Maximum speed, victory record, biggest crowd: here are the main records to beat at the 24 Hours of Le Mans


Here are the main records before the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, whose 2023 edition is held on June 10 and 11

  • Number of wins (make): Porsche (19)
  • Number of wins (drivers): Tom Kristensen (9)
  • Consecutive participations: Porsche (72 since 1951)
  • Number of entries: 33 (Henri Pescarolo)
  • Youngest winner: Alex Wurz in 1996 (22 years 91 days)
  • Longest distance alone: ​​Edward Ramsden Hall competed in the 24 hours alone in 1950 (236 laps or 3200 km)
  • Most poles: Jacky Ickx (5)
  • Most consecutive poles: Jacky Ickx, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi (3)
  • Poles transformed into victories: 3 (Jacky Ickx in 1975, 1981 and 1982)
  • Youngest poleman: Pedro Rodriguez in 1963 (23 years and 146 days)
  • Most fastest laps: Jacky Ickx (5)
  • Longest distance: Audi R15 TDi in 2010 (397 laps or 5410.713 km)
  • Fastest lap in the race: 3.17.297 (Mike Conway on Toyota in 2019)
  • Fastest pole: 3.14.791 (Kobayashi on Toyota in 2017)
  • Smallest gap between the first two: 20m between the two Ford GTs in 1966
  • Biggest gap between the first two: 349.08 km in 1927
  • Fastest edition: 2010 at an average of 225.228 km/h
  • Fastest lap average in the race: 248.628 km/h, Mike Conway (Toyota) in 2019
  • Fastest qualifying lap average: 251.881 Kobayashi (Toyota) in 2017
  • Record speed: Roger Dorchy (WM-Peugeot) at 407 km/h
  • Record number of cars at the start: 62 in 2023
  • Highest number of cars arriving: 49 in 2019
  • Longest time under safety car: 5h27 in 2013
  • Biggest attendance: 400,000 spectators in 1969

407 km/h: the speed record in motor racing

407 km/h is officially the absolute speed record recorded during a car competition on June 11, 1988. This took place during the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1988, at the end of the old Hunaudières straight line long 6km. The driver behind the wheel of the WR-Peugeot prototype was Frenchman Roger Dorchy. The previous year, his team had found data indicating that he had already reached 410 km/h.

But the ACO’s radar had not caught it and therefore the record had not been approved. A new radar was installed in 1988 and the small French artisanal builder was able to make history. As it was supported by the engine manufacturer Peugeot launching at that time the 405, WR communicated on a world record at 405 km/h. But the real speed was 2 km/h higher. Even today, neither the F1 culminating at 372.6 km/h (Juan-Pablo Montoya’s record in 2005 on McLaren-Mercedes at Monza) nor the Indy Car (392.24 km/h by Ed Carpenter the last year at Turn 3 in Indianapolis 500 qualifying) only reach these speeds.

In 2005, South African Allan Van der Merwe reached 413.205 km/h driving a BAR-Honda at an airport. But this record, outside a track, has not been approved. A few weeks later, he set the official record for a single-seater on a frozen lake at 397.481 km/h.

Today, with the two chicanes intersecting the Hunaudières to slow down the racing cars, the Hypercars travel between 350 and 360 km/h (the official record of 366 km/h dates from a Nissan R90 in 1990).


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