Who will win the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours?

Le Mans News

Six teams look to have a chance of winning the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours, with a 23-car top-level Hypercar field and a closely-matched grid. Here are the cars that could claim victory

2024 Le Mans Hypercars in a line

Javier Jimenez / DPPI

The biggest top-level grid in modern times is set to compete for victory in the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours, and the field couldn’t be much closer.

Five different manufacturers are represented in the top six grid slots, and you won’t find a single driver who will confidently predict a winner.

Some of the 23-strong Hypercar teams look to have little hope: Peugeot, Lamborghini and the single-car Isotta Fraschini outfit haven’t shone in the run-up to the race, but the rest all look capable of being in contention.

“I think it will be very close,” says Porsche Hypercar driver and 2015 Le Mans winner Nick Tandy. “I think you will see six brands that will be fast at some point.”

As part of the World Endurance Championship, Le Mans uses the Balance of Performance mechanism to keep racing close; adding and removing power and weight, based on previous performances.

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It makes predicting the result even more difficult, and the similar laps times that it produces means that perfect reliability is likely to decide the winner, according to Porsche’s vice president of motorsport, Thomas Landauer.

“I really expect the one who can just [change] tyres and fuel for 24 hours will win,” he says. “No matter whether they are a little bit faster or not. It will be good pace, no problems.

“There might be some rain: you can easily make a wrong decision. It is a long lap. Just to [change tyres] one lap too late can cost a lot, which takes one stint to get back.”

Tandy’s advice is to watch the pitstops closely. In the absence of reliability issues, a driver’s ability to minimise tyre changes, which cost valuable extra time, while maintaining a competitive pace will make the difference. Drivers will be aiming to keep the same set on for two or three fuel stops, or stints.

“We’ll know quickly whether we are fast or not,” says Tandy. “Nobody really knows who is fast – nobody has done more than one stint this week. [In the race] we have to do three stints on a set of tyres and then see how the cars’ pace is relative to each other.

“By three hours in you’ll get some idea of the hierarchy of pace and not before then.”

Toyota 2024 Le Mans

Tyre life will prove crucial


Even so, the winner is unlikely to emerge before Sunday, he says. “The first hour is a great show because all of the cars are together and there are cars fighting at the front of the grid.

“But we know as a team that mid-race, by the time you get to the morning hours, with half the race remaining, that’s when you know you need to start positioning yourself at the front.”

Will it be Tandy, or one of his rivals from Toyota, Ferrari, or elsewhere? Here are the main contenders.



Toyota has been a little anonymous by its standards in the run up to Le Mans but it’s the team that all the others will be looking out for.

Its hopes of competing in the final-eight hyperpole shootout were dashed when Kamui Kobayashi crashed in the first qualifying session, causing his lap times to be deleted.

Its one WEC victory this season has also been overshadowed by Jota’s privateer win at the last race in Spa.

Toyota has also downplayed its Le Mans chances. “If you look at our recent results, we’ve been consistently behind, especially compared to Porsche and Ferrari,” said Sébastien Buemi, in the No8 Toyota. “Our win at Imola was more down to strategy”.

This, however, is a team that was in contention for victory last year until the No8 car, which had been dicing for the lead with Ferrari, went off.

It’s also a squad that has topped three of the week’s four practice sessions, and looked formidably strong while doing so.

“In terms of performance we’re not as quick as Porsche or Toyota – especially Toyota on the long runs, we’re quite far away,” says Ferrari’s James Calado.

Talk to the Porsche drivers and they similarly point to Toyota’s long-run pace. In a race where grid position has minimal importance, there are plenty who believe Toyota has the trump card.



Porsche Le Mans 2024

Starting on pole after a sensational lap, Porsche clearly has pace. After a disappointing debut with its Hypercar last year, it now has a much better understanding of how to extract performance from the 936, and has shown this with two victories from three races in WEC.

Don’t underestimate either the six cars it has on the grid: three with the Penske-run factory effort; two with Jota; and a single Proton car. No team is better insured against reliability problems.

It’s rare for teams to talk about winning the race unless they truly believe it and in this, Porsche personnel offer a huge clue as to their expectations, whether it’s Roger Penske himself talking up the team’s chances of a win; Jota’s Callum Ilott talking of aiming for victory despite missing hyperpole and practice sessions while his car was rebuilt; and Michael Christensen speaking of his confidence in the car and his hopes of making it to the front.



“Those Ferraris normally find a way,” says Jota Porsche driver Callum Ilott.

The team certainly did last year; springing from a slow start in the World Endurance Championship to claim pole and then victory at Le Mans. Two of its three cars start on the second row of the grid.

It’s worth remembering that the victory owed much to rivals’ reliability issues and accidents — Toyota in particular will look at the 2023 running as a race lost.

But that’s the nature of racing — and particularly Le Mans, where reliability, efficiency and adaptability are so crucial. Despite showing impressive pace in previous WEC rounds — before being caught out by a stretegy error in Imola and safety car in Spa — Ferrari suggests that its best hopes of victory look to be in its ability to maximise these areas rather than pure pace.

“We’re finding it tricky to find a good balance,” says Calado. “In terms of performance, we’re not as quick as Porsche or Toyota. Over the race the track conditions change quite a lot. There’s some rain predicted and our car seems quite good in the rain but on pace alone, we’re probably the third or the fourth.”

Pessimistic? Well, only if you forget that he said something similar last year. And went on to win.



Cadillac Hypercar at Le Mans

Knocked off pole in the dying seconds of the hyperpole session, Cadillac has already surprised some onlookers with its pace around La Sarthe, and while its long-run pace is less clear, rivals are taking notice.

“The Cadillac is really strong in high-speed corners,” says Calado. “Its got really good stability in the last sector”. It appears to lack a little pace on the straights, however.

There’s confidence in the three-car Cadillac camp, particularly after a strong showing at last year’s race. Its experienced line up of drivers, including IndyCar champions Scott Dixon and Alex Palou and Sébastien Bourdais — also a class winner at Le Mans – plus double Le Mans winner Earl Bamber, should be well-placed to handle anything the 24 hous can throw at them.


Dark horses

Not confirmed frontrunners, but not written off either. This pair could spring a surprise.


BMW Hypercar at Le Mans in 2024

Few predicted that BMW would be topping the first qualifying session — a result that wasn’t followed through in hyperpole after Dries Vanthoor crashed out.

Asked for the main victory contenders, several drivers had to be prompted with BMW — despite the team also appearing near the top of the practice times.

Could the M Hybrid V8 be a surprise victory contender? The team isn’t giving too much away. “It will be about avoiding mistakes in the race, keeping the car on the track and not getting any penalties,” says head of BMW M Motorsport Andreas Roos in a textbook answer. “When we survive the night, we’ll see where we can end up on Sunday afternoon.”



Alpine Le Mans 2024 xxx

It might be making its Le Mans debut, but the Alpine Hypercar is embarrassing rival French team Peugeot at the moment with its pace. It had a contender in the hyperpole shootout, with the No35 car lining up fourth. Le Mans has been a focus, with the porject run by the crack Signatech squad.

Bruno Famin says that the target is just to finish, but its performance so far suggests that it has a chance of being among the frontrunners.