The pinnacle of FIA World Endurance Championship racing is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, officially known as the ‘24 Heures du Mans’. Located in Maine, France, this year’s Le Mans 24 will be the 88th running of the prestigious race, making it one of the longest standing events in motor sports.
Hosted at the Circuit de la Sarthe, this year’s edition promises to be an exciting one as Toyota looks to once again slow down the dominance of German manufacturer’s with a second consecutive victory. The 2019 Le Mans 24 is expected to see the Japanese manufacturer go back-to-back just a year after winning here for the first time, and with history in the making it’s sure to be compelling viewing.
24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 Preview
Prior to 2018, Porsche and Audi had won Le Mans eight years in a row, and since the turn of the century one of them had failed to salute on only two occasions – in 2003 when Bentley won for the sixth time, and in 2009 when Peugeot took it out. Last year, however, the trend was bucked when Toyota’s hybrid cars dominated the race, with Sebastian Buemi leading his team to victory and Britain’s Mike Conway leading the other Toyota car into second – Rebellion Racing followed more than ten laps behind, while the best ranked German car finished in 15th.
This year, Toyota are widely expected to repeat their efforts from last year. Their two teams of three drivers will remain as they were last year, and it will take a huge upset to see them fail to finish the race in first place. But with 62 cars entering the race this year – the largest number we’ve ever seen – there will be plenty of competition, and as Toyota would be well aware, stranger things have happened in sport.
When: June 15-16 (Sydney time)
Where: Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France
Le Mans 24 Hour Live TV Times (AEST)
|Friday 14 June: Le Mans 24 Qualifying||LIVE: 6:00am to 8:15am||Eurosport|
|Saturday 15 June: Le Mans 24 Race||LIVE: 10:45pm to 12:00am||Eurosport|
|Sunday 16 June: Le Mans 24 Race||LIVE: 12.00am to 11.45pm||Eurosport|
Le Mans 24 Live Streaming
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will not be shown live on Free to Air TV in Australia, but Eurosport (Foxtel) will offer the most complete coverage of this prestigious event, including both the Thursday, June 13 Practice (12:45am-4:10am) and Qualifying session (6:00am-8:10am) shown LIVE.
Motorsport fans may wish to check out the Foxtel Sports Combo pack offering. With the Sports Combo you can also watch the French Grand Prix live (June 21-23), and if you have to be out and about, you can stream the Le Mans 24 free using the Foxtel App.
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Le Mans 24 Track Fixtures
Combined with the Indy 500 race and the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans forms the Triple Crown of Motorsport.
Circuit length: 13.626 km (8.467 mi)
Number of turns: 38
Lap record: 3:17.475 (Andre Lotterer, 2015)
Drivers and Teams to Watch
The two cars entered into the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hour by Toyota will without doubt be the ones to watch, with their most likely competition set to come from one another throughout the course of the race. Driving the brilliantly constructed Toyota TS050 Hybrid, this year’s race looks set to be more about how comfortably they can win, rather than whether they can. Last year’s winning team returns with Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, while the team which followed them over the line will also be back with Mike Conway, Kamui, Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez. Expect all eyes to be on these two teams throughout the 24 hours of racing.