The 62 cars entered in the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans set off on Saturday at 4 p.m. (2 p.m. GMT) on the Sarthe circuit, where Toyota hypercars are once again largely favorites.
The drivers will take turns on the track until 4 p.m. Sunday, in weather that promises to be glorious, but not too hot either, after the last clouds have dissipated at the end of the afternoon.
This year again, the race should be played between the two Toyotas. The N.8 (Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa), victorious in 2018, 2019 and 2020, started in pole position, ahead of the N.7 (Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José Maria Lopez), which s was imposed last year.
In the event of an incident at Toyota, three other hypercars are in ambush, the N.36 from Alpine and the Glickenhaus N.709 which start in the second row, just ahead of the American manufacturer’s N.708.
Next year, many teams will be back on the Sarthe circuit in the premier category for the centenary edition of the race.
Behind the five hypercars: 27 LMP2 (more standardized and slower prototypes) are in the race, seven LMGTE Pro (derived from production sports cars and representing three brands, Ferrari, Porsche and Corvette), 23 LMGTE Am (can be driven by amateurs for private stables).
About a quarter of the 186 drivers entered are competing in their first 24 Hours of Le Mans. Among them, some well-known faces, such as the eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier, on the N.1 of the Richard Mille team (LMP2) or the German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender, in the Proton Competition N.93 (LMGTE Am).