Nicklas Nielsen, Miguel Molina, Antonio Fuoco, Ferrari 499P, Le Mans, 2024

Ferrari out-run chasing Toyota to win again in demanding, rain-hit Le Mans


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Ferrari repeated last year’s victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in a race of ever-changing fortunes in mixed conditions.

The number 50 car, sister machine to last year’s race-winner, took the chequered flag 14 seconds ahead of the number seven Toyota. Nicklas Nielsen, who shared his car with Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina, drove a carefully-managed final stint in worsening conditions to eke out his energy as the number seven Toyota closed in.

Jose Maria Lopez, who was drafted in alongside Kamui Kobayashi and Nyck de Vries as a late substitute for the injured Mike Conway, was told to back off in the final half hour. But he pressed on in pursuit of Nielsen, more than halving the gap between them as Nielsen crossed the line with just 2% of his energy remaining.

Ferrari’s hopes suffered a double blow shortly after the 22-hour mark, at which point their factory cars held the top two places. First Alessandro Pier Guidi in the second-place number 51 car was passed by Lopez in the number seven Toyota.

Rain, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2024
Persistent rain caused a four-hour overnight Safety Car period
Then the race director warned the race-leading 499P it had to take action over its loose right-hand door. The team urged Nielsen to try everything to close it, knowing he would be summoned into the pits if he couldn’t. Race director Eduardo Freitas took several laps to issue his warning, and though Ferrari eventually succumbed to the inevitable and brought Nielsen in, the timing of his early pit stop compromised them less than it might have done.

That left Nielsen out of sync with the remaining leaders as the laps ticked down. But a delay for Brendon Hartley in the sister number eight Toyota, knocked into a spin by Pier Guidi’s Ferrari at Mulsanne, cost it well over half a minute, and left Ferrari with only one of their Japanese rivals to worry about. Pier Guidi was penalised five seconds for the contact.

Car 50 made its final pit stop with 50 minutes remaining. With the track damp and drying at this stage, Nielsen’s chances of winning seemed slim. But more rain arrived, and with it energy consumption fell, playing into their hands.

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Meanwhile the number seven Toyota was losing time. A spin at the first chicane and a loss of power delayed Lopez’s pursuit. Although his last pit stop left him with all the power he needed, he struggled to bring the Ferrari’s lead down as the conditions worsened again. With 17 minutes remaining, Toyota told him to concentrate on bringing the car home.

Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi, Nyck de Vries, Toyota, Le Mans, 2024
Toyota told Lopez to ensure they secured second place
The pole-winning number six Penske Porsche came fourth, with the delayed number eight Toyota separating it from the number five machine. The number of Penske Porsche ended its race in the Indianapolis barrier when Felipe Nasr spun out on a drying track in the 17th hour.

Cadillac hit trouble in the race’s 18th hour. First Scott Dixon came to a stop on the Mulsanne straight and had to crawl back to the pits using electrical power. Soon afterwards the number 311 Whelen Cadillac was delayed by a crash. The number two V-Series.R came in seventh, followed by the two Jota Porsches.

The first nine Hypercars home all completed 311 laps. The Lamborghinis and Peugeots occupied the next four places, two laps behind.

While the factory Ferraris finished on the podium, the AF Corse-run number 83 customer machine put up a strong challenge in the early stages. It was still in contention when it was forced to stop in the pits with less than four hours remaining. A smart decision to take soft tyres before an early, light rain shower helped Robert Kubica pull out a 20-second lead.

However their cause was derailed when Kubica tangled with Dries Vanthoor’s BMW on the Mulsanne straight, sending the number 15 car into a barrier and out of the race. Besides triggering a Safety Car period for barrier repairs which lasted over an hour and a half (during which time a dog was chased from the track), Kubica also incurred a stop-go penalty which dropped their car out of the lead.

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The car’s race came to an end shortly after Robert Shwartzman was passed by Buemi’s Toyota. Thick smoke poured from the front wheels as it came to a stop and the car was soon pushed back into the Ferrari garage, never to re-emerge.

BMW confirmed Vanthoor was uninjured in the crash. His retirement compounded a tough race for the marque, Robin Frijns having already suffered a crash in the number 20 machine when the race was just two hours old. Both Alpines retired before quarter-distance with engine trouble.

United Autosports won the LMP2 class with Oliver Jarvis, Bijoy Garg and Nolan Siegel, and Manthey’s Porsche 911 triumphed in the LMGT3 class with Yasser Shahin, Morris Schuring and Richard Lietz.

The Safety Car made several appearances during the race, including a prolonged, four-hour deployment during sustained rainfall overnight. The 311 laps completed by the winners is 31 less than last year.

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Race result

Pos No. Class Team Car Drivers Laps
1 50 Hypercar Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P Antonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen Ferrari 499P
2 7 Hypercar Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Jose Maria Lopez/Kamui Kobayashi/Nyck de Vries Toyota GR010 – Hybrid
3 51 Hypercar Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P Alessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Antonio Giovinazzi Ferrari 499P
4 6 Hypercar Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 Kevin Estre/Andre Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 963
5 8 Hypercar Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Sebastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa Toyota GR010 – Hybrid
6 5 Hypercar Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 Matt Campbell/Michael Christensen/Frederic Makowiecki Porsche 963
7 2 Hypercar Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R Earl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Alex Palou Cadillac V-Series.R
8 12 Hypercar Team Jota Porsche 963 Will Stevens/Callum Ilott/Norman Nato Porsche 963
9 38 Hypercar Team Jota Porsche 963 Jenson Button/Philip Hanson/Oliver Rasmussen Porsche 963
10 63 Hypercar Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63 Mirko Bortolotti/Edoardo Mortara/Daniil Kvyat Lamborghini SC63
11 94 Hypercar Peugeot Peugeot 9X8 Paul di Resta/Loic Duval/Stoffel Vandoorne Peugeot 9X8
12 93 Hypercar Peugeot Peugeot 9X8 Mikkel Jensen/Nico Mueller/Jean-Eric Vergne Peugeot 9X8
13 19 Hypercar Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63 Romain Grosjean/Andrea Caldarelli/Matteo Cairoli Lamborghini SC63
14 11 Hypercar Isotta Fraschini Isotta Fraschini Tipo6-C Antonio Serravalle/Carl Wattana Bennett/Jean-Karl Vernay Isotta Fraschini Tipo6-C
15 22 LMP2 United Autosports Oreca 07 – Gibson Oliver Jarvis/Bijoy Garg/Nolan Siegel Oreca 07 – Gibson
16 34 LMP2 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 – Gibson Jakub Smiechowski/Vladislav Lomko/Clément Novalak Oreca 07 – Gibson
17 28 LMP2 IDEC Sport Oreca 07 – Gibson Paul Lafargue/Job van Uitert/Reshad de Gerus Oreca 07 – Gibson
18 183 LMP2 AF Corse Oreca 07 – Gibson François Perrodo/Ben Barnicoat/Nicolas Varrone Oreca 07 – Gibson
19 10 LMP2 Vector Sport Oreca 07 – Gibson Ryan Cullen/Patrick Pilet/Stephane Richelmi Oreca 07 – Gibson
20 14 LMP2 AO by TF Oreca 07 – Gibson PJ Hyett/Louis Delétraz/Alex Quinn Oreca 07 – Gibson
21 33 LMP2 DKR Engineering Oreca 07 – Gibson Alexander Mattschull/Rene Binder/Laurents Horr Oreca 07 – Gibson
22 25 LMP2 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca 07 – Gibson Matthias Kaiser/Olli Caldwell/Roman De Angelis Oreca 07 – Gibson
23 65 LMP2 Panis Racing Oreca 07 – Gibson Rodrigo Sales/Mathias Beche/Scott Huffaker Oreca 07 – Gibson
24 47 LMP2 Cool Racing Oreca 07 – Gibson Naveen Rao/Matthew Bell/Frederik Vesti Oreca 07 – Gibson
25 24 LMP2 Nielsen Racing Oreca 07 – Gibson Fabio Scherer/David Heinemeier Hansson/Kyffin Simpson Oreca 07 – Gibson
26 37 LMP2 Cool Racing Oreca 07 – Gibson Lorenzo Fluxa/Malthe Jakobsen/Ritomo Miyata Oreca 07 – Gibson
27 91 LMGT3 Manthey Ema Porsche 911 GT3 R Yasser Shahin/Morris Schuring/Richard Lietz Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3
28 31 LMGT3 Team WRT BMW M4 Darren Leung/Sean Gelael/Augusto Farfus BMW M4 LMGT3
29 311 Hypercar Whelen Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R Luis Felipe Derani/Jack Aitken/Felipe Drugovich Cadillac V-Series.R
30 88 LMGT3 Proton Competition Ford Mustang Giorgio Roda/Mikkel Pedersen/Dennis Olsen Ford Mustang LMGT3
31 44 LMGT3 Proton Competition Ford Mustang Ryan Hardwick/Zacharie Robichon/Ben Barker Ford Mustang LMGT3
32 85 LMGT3 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan Evo2 Sarah Bovy/Doriane Pin/Michelle Gatting Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2
33 55 LMGT3 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 Francois Heriau/Simon Mann/Alessio Rovera Ferrari 296 LMGT3
34 78 LMGT3 Akkodis Asp Team Lexus RC F Arnold Robin/Timur Boguslavskiy/Kelvin Van Der Linde Lexus RC F LMGT3
35 155 LMGT3 Spirit of Race Ferrari 296 Johnny Laursen/Conrad Laursen/Jordan Taylor Ferrari 296 LMGT3
36 777 LMGT3 D’Station Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR Clement Mateu/Erwan Bastard/Marco Sorensen Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3
37 87 LMGT3 Akkodis Asp Team Lexus RC F Takeshi Kimura/Esteban Masson/ Lexus RC F LMGT3
38 82 LMGT3 TF Sport Corvette Z06.R Hiroshi Koizumi/Sebastien Baud/Daniel Juncadella Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R
39 86 LMGT3 GR Racing Ferrari 296 Michael Wainwright/Daniel Serra/Riccardo Pera Ferrari 296 LMGT3
40 70 LMGT3 Inception Racing McLaren 720S Evo Brendan Iribe/Ollie Millroy/Frederik Schandorff McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
41 92 LMGT3 Manthey Purerxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R Aliaksandr Malykhin/Joel Sturm/Klaus Bachler Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3
42 23 LMP2 United Autosports Oreca 07 – Gibson Ben Keating/Filipe Albuquerque/Ben Hanley Oreca 07 – Gibson
43 81 LMGT3 TF Sport Corvette Z06.R Tom Van Rompuy/Rui Andrade/Charlie Eastwood Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R
44 60 LMGT3 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan Evo2 Claudio Schiavoni/Matteo Cressoni/Franck Perera Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2
45 99 Hypercar Proton Competition Porsche 963 Harry Tincknell/Neel Jani/Julien Andlauer Porsche 963
46 77 LMGT3 Proton Competition Ford Mustang Ryan Hardwick/Zacharie Robichon/Ben Barker Ford Mustang LMGT3
47 20 Hypercar Bmw M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8 Sheldon Van Der Linde/Robin Frijns/Rene Rast BMW M HYBRID V8
48 83 Hypercar AF Corse Ferrari 499P Robert Kubica/Robert Shwartzman/Yifei Ye Ferrari 499P
49 3 Hypercar Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R Sebastien Bourdais/Renger van der Zande/Scott Dixon Cadillac V-Series.R
50 59 LMGT3 United Autosports McLaren 720S Evo James Cottingham/Nicolas Costa/Gregoire Saucy McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
51 95 LMGT3 United Autosports McLaren 720S Evo Joshua Caygill/Nicolas Pino/Marino Sato McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
52 4 Hypercar Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 Mathieu Jaminet/Felipe Nasr/Nick Tandy Porsche 963
53 27 LMGT3 Heart Of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR Ian James/Daniel Mancinelli/Alex Riberas Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3
54 45 LMP2 Crowdstrike Racing by APR Oreca 07 – Gibson George Kurtz/Colin Braun/Nicky Catsburg Oreca 07 – Gibson
55 66 LMGT3 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 296 Giacomo Petrobelli/Larry ten Voorde/Salih Yoluc Ferrari 296 LMGT3
56 30 LMP2 Duqueine Team Oreca 07 – Gibson John Falb/James Allen/Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer Oreca 07 – Gibson
57 46 LMGT3 Team WRT BMW M4 Ahmad Al Harthy/Valentino Rossi/Maxime Martin BMW M4 LMGT3
58 15 Hypercar Bmw M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8 Dries Vanthoor/Raffaele Marciello/Marco Wittmann BMW M HYBRID V8
59 36 Hypercar Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424 Nicolas Lapierre/Mick Schumacher/Matthieu Vaxiviere Alpine A424
60 9 LMP2 Proton Competition Oreca 07 – Gibson Jonas Ried/Maceo Capietto/Bent Viscaal Oreca 07 – Gibson
61 35 Hypercar Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424 Paul-Loup Chatin/Ferdinand Habsburg/Charles Milesi Alpine A424
62 54 LMGT3 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 Thomas Flohr/Francesco Castellacci/Davide Rigon Ferrari 296 LMGT3

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Ferrari out-run chasing Toyota to win again in demanding, rain-hit Le Mans”

  1. Does anyone know the extra time it takes to change tyres after refueling? Is it around 10 seconds or 20?

    In that last hour before the stops I thought surely if it’s just an extra 10 or even 15 seconds it’d be worth it considering the possibility of more rain and thats exactly what happened

    So for the Toyota I thought they may just do but I can see why not especially if they didn’t have a new set and it also could have cost ten the race but since get were that far back and not likely to win on pace it seems like it would have been worth it considering the possibility of further rain and the Ferrari then being on much more worn tyres.

    Just unsure exactly how much h longer it would have made their stop.

    1. During the course of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the LMP1 cars are expected to stop at least 25 times, and each stop will last around a minute if it includes a tyre change.

      So around 60 seconds …

  2. Not long but Toyota had just watch themselves lose 10 seconds to a wheel nut malfunction on the swap to wets (and probably thought themselves lucky to only lose that).

  3. It was a fun race, marred somewhat by the lengthy safety car. Good thing the weather forecast was pretty good, so I didn’t stay up to watch what seemed like an inevitable neutralisation!

    At different points it seemed like Ferrari, Toyota, Porsche and Cadillac and earlier on even the ‘independent’ AF Corse had a real shot at the win. For all the complaints around the BoP, it seems it was pretty spot on for the Le Mans event – just like last year. Peugeot will be disappointed with a lack of pace even with their ‘new’ car, and Alpine and BMW had a rather unfortunate run so didn’t get to show their full potential.

    I think the LMP2 field suffered a bit from some of the bigger teams making the jump to run Hypercar, making it seems a bit… ‘regional’, I guess. If the number of Hypercars keeps growing I wouldn’t be surprised to see them ditch LMP2 from Le Mans entirely, just as it’s already been removed from the regular WEC races. It’s unfortunate in a way, because the class has been great in the past. It just seems a bit outdated in this current field.

  4. It’s crazy you can use your 2nd car to take out a rival like that. 5s penalty is a joke, ruined what was turning into a great race.

    1. That’s imagining a whole lot of intent and scheming for which there is absolutely zero evidence.

      It was wet. Plenty of cars had close calls and small contact. It’s not ideal, but it happens in racing.

      1. That’s imagining a whole lot of intent and scheming for which there is absolutely zero evidence.

        You are, of course, correct. And I know the penalties are meant to be action based, not outcome. However this type of occurrence does rather incentivize pushing the limits given that an outcome may benefit the team. So to be clear, I am not suggesting the contact would be intentional, BUT one could imagine racing in such a way that you could legitimately claim the offence was not intentional, even though your driving in a manner where it may be quite probable.

        1. Yeah 5 seconds in an F1 race would be questionable but in a 24 hours race should have been at least 10 if not 15

  5. Didnt Ferrari benefit from the BoP rules this race?

    1. Ferrari vs Toyota Le Mans 2024

      Min weight (kg)
      1053 vs 1043
      Max Power below 250kph (KW)
      508 vs 508
      Power Gain after 250 kph
      + 0.9%(positive) vs – 1,7%(negative)
      Max Stint Energy (MJ)
      906 vs 889

      Does not seem so.

      1. Apologies the manufacturer name is inverted
        It is Toyota vs Ferrari vs Toyota Le Mans 2024

        Min weight (kg)
        1053 vs 1043
        Max Power below 250kph (KW)
        508 vs 508
        Power Gain after 250 kph
        + 0.9%(positive) vs – 1,7%(negative)
        Max Stint Energy (MJ)
        906 vs 889

        Toyota have more 10kg but wins in max energy stint and power gain above 250kph

        1. I am making a mess of title, should be read: Toyota vs Ferrari Le Mans 2024

      2. Just because their car was held back more by the BoP, doesn’t mean they didn’t benefit from it. If they’re slowed down more then everyone else, but still quicker, then they still benefit from a better BoP since it’s meant to equalise the performance. It just means they happened to build a better car as well, which in a BoP doesn’t really count for anything.

  6. The #50 unsafe release was so blatant yet not penalised.
    Then the #50 drove a long time with the door open. The director waited a while before coming on radio just to tell them that the door was open! They then waited some more time to come on radio this time to tell them that if they can’t close the door they would have to pit, all this time allowed them to go more into that stint minimising the impact of having to come back to the pits immediately.
    The 5secs penalty for the sister car was also equally inconsistent.

  7. All the talk of could the Ferrari make it to the finish without a ‘splash an dash’ an a LMGT3 Ferrari stops at Dunlop chicane causing a few laps of fuel saving yellow flags and the winning Ferrari finishes with 2% fuel…. Hmmm.. Interesting .. :)

    1. I really hope the :) is a new way of typing /s

Comments are closed.