Live: Follow the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours as it happens

By: Haydn Cobb, Richard Asher, James Newbold, Stephen Lickorish, Benjamin Vinel, Ewan Gale

Le Mans 2024 - Figure 1
Photo, Edition: Global

Derani was EIGHT seconds faster than Makowiecki over the first two sectors of this lap.

Meanwhile in LMGT3 Sturm spun on his way into the pits for Klaus Bachler to take over. Jordan Taylor has finally climbed into the Spirit of Race Ferrari for the first time, while Dennis Olsen ahas pitted but remained in the #88 Ford.

Immediately we have pit callers in the classes too. Everyone aside from the leader Garg and Lomko's InterEuropol car have dived into the box from LMP2.

The #311 Cadillac, driven by Pipo Derani, is up to second.

Makowiecki takes the lead straight away with the #5 Porsche, as every other car in the top nine pits!

Green flag, we're back racing again. Will the drivers behave themselves as the rain continues to pour?

Safety car in this lap. Nearly time to go...

It's still raining here, at least at some points around the track. The drivers are going to have to be ultra-cautious at the restart on tyres that have lost all their heat in the hour-plus we've spent behind the safety car. The other point is that tyres that have been run at low temperatures are difficult to bring back to life. There could be a flurry of stops after the green flag.

At least the drivers have been able to enjoy the firework displays more than they normally would.

There are 12 cars still on the lead lap in LMGT3. Sturm leads Al Harthy, Hawksworth, Gatting, Olsen, Cottingham, Lietz, James, Johnny Laursen, Sato, Boguslavskiy and Leung. Wainwright's GR Ferrari is the first car one lap down, with Yoluc, Sorensen, Hartshone, Heriau, Van Rompuy and Baud also in that grouping.

For the purposes of housekeeping, Jakobsen remained in the Cool Racing car when he pitted under the safety car earlier. Garg (United) is your current LMP2 leader, ahead of Heinemeier-Hansson (Nielsen), Jakobsen and Pilet (Vector), with Deletraz still in the AO by TF ORECA in fifth, then Perrodo (AF Corse) and Lomko (Inter Europol) also on the lead lap in seventh. 

The pass around has been completed, we're informed by race control. That is perhaps apart from Tom van Rompuy, who rejoins the fray in the #81 Corvette after his quick visit to the pits to replace the nose because of a faulty light panel. The Belgian is one lap down, but now has fresh brakes.

A few bronze drivers in LMGT3 are inching closer towards their six-hour minimum time being completed. Ian James is closing in on five hours in the HoR Aston, having stayed in throughout this safety car. It's a similar story for Johnny Laursen in the Spirit of Race Ferrari (in which Jordan Taylor is yet to drive), while James Cottingham has now surpassed four hours too in the #59 United Autosports McLaren.

Perhaps it's a good thing that they're behind the safety car at the moment, because the rain is starting to come down heavily in the first sector at the moment and you could imagine it being total bedlam. Meanwhile Tom van Rompuy has come into the garage in the #81 TF Corvette. 

The tiredness is beginning to set in on the Autosport desk. A yawn from Stephen Lickorish triggered an instinctive reaction from James Newbold, with Ben Vinel following suit within moments. It's catching...

We didn't flag it at the time, but the #60 Iron Lynx Lambo has rejoined too after a delay of 50m59s. Plaudits to the hard-working mechanics to get Matteo Cressoni back into the race, albeit 11 laps down.

Le Mans 2024 - Figure 2
Photo, Edition: Global

An update from race control says: 'incident clear, prepare for merging'. And now the rain has started again...

More pitstops now for the LMP2 runners, with Jakobsen and Richelmi coming in. Pilet is back aboard the Vector Sport car.

I'm afraid not much has been happening in the Hypercar category, with all cars remaining on track behind the safety cars, without pitting. The order remains the following:

1. #83 Ferrari (Kubica-Shwartzman-Ye)2. #5 Porsche (Campbell-Christensen-Makowiecki)3. #8 Toyota (Buemi-Hartley-Hirakawa)4. #50 Ferrari (Fuoco-Molina-Nielsen)5. #6 Porsche (Estre-Lotterer-Vanthoor)

Al Harthy meanwhile has pitted from the lead in LMGT3, three (slow) laps after he replaced Martin. So Sturm is back in the lead once more in the #92 Porsche. Hawksworth has been shuffled up to third in the #87 Lexus that led early on in Esteban Masson's hands, while Michelle Gatting is fourth for the Iron Dames and Dennis Olsen is fifth in the #88 Proton Mustang. James Cottingham is sixth in the United Autosports McLaren, using up more of his six-hour bronze time.

A perfect time to look at famous dogs in motorsport? Norman is an integral part of Simon Pagenaud's family, the IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner having taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours five times. He took a famous second place with Peugeot in 2011, under 14 seconds off the victory, alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Pedro Lamy.

Norman, the dog of Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske

Photo by: BorgWarner

Meanwhile, a dog has entered the track despite obviously not having the right credentials to do so.

This safety car intervention has already lasted for more than 45 minutes and is a serious blow to any hopes we had to beat the 2010 record distance (5,410.713km in 397 laps by Audi's Bernhard, Dumas and Rockenfeller).

The #77 Mustang has been repaired! A mega effort by the Proton crew after three hours and 27 minutes in the pits. The #66 JMW Ferrari meanwhile is in and having its brakes changed, while Larry ten Voorde has vacated the cockpit.

Breaking news 11:16:50 pm

We understand from McLaren that Iribe's visit to the pits was the result of some contact that damaged the radiators on his Inception Racing car. It has been repaired and is back out in the hands of early leader Frederik Schandorff, but the 28-minute repair has surely cost any chance of a good result.

Reflecting on the aforementioned intrigue, consider the LMP2 race. The United Autosports #22 machine currently running second is using up the drive time of its silver, Bijoy Garg, without losing any time to the leading #37 Cool machine which has one of its two leading lights Malthe Jakobsen aboard. The same goes for the Nielsen car in fourth, which has silver David Heinemeier-Hansson installed, while Francois Perrodo in the #183 AF entry is doing the same laptimes as poleman Louis Deletraz in AO by TF's car. Could these offsets prove crucial later on?

Alpine is striving to see a silver lining following its double retirement due to engine failures.

This safety car period is the perfect time to look at the weather, isn't it? It currently is 14°C in Le Mans, and MeteoFrance forecasts showers... from now to 10am, then from 2pm onwards.

If you're just joining us, we're behind the safety car after Dries Vanthoor's #15 BMW hit the barriers hard on the approach to Mulsanne corner following contact with the race-leading #83 Ferrari of Robert Kubica. There's no indication for the time being of when we'll get back to green, but that doesn't mean this segment of the race is entirely lacking for intrigue.

As to what Peugeot can expect for the remainder of this race: "You see one Alpine is burning and the other Alpine is in the box, so we don't want to gain positions by others being in the box, but you can't predict the position."

Tyre warming analysis from Peugeot's Mikkel Jensen, who drove the #93 car for two hours and 21 minutes at the start of the race: "The soft is quite easy, the medium is very hard. And that's also a bit the reason we took the soft because of all the drizzling all the time, so the soft is a bit easier to deal with in these conditions. The medium I think is still the best tyre whenever you make it work."

Several other teams are cottoning on to the strategic opportunities this presents too. In LMP2, Nielsen Racing has pitted Simpson from third and inserted David Heinemeier-Hansson to use up some of his drive time, while Barnicoat is in to hand back the AF Corse car to Francois Perrodo and Paul Lafargue returns to the cockpit of IDEC's entry.

It is indeed Al Harthy now in the #46 BMW, which makes sense to chip away more of his bronze driver time. The camera shots we're seeing at the approach to Mulsanne Corner suggest barrier repairs are going to take a long time yet.

More stops in the LMGT3 class now. James has pitted from third in the Heart of Racing Aston, and now Martin comes in from the lead to hand over - we believe - to Ahmad Al Harthy, while his left-front corner had some attention from mechanics. This will mean Sturm cycles back to the front in LMGT3. 

That contact between Kubica's #83 Ferrari and Vanthoor's #15 BMW.

Speaking of lengthy repairs, Iron Lynx hasn't given up on getting the battered #60 Lamborghini back into the race after Claudio Schiavoni greeted the barriers head-first on the exit of the second Mulsanne Chicane earlier on. Endurance racing mechanics are nothing if not dedicated.

So far, it has been a decent race for Ferrari and Porsche, who have three cars each (factory or customer) in the top eight. The #8 Toyota is third, while the #2 Cadillac holds sixth place.

It is now 29 laps down on the class leaders, but the #77 Ford that ran second in the early stages appears set to rejoin the fray fairly soon after its steering rack dramas. The front bodywork is now back on the car and things in the garage seem less frenetic than they were a little while ago.

Richelmi is held at the end of the pitlane and so loses the lead in LMP2. But that's not all - the Vector car that has controlled the race for several hours now has dropped to fourth by the time he is allowed out, with Jakobsen now leading in the #37 Cool ORECA from Garg's #22 United car and the #24 Nielsen machine of Simpson.

The timing screens say 'warning flag' to Martin for his earlier skirmish with Hanley. If that means he's gotten away with it, then he might be considered a tad fortunate. 

Read more
Similar news
This week's most popular news