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Race report
Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24h, H3: Ferrari leads as shower disrupts Hypercar battle

Ferrari leads the 24 Hours of Le Mans after diverging tyre strategies during a shower that scattered the Hypercar class.

#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye

The World Endurance Championship race has been shaped by a sudden shower at 5:38pm, before which the Nicklas Nielsen's #50 Ferrari led Laurens Vanthoor's #6 Porsche, Antonio Giovinazzi's #51 Ferrari and Sebastien Buemi's #8 Toyota.

The Italian and the Swiss had previously overtaken Sebastien Bourdais' Cadillac, respectively round the outside at Mulsanne and on the Mulsanne straight.

Although the track wasn't soaked, the shower was substantial enough to result in a noticeable loss of grip, with the #8 Toyota, both Alpines and the #3 Cadillac pitting for wet-weather tyres straight away.

It initially seemed like this strategy might work out as they were several seconds a lap faster than their rivals, and most of the Hypercar class emulated them in the following two laps.

Philippe Sinault, Team Principal, Alpine Endurance Team
#47 Cool Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Naveen Rao, Matthew Bell, Frederik Vesti
Atmosphere
#85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2: Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey
#25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Matthias Kaiser, Olli Caldwell, Roman De Angelis
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco
#45 Crowdstrike Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: George Kurtz, Colin Braun, Nicky Catsburg
#85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2: Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey
Zinedine Zidane
#77 Proton Competition Ford Mustang LMGT3: Ryan Hardwick, Zacharie Robichon, Benjamin Barker
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Miguel Molina
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari F1
#70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo: Brendan Iribe, Ollie Millroy, Frederik Schandorff
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Miguel Molina
Timo Bernhard
Yannick Noah
#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann.
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen
Esteban Ocon, Alpine
Hertz Team Jota mechanic
Alpine Endurance Team mechanics
Sophia Florsch
Zinedine Zidane
Esteban Ocon, Alpine
Sophia Florsch
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Miguel Molina
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari F1, Philippe Sinault, Team Principal d'Alpine Endurance Team
Ferrari AF Corse team member
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari F1
Carlos Tavares, CEO Stellantis
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari F1
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen
#20 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Robin Frijns
#20 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Sheldon Van Der Linde, Robin Frijns, Rene Rast
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa
#5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki
#20 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Sheldon Van Der Linde, Robin Frijns, Rene Rast
#63 Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63: Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat, Edoardo Mortara
#3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R
#3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R
Hertz Team Jota team member
BMW M Team WRT team member
#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann.
#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor
#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Nicklas Nielsen
#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Nicklas Nielsen
#12 Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963: William Stevens, Norman Nato, Callum Ilott
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa
David Richards, chairman of Prodrive
The Patrouille de France flies over the grid
Start action
#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen
#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen, #51 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi
#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi
#183 AF Corse Oreca 07: Gibson: Francois Perrodo, Ben Barnicoat, Nicolas Varrone
Ferrari AF Corse mechanic with rain tires
#3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Sebastien Bourdais, Renger Van Der Zande, Scott Dixon
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Shwartzman
#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor
#3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Sebastien Bourdais, Renger Van Der Zande, Scott Dixon
#5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki
A fan
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco
#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre
#20 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Sheldon Van Der Linde, Robin Frijns, Rene Rast
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa
#46 Team WRT BMW M4 LMGT3: Ahmad Al Harthy, Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin
#12 Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963: William Stevens, Norman Nato, Callum Ilott
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi, Nyck De Vries
#37 Cool Racing Oreca 07: Gibson: Lorenzo Fluxa, Malthe Jakobsen, Ritomo Miyata
#70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo: Brendan Iribe, Ollie Millroy, Frederik Schandorff
#5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#36 Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424: Nicolas Lapierre, Mick Schumacher, Matthieu Vaxiviere
#11 Isotta Fraschini Isotta Fraschini Type6-C: Carl Wattana Bennett, Jean-Karl Vernay, Antonio Serravalle
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa
#63 Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63: Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat, Edoardo Mortara
Michelin member at work
#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann.
#5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki
#311 Whelen Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Pipo Derani, Jack Aitken, Felipe Drugovich
#85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2: Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 LMGT3: Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, Davide Rigon
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi
#54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 LMGT3: Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, Davide Rigon
#91 Manthey Ema Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3: Yasser Shahin
#33 DKR Engineering Oreca 07 Gibson: Alexander Mattschull, Rene Binder, Laurents Horr
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#155 Spirit: Race Ferrari 296 LMGT3: Johnny Laursen, Conrad Laursen, Jordan Taylor
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Giovinazzi
Ferrari AF Corse mechanic at work
#5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa
#4 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Mathieu Jaminet, Felipe Nasr, Nick Tandy
#4 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Mathieu Jaminet, Felipe Nasr, Nick Tandy
#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi
#50 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen, #51 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi
113

However, the #83 and #50 Ferraris, #12 and #5 Porsche, #19 and #63 Lamborghinis opted to brave those tricky track conditions on slick tyres.

This gamble proved to be the right one as the other cars grudgingly came back in to put slick tyres back on – this was their fourth pitstops when the lead cars were on two.

The only exception was the #20 BMW, which the WRT team decided to keep on track with grooved tyres until its next stop – before Robin Frijns lost control after bouncing off a kerb at the Ford chicane and crashed the car at 6:23pm. The right-rear corner was damaged, and Frijns had to go around the lap at snail's pace, taking no less than eight minutes to get back to the pitlane.

 

Meanwhile, two Ferraris were battling it out for the outright lead, with Robert Kubica making a mistake at Mulsanne in the #83 car and resisting an assault from Nielsen, with the #50 499P having served a ten-second penalty for an unsafe release with the #3 Cadillac earlier. Nielsen found a way past shortly after, taking first position at 5:59pm.

However, the pecking order evolved further as lead cars pitted during a slow zone, with the #50 losing tens of seconds to the #83 and the #5 Porsche as well.

Robert Shwartzman took the lead at the wheel of the #83 Ferrari, gradually increasing what initially was a meagre gap to Michael Christensen's #5 Porsche to more than 25 seconds.

On the other hand, Antonio Fuoco has been the faster of the three and brought the gap down to 35 seconds with the lead car in the #50 Ferrari, setting the fastest lap so far in the process – 3m29.208, more than 1.4s quicker than anyone else. He subsequently pitted after the third hour, as did the #5 Porsche.

This temporarily elevated the #8 Toyota to second place and the #51 Ferrari to fourth, with Sebastien Buemi's car the first of those which pitted for wet-weather tyres, thanks to a remarkable three-hour stint.

Further in Hypercar, the Peugeot #94 had an early second pitstop and subsequently had to serve a drive-through penalty due to a slow-zone infringement by Loic Duval.

In the LMP2 class, Inter Europol's #34 ORECA took the lead shortly before 7pm after Clement Novalak overtook Vector Sport's #10 machine driven by Ryan Cullen, with other cars close to a minute behind.

The start of the race was one to forget for Cool Racing's #47 car as Naveen Rao spun at the Dunlop chicane before colliding with Thomas Flohr's #54 AF Corse GT3 Ferrari, which the Swiss driver got a drive-through penalty for.

Flohr also crashed out at the Dunlop chicane at 6:09pm, causing the aforementioned slow zone.

 

Although Larry ten Voorde built a comfortable GT3 lead at the wheel of JMW's #66 Ferrari, the car dropped back somewhat when Salih Yoluc took over, and the #91 Porsche run by Manthey Racing is now in the lead, driven by Morris Schuring.

Le Mans 24 Hours 2024, Hour 3 results

POS # CLASS TEAM CAR LAPS GAPS PITS
1 83 Hypercar H AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 499P
48 - 3
2 8 Hypercar H TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
 
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid
48 1:21.477 5
3 5 Hypercar H PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT
 
Porsche 963
48 1:29.228 4
4 51 Hypercar H FERRARI AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 499P
47 1:45.238 5
5 (+1) 50 Hypercar H FERRARI AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 499P
47 1:46.859 4
6 12 Hypercar H HERTZ TEAM JOTA
 
Porsche 963
47 1:47.463 4
7 7 Hypercar H TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
 
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid
47 1:49.334 5
8 19 Hypercar H LAMBORGHINI IRON LYNX
 
Lamborghini SC63
47 1:55.895 3
9 4 Hypercar H PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT
 
Porsche 963
47 2:18.120 5
10 6 Hypercar H PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT
 
Porsche 963
47 2:20.400 5
11 311 Hypercar H WHELEN CADILLAC RACING
 
Cadillac V-Series.R
47 2:21.446 5
12 38 Hypercar H HERTZ TEAM JOTA
 
Porsche 963
47 2:27.669 5
13 3 Hypercar H CADILLAC RACING
 
Cadillac V-Series.R
47 2:43.805 5
14 36 Hypercar H ALPINE ENDURANCE TEAM
 
Alpine A424
47 2:47.419 5
15 63 Hypercar H LAMBORGHINI IRON LYNX
 
Lamborghini SC63
47 3:10.543 4
16 15 Hypercar H BMW M TEAM WRT
 
BMW M HYBRID V8
47 3:17.400 4
17 2 Hypercar H CADILLAC RACING
 
Cadillac V-Series.R
47 3:23.610 5
18 35 Hypercar H ALPINE ENDURANCE TEAM
 
Alpine A424
47 0.596 5
19 93 Hypercar H PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES
 
Peugeot 9X8
47 7.093 5
20 94 Hypercar H PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES
 
Peugeot 9X8
47 1:01.078 6
21 11 Hypercar H ISOTTA FRASCHINI
 
Isotta Fraschini Tipo6-C
46 2 laps 5
22 34 LM P2 INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 3 laps 4
23 10 LM P2 VECTOR SPORT
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 2:29.317 4
24 37 LM P2 COOL RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 3:21.836 5
25 22 LM P2 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 3:24.363 5
26 183 LM P2 P/A AF CORSE
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 21.240 5
27 28 LM P2 IDEC SPORT
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 37.779 5
28 9 LM P2 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 1:10.636 6
29 99 Hypercar H PROTON COMPETITION
 
Porsche 963
45 26.827 6
30 24 LM P2 NIELSEN RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
45 1:40.662 5
31 30 LM P2 P/A DUQUEINE TEAM
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
44 4 laps 5
32 (+1) 14 LM P2 P/A AO BY TF
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
44 1:40.662 4
33 33 LM P2 P/A DKR ENGINEERING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
44 3:15.447 4
34 65 LM P2 P/A PANIS RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
44 4.466 5
35 45 LM P2 P/A CROWDSTRIKE RACING BY APR
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
44 13.666 5
36 25 LM P2 ALGARVE PRO RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
43 5 laps 5
37 91 LMGT3 MANTHEY EMA
 
Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3
42 6 laps 4
38 46 LMGT3 TEAM WRT
 
BMW M4 LMGT3
42 5.934 4
39 87 LMGT3 AKKODIS ASP TEAM
 
Lexus RC F LMGT3
42 6.195 4
40 66 LMGT3 JMW MOTORSPORT
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
42 11.792 4
41 86 LMGT3 GR RACING
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
42 25.982 4
42 85 LMGT3 IRON DAMES
 
Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2
42 29.199 4
43 59 LMGT3 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
 
McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
42 38.628 4
44 92 LMGT3 MANTHEY PURERXCING
 
Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3
42 39.898 5
45 95 LMGT3 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
 
McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
42 43.422 5
46 77 LMGT3 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Ford Mustang LMGT3
42 45.676 4
47 44 LMGT3 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Ford Mustang LMGT3
42 1:01.747 4
48 88 LMGT3 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Ford Mustang LMGT3
42 1:21.862 5
49 27 LMGT3 HEART OF RACING TEAM
 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3
42 48.220 4
50 55 LMGT3 VISTA AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
42 1:32.020 4
51 70 LMGT3 INCEPTION RACING
 
McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
41 7 laps 5
52 81 LMGT3 TF SPORT
 
Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R
41 1:55.606 4
53 155 LMGT3 SPIRIT OF RACE
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
41 2:27.196 5
54 31 LMGT3 TEAM WRT
 
BMW M4 LMGT3
41 2:37.501 4
55 78 LMGT3 AKKODIS ASP TEAM
 
Lexus RC F LMGT3
41 3:00.635 4
56 777 LMGT3 D'STATION RACING
 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3
41 3:29.413 5
57 82 LMGT3 TF SPORT
 
Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R
41 3:31.274 4
58 60 LMGT3 IRON LYNX
 
Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2
41 17.380 4
59 20 Hypercar H BMW M TEAM WRT
 
BMW M HYBRID V8
40 8 laps 5
60 47 LM P2 P/A COOL RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
39 9 laps 5
61 23 LM P2 P/A UNITED AUTOSPORTS USA
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
35 13 laps 5
62 54 LMGT3 VISTA AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
30 18 laps 3

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