The 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans Is Anyone’s Race, Just How We Like It

With five different manufacturers starting in the top six, the stakes are high at this year's Le Mans.
The No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport, Porsche 963 of Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, and Laurens Vanthoor in the pits during Le Mans Practice and Qualifying at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 13, 2024 in Le Mans, France.
The pole-sitting No. 6 Porsche Penske 963 hypercar. James Moy Photography/Getty Images

The 92nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off at 10 a.m. Eastern time, or 4 p.m. local, on Saturday, June 15. To say it figures to be a good race is an understatement. After 2023’s whirlwind event, in which Ferrari took the overall win in its first year back, there are even more players. And if the past week of practices and qualifiers has told us anything, it’s that it’ll very much be anyone’s race.

Consider that the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid was the quickest top-class car in practice through most of the week, including in last night’s final session—but a Toyota isn’t our pole sitter. In fact, they’re not even in the top 10, due to mistakes and poor luck in quali. The No. 15 BMW M Hybrid V8 driven by Dries Vanthoor led the first qualifying session, earning it entry into the Hyperpole shootout on Thursday, right up until a crash took it out of contention. In the end, the No. 6 Porsche Penske 963 will start at the front of a field of 23 hypercars, and 62 cars total, after narrowly beating the lead No. 3 Cadillac V.Series R by less than two tenths of a second.

The field is still so close, even with some of the cars that have notched the quickest times of the week starting in the middle or back of the pack. Both of defending champ Ferrari’s entrants are right behind the second-place No. 3 Caddy, and behind them is an Alpine. And since we’re talking about a day-long race, the final result is guaranteed to come down to a lot more than speed alone. Don’t forget: it always rains at Le Mans.

This is the kind of Le Mans I’ve been waiting for, frankly, for decades: a sea of major manufacturer support in the premier class, and considerable parity within it. It’s so far beyond the Audi-versus-Peugeot battle of the latter aughts, and it’s at least right up there with the late-’90s heyday of open and closed-cockpit prototypes, too. This is to say nothing of the GT battle, either, which frankly carried the 24-hour event in the lull of Toyota’s single-factory dominance. There, we have five different cars at the front of the pack, led by Inception Racing’s McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo. And starting fourth in that class, for the first time in a very long time at Le Mans, is a Mustang.

You can see the full starting grid below, though be advised that the list begins with the back of the order.

The official provisional starting grid for the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Here in the States, you can catch the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans streaming on Max via the B/R Sports Hub, which currently comes with a free trial of the platform. For those with a live TV subscription, you’ll want to flip over to MotorTrend.

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