The 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours marks the daybreak of a brand new period for the world’s oldest and most well-known endurance race, because the Hypercar class replaces LMP1 as the highest of the endurance racing pyramid.
Toyota goes into the occasion aiming to take a fourth straight victory, having been the dominant power at Le Mans for the reason that withdrawal of Porsche in 2017. The Japanese marque is unbeaten with its new GR010 HYBRID, which has gained every of the three previous rounds of the World Endurance Championship at Spa, Portimao and Monza, however the problem of 24 hours on the dauntingly quick 8.47-mile circuit will throw up challenges that the automotive has not encountered earlier than and will current alternatives for others to capitalise.
It is fundamental opposition comes from boutique sportscar producer Glickenhaus, the brand new Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 LMH topping the check day instances courtesy of a late effort from Olivier Pla that was 0.225s quicker than the very best Toyota effort. With the assist of 16-time Le Mans successful outfit Joest Racing, it has loads of pedigree to fall again on, even when that is the American firm’s first crack on the world’s most well-known endurance race.
Alpine is the third producer within the class, operating a grandfathered LMP1 automotive that competed final yr because the Riot-run ORECA R13, which lapped 0.996s off the tempo within the check. Primarily based on an LMP2-spec ORECA, its smaller gas tank is more likely to imply it will probably’t run as lengthy on gas as its newer rivals, however reliability could possibly be its calling card with restricted opposition within the prime class.
Elsewhere Corvette Racing returns to tackle Ferrari and Porsche in GTE Professional with its C8.R making its first go to to Le Mans after lacking the occasion final yr, whereas 11 ex-Method 1 drivers are amongst a packed 25-car subject within the LMP2 subject.
#709 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 LMH Hypercar, Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Romain Dumas
Picture by: Paul Foster
When is the Le Mans 24 Hours?
Date: Saturday twenty first August 2021 – Sunday twenty second August 2021
Begin time: 3:00pm BST, 4:00pm native time
The Le Mans 24 Hours returns to its conventional 4pm start-time after being moved ahead by 90 minutes in 2020.
Lengthy gone are the times when drivers would line up reverse their automobiles and dash throughout the observe earlier than leaping in, belting up and blasting away. Following a deadly crash for beginner driver John Woolfe on the opening lap of the 1969 race, made well-known by Jacky Ickx protesting the unsafe situations by strolling to his automotive, race organisers reverted to the now-common rolling begin.
Ferrari chairman John Elkann will wave the French flag to indicate the beginning of the race on Saturday after the automobiles have lined up on the grid and noticed the French nationwide anthem.
How can I watch the Le Mans 24 Hours?
The complete 24 Hours of Le Mans, together with the observe and qualifying classes, is accessible to observe by way of Eurosport. A month-to-month bundle that enables followers to observe in HD on a number of gadgets, with entry to on demand movies and a multicamera view, prices £6.99, or there’s an choice to buy a yearly cross for £29.99.
Protection begins on Wednesday with Eurosport 2 exhibiting Qualifying Apply at 5:45 pm, with Free Apply 2 following at 8:00 pm.
On Thursday, Eurosport 2 will present Free Apply 3 at 1pm, the Hyperpole qualifying session at 7:50pm and Free Apply 4 at 8:45pm.
Following Friday’s relaxation day, Eurosport 1 will carry the warmup at 10:15am on Saturday, with full protection of the race starting at 2:15pm and carrying via to three:30pm on Sunday.
#46 Staff Venture 1 Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE Am, Dennis Olsen, Anders Buchardt, Robert Foley
Picture by: Paul Foster
Entry to dwell protection may also be bought by way of the FIA World Endurance Championship app.
Freeview channel Quest will present buildup and the race begin from 2:15pm till 5:00pm, and resume for the ultimate two hours from 1:00pm.
Autosport’s crew of journalists will present a dwell textual content weblog of the race, in addition to information updates and options on Autosport.com.
Full protection: Eurosport 2 (Sky channel 411, BT Sport channel 486) –
Wednesday 18 August 5:45pm (Qualifying), 8:00pm Free Apply 2
Thursday 19 August 1:00pm (Free Apply 3), 7:50pm (Hyperpole), 8:45pm (Free Apply 4)
Full protection: Eurosport 1 (Sky channel 410, BT Sport channel 485)
Saturday 21 August 10:15am (Warmup); 2:15pm (Race).
Free protection: Quest – Saturday twenty first August 2:15pm, Sunday twenty second August 1:00pm (Freeview channel 12)
Will the Le Mans 24 Hours be on radio?
Radio Le Mans will carry full protection of all observe classes and the race. The station has been operating for over 30 years, and is famend for its presence within the pitlane at each main ACO-governed sportscar race. For extra details about Radio Le Mans, click here.
What’s the climate forecast for the Le Mans 24 Hours?
The climate for the Le Mans 24 Hours is scheduled to be dry and sunny, with highs of 28 levels C throughout the late afternoon on Saturday.
Sunday is ready to be barely cooler, with highs of 25 levels C.
Apply and qualifying on Wednesday and Thursday is scheduled to be overcast, with highs of 21 levels C on Wednesday and 23 levels C on Thursday.