfect way to redeem themselves, and make up for a slow start to the season.



Nyck de Vries - #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing hypercar


While one Toyota trio are finding their groove, the other trio are roaring, looking to close down the two ahead. Yes, it is the #7 Toyota hypercar raced by Mahindra Formula E driver Nyck de Vries, with Briton Mike Conway and team principal Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel.


However, a cycling incident for Conway ruled him out of the biggest race, with former Toyota racer Jose Maria Lopez filling in as a super sub.


A Toyota hypercar seat is among the most lucrative ones in motorsport, and it forms part of de Vries' comeback in 2024. The 2021 Formula E champion is one of eight to juggle his endurance racing commitments with Formula E.


Believe it or not, this isn't de Vries first time in the championship. The Dutchman was signed by his home team, Racing Team Nederland, in 2018, and won the 6 Hours of Fuji for them, taking the chequered flag.


He later served as Toyota's test and reserve driver, being in line to take a seat at the team in 2023, before signing for AlphaTauri in a bid to chase a childhood dream. After being axed by the team midway through the season, de Vries was announced by Toyota as their driver for the #7 hypercar in 2024, replacing Lopez.


While this isn't the usual Toyota dominance we're used to seeing, the trio of de Vries, Conway, and Kobayashi sit third in the standings, the highlight being their victory in Imola, the #7 crew nailing the changing conditions to snatch victory from underneath Ferrari's nose.


A Le Mans victory would put them in firm contention going into the second half of the season, with the greater points scores aiding their charge in closing down the gap to the Porsche duo ahead.



Edoardo Mortara - #63 Lamborghini Iron Lynx hypercar


Last, but not the least, two Formula E racers have received spots at new hypercar entries for 2024. One of them is Mahindra racer Edoardo Mortara, driving the #63 Lamborghini hypercar alongside former AlphaTauri racer Daniil Kvyat, and sportscar racing veteran Mirko Bortolotti.


Mortara is a sportscar racing stalwart himself, having raced in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) between 2011 and 2018, and is no slouch to endurance racing either, having raced the 24 Hours of Nurburgring four times, his most recent appearance being last year.


Mortara is also known as the King of Macau, having won as many as ten races around the narrow streets of the town, including three successive GT Races from 2011 to 2013, two Formula Three Main races and qualification races between 2008 and 2010, and GT World Cup qualification and main races in 2017.


Mortara's stellar track record across endurance series gave Lamborghini the confidence to bring him into their stable for the 2024 season. Despite a slow start to their hypercar career, the Italian manufacturer continue to gain experience, heading into their first Le Mans weekend.



Robin Frijns - #20 BMW M Team WRT hypercar


Another new entry into the hypercar class for 2024, BMW have fielded two hypercars, and Frijns races the #20 alongside former McLaren and Audi Formula E racer Rene Rast and DTM racer Sheldon van der Linde.


Frijns is an experienced sportscar racer, having won the Blancpain GT Cup in his inaugural season in 2015. He was unable to defend his cup the following year, although he wrested it back in 2017, due to misfortunes for rivals.


The Dutchman has also raced in DTM series for three seasons. Frijns is also a regular participant of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race, having won the 2022 running for Audi.


The BMW racer also boasts of one Le Mans championship, having triumphed for Team WRT in the LMP2 class back in 2022, winning Le Mans on his way to championship glory. Heading into his fourth season of WEC, he knows what it's like to triumph around this configuration, and will be looking to pick up more points for BMW.


The German manufacturer would take encouragement from sixth place earlier this season at Imola, and scoring points on hypercar debut at Qatar. Despite finishing13th at Spa, the team will look to bank on their drivers to deliver another points score on the biggest stage of all.


These eight names form part of the Formula E contingent racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, with ABT Cupra stand-in Kelvin van der Linde making it nine from the 2024 roster. The South African races the #78 Lexus in the LMGT3 class, alongside Timor Bugoslavskiy and Frenchman Arnold Robin.


But, did you know of some former Formula E racers taking part in this year's running of the endurance race?


de Vries teammates Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez have raced in Formula E before, the former driving two races for Andretti's Formula E operations in the 2017-18 season, while the latter has started 33 Formula E races across three seasons, his best finish being ninth in the 2016-17 season, Lopez's debut season, in fact.


You cannot miss Andre Lotterer when you mention Formula E and WEC in the same sentence. The German is an endurance specialist for Porsche, although he's also a vastly experienced Formula E driver, with 81 starts to his name for Techeetah, Porsche, and Andretti, scoring two poles, and eight podium finishes across six seasons.


Frijns' BMW teammate Rene Rast too raced for Audi's Formula E team in the shortened 2019-20 season, filling in for a suspended Daniel Abt for the final six rounds. Rast also raced for NEOM McLaren in their debut season in 2023, scoring a podium early on at Diriyah.


Cadillac hypercar racer Alex Lynn has raced for Mahindra, Jaguar, and Envision Virgin for the best part of four Formula E seasons. The Great Dunmov native started 42 races, his best moment being a home victory at London's ExCel Arena for Mahindra Racing, in a topsy-turvy season.


2023 Le Mans winner Antonio Giovinazzi is popularly known for his three-year stint as an Alfa Romeo Sauber racer, but he also raced for Dragon Penske in Formula E right after leaving Formula One, partnering Sergio Sette Camara in 2022.


Proton Competition racer Neel Jani too raced in the all-electric racing series, driving two seasons for Dragon Racing and Porsche between 2017 and 2019, scoring eight points in his Formula E career.



That wraps up the Formula E contingent, past and present, racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. Whom will you be rooting for? Do let us know in the comments below.





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