24 hours of le mans with de vries and frijns, schumacher and button

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is coming up: here's what you need to know!

14 June at 14:00
Last update 14 June at 16:30
  • Ludo van Denderen

With the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500, the Le Mans 24 Hours is one of the three monuments on the motorsport calendar. Next weekend, the 92nd edition of this endurance race is scheduled at the Circuit de la Sarthe. In the run-up to the race, GPblog likes to explain what to look out for when watching the race.

Who is the favourite for the race?

First of all, it is important to know that there are three main classes at Le Mans: the hypercars, the LMP2 and the GT cars. The overall win on Sunday will go to a hypercar, as these are the fastest cars. In advance, Porsche is the favourite, as in the previous World Endurance Championship races, cars from the German manufacturer made an excellent impression. In Qatar it took victory, in Spa customer team Jota won the race.

However, never forget Toyota. For years, the Japanese were the team to beat in WEC and also in Le Mans. In recent years, their doneness has waned, but Nyck de Vries, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi 'just won' at Imola earlier this season. Incidentally, Conway is missing from Le Mans due to injury and will be replaced by José Maria Lopez.

Ferrari, which made its entrance last year with a hypercar, was unexpectedly the best in '23. The Italians do not see themselves as favourites for the upcoming edition, but it remains a technical sport and a 24-hour race. Very much can happen in that, even another Ferrari victory. What is going to be interesting is whether a also dark horse shows up at the front. Alpine and Peugeot have started the hypercar project relatively recently, but they have been pushing hard to shine at Le Mans for some time. Will they succeed?

At Le Mans, there is a lot of talk about Balance of Performance (BoP). What exactly is that?

BoP is an important part of the Hypercar and LMGT3 regulations. BoP is defined as a set of technical adjustments, mainly related to weight and power, designed to create a level playing field between cars of different design and basis. An example: manufacturer is on average x-number of seconds faster than the average manufacturer, after which it adds extra ballast to slow down the bolide somewhat. That levels out the speed differences between manufacturers.

While it is true that the manufacturers once unanimously agreed to the introduction of BoP (new manufacturers even had it as a requirement for their participation, as they want to drive around as field fillers), it is an open secret that the top teams are not entirely happy with it. They feel they are being 'punished' for being successful and building good cars.

Are there any famous drivers competing at Le Mans?

Absolutely. One eye-catcher this year is Jenson Button, who will have a shot at victory with Jota. Also competing are former F1 drivers Nyck de Vries, Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi, Kamui Kobayashi (all Toyota), Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean (both Lamborghini), Robert Kubica (AF Corse), Antonio Giovinazzi (Ferrari), Will Stevens (Jota), Stoffel Vandoorne and Paul di Resta (both Peugeot) and Mick Schumacher (Alpine). IndyCar champion Alex Palou and his colleague Scott Dixon are competing for Cadillac. A field to savour.

How can I follow the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

The race starts at 15:00 BST on Saturday, and the finish is - of course - 24 hours later at 15:00 on Sunday. The race can be followed in its entirety on Eurosport and Discovery+.