As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans will run to a streamlined schedule from Thursday 17 September to Sunday 20 September, with 60 competitors battling it out on the iconic 13.626-km Circuit de la Sarthe. The global health crisis has inevitably had repercussions, limiting movements and restricting certain budgets. As a result, there will now be 60 entries in the race, out of the 62 initially planned.
The line-up includes Toyota Gazoo Racing, who will be aiming for a third straight win so it can take home the 24 Hours Grand Trophy for good. The grid of the French endurance classic also features two all-female driver crews, one in the LMP2 class (Richard Mille Racing Team) and one in LMGTE Am (Iron Lynx). With two all-female driver crews, this year’s race demonstrates the universal appeal of endurance racing and motorsport.
In the LMGTE Pro class, there will be another three-way battle between Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin.
The race will also go down in history as the final Le Mans appearance of the LMP1 Hybrid prototypes. They will bow out and make way for the Le Mans Hypercars in 2021.
The entry list so far includes four outright Le Mans winners (Dumas, Buemi, Nakajima and Hartley), alongside a number of rookies such as Tatiana Calderon, Sophia Flörsch and Adrien Tambay, son of Patrick Tambay who raced the 24 Hours four times with Alpine, Renault, Rondeau and Jaguar. As a reminder, rookies at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as those who have not competed in the Sarthe classic for at least five years must undertake a day of learning certain procedures specific to the 24 Hours on simulator. The deadline for this training is September 10.
The schedule for this year’s 24 Hours, the penultimate round of the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship, is somewhat different from usual with the 60 cars lining up for:
- 11 hours of free practice, over Thursday and Friday
- a brand-new sequence – the Hyperpole qualifier, a demonstration of sheer speed bringing together the 24 fastest cars (six from each class) for 30 minutes on Friday
- a 15-minute warm-up on Saturday morning
- and of course, the race itself, which will start at 14:30 with more driving in the dark than usual, which is sure to add to the excitement!
These four action-packed days will also include the Road to Le Mans and Porsche Carrera Cup events.
BREAKING NEWS: THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS POSTPONED TO 19–20 SEPTEMBER 2020