top of page

Le Mans 24 Hours 2024 - Preview and Where to Watch?

Written by Owen Bradley

The 92nd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours gets underway on Saturday 15th June at 15:00 UK time. One of the most prestigious motorsport events of the year, the Le Mans 24 Hours, will feature many great storylines and many legendary figures of motorsport are involved in this extraordinary event.

The Circuit and Overtaking Zones to look out for

The Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans holds 38 corners for our drivers, broken up with multiple long straights, twisty and tight corners where you must be precise with car placement among other difficult chicane's to navigate. All of this, becomes exceptionally more difficult when driving under the stars, as the drivers get increasingly more tired and their energy drained.

Truthfully, the circuit is so wide in places, mixed with LMP2 and LMGT3 traffic - that there will likely be overtakes at every single corner across all classes. However, in a straight battle, the more common overtaking zones are heading into Dunlop Curve and Dunlop Chicane at Turns 1, 2 and 3, the flat-out double right-handers before a sharp left-right chicane provide the opportunity to send a car up the inside or around the outside of another, especially if a car has superior grip.

Tertre Rouge will be a corner name you may just hear a lot this year, drivers are looking to get a great exit from the corner and be propelled down the long back straight, before the chicane breaks up the momentum, allowing for the defending car to potentially regain track position on the car in front down the following straight.

Another slightly tighter chicane before yet another long run down into a slow double right-hander allows for cars to duel for position. After a tight right-hander, being careful not to run too wide and onto the grass, there is another long back straight before we approach the tighter final sector of the circuit. These are where most overtakes will likely be seen, in the first two thirds of the track.

Valentino Rossi's Le Mans Debut - LMGT3

9-Time MotoGP World Champion and MotoGP Legend, Valentino Rossi makes his Le Mans 24 Hours debut in 2024. After retiring from motorcycle racing at the end of 2021, Rossi would join Team WRT for the 2022 GT World Challenge Europe, competing in both the Sprint and Endurance Cups in an Audi. In 2023, WRT switched to BMW and Rossi would become an official BMW works driver.

2023 would see Rossi's first ever GT victory at the GTWC Misano Sprint round. Shortly after, Rossi would be entered into the 2023 Road to Le Mans races, where he would take another victory. Scoring multiple podiums in the Intercontinental GT World Challenge and the GTWCE, Rossi proved himself as a worthy candidate to enter a highly competitive Le Mans grid.

Rossi is partnered with a modern Sportscar legend, Maxime Martin. Martin is a highly experienced driver, competing in the GTWC, World Endurance, IGTC and also drives a BMW GTP Hypercar in IMSA. The pair have already taken a double podium at the GTWC Misano Sprint in 2024, whilst their Bronze rated teammate Ahmad Al-Harthy has also impressed in the WEC paddock. The #46 BMW squad is looking to bounce back after an unlucky retirement at the last WEC race in Spa.

With Rossi starting from 12th place, the team will need to fight exceptionally hard to attempt even a Top 5 finish, let alone a podium or victory. However, with threats of rain among natural Le Mans chaos, there is no reason for Qualifying to sour what will be a historic performance and a historic race for the LMGT3 category, which has seen much more attention thanks to Rossi and the draw he brings with him.

Mick Schumacher and Alpine's Le Mans Debut - Hypercar

Another famous driver and brand make their Le Mans' debut in 2024. Mick Schumacher left Formula One at the end of 2022, leaving Haas F1 and becoming the Mercedes reserve driver. Involved in the development of the Mercedes F1 team, Schumacher has cemented his own legacy and has been tied to the Mercedes F1 seat for 2025, following Lewis Hamilton's departure at the end of this year.

Schumacher is a driver with a rich track record, a Formula 2 and Formula 3 World Champion, a current Mercedes reserve and also an Alpine Endurance driver - Schumacher holds a busy racing schedule. 2024 will be Schumacher's Le Mans debut, after what has been a difficult start to the season with Alpine. Alpine have struggled somewhat this season in WEC, however Schumacher has consistently been the quickest driver and has shown great potential in his debut season in the WEC as well.

For Le Mans, Schumacher and the Alpine #36 Team start from ninth position, looking to find themselves inside the Top 5 and potentially fight for the podium places, with the sister #35 Alpine starting from sixth, it appears that Alpine do have some strong pace at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Ex-F1 stars are ready to battle one another once again - Hypercar

The 92nd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours sees a number of Ex-F1 drivers on the grid. Some of the most notable names include: Jenson Button, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Buemi, Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat, Kamui Kobayashi, Nyck De Vries among a few others.

Many of these drivers will be looking to prove themselves as the world watches on. With Le Mans taking the centre stage in terms of Motorsport coverage this weekend, current Formula One figures have already been seen in the Le Mans paddock.

Pierre Gasly and Frederic Vassuer have already been seen in the paddock during Qualifying, with other F1 drivers and figures expected to be seen as well.

Many drivers will be looking to lock in an impressive performance in their bid to secure drives in other classes and categories of motorsport, such as the aforementioned Mick Schumacher, and perhaps other young drivers like Nyck De Vries, who was removed from Formula One just last year.

With most of these drivers in different cars and teams, there is likely to be a historic and thoroughly entertaining battle between some of the most legendary drivers in Formula One and the World Endurance this weekend.

IndyCar and Formula E drivers join a star-studded grid - Hypercar

Among the Formula One legends and MotoGP Legend Valentino Rossi - current IndyCar and Formula E drivers also join the battle at Le Mans and add to the star-studded grid that 2024 has managed to pull in.

From the IndyCar field, Alex Palou joins the #2 Cadillac team, who line up on the front row of the grid because of Palou's incredibly fast lap time in Hyperpole. Sebastien Bourdais, who is a familiar face in the IndyCar, Formula One and IMSA paddocks, also returns to his home race at Le Mans, the Frenchman qualifying in third place for the #3 Cadillac squad.

Callum Illott entered the World Endurance Championship after being suddenly released from Juncos Hollinger Racing at the end of the 2023 IndyCar season. Joining Jota Sport Porsche for the 2024 WEC season, Illott has already impressed many people, scoring a victory at the last WEC race, the 6 Hours of Spa.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastien Buemi also join the Le Mans 24 Hours, with Buemi having won the event multiple times and proving himself as a veteran of motorsport, competing in many high-class racing series.

Who are the favourites to win?

As previously mentioned, the #6 Porsche team driven by Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Andre Lotterer will line up in Pole Position for the Hypercar class, and naturally place themselves as the favourites for victory. However, with both Cadillac's behind them, it will likely be a tough battle to keep the Cadillac's behind, who will likely work as a team to ensure at least one of those cars are able to win the race.

The #15 BMW will be starting from eighth place, which sounds like a ridiculous position to be considered as one of the favourites. However, before crashing in Hyperpole, the BMW #15 team were on course for a potential Top 3 qualifying position.

With their lap times deleted for causing a red flag, it leaves the team with a lot of work to do. However, with a 24-hour endurance race, many events can take place. As long as the BMW team are able to keep themselves out of trouble, there is potential for them to cut through the field.

Both Ferrari's #50 and the 2023 Winners, the #51 Ferrari team, must be among the favourites to win as well. Both cars qualified inside the top five, and have looked strong on pace so far in the WEC season. What has let the team down, is their strategies.

However, with both cars placed outside the podium places, they have everything to gain in the race. Perhaps a more aggressive and action-orientated strategy might help the team and motivate everyone on the pit wall.

Where to Watch? If you are a UK viewer - Discovery+ will be showing coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours, as will Eurosport. In the U.S. the Le Mans 24 Hours will be streamed on Max.


bottom of page