Le Mans 24: Midnight report

LMP1:

As expected, Toyota hold the lead of the LMP1 field at midnight. Mike Conway kept the #7 TS050 in front at the start, leading from pole position during the first two hours before handing over to Kamui Kobayashi.

The two Toyotas briefly traded places later in the evening as a series of safety car periods brought the cars nose-to-tail. Kazuki Nakajima, taking over the #8 Toyota from Fernando Alonso, passed José María López in the #7 to take the lead. Lopez retook the lead shortly after only to surrender it with a trip through the gravel, but by hour 9 the two cars had swapped once again and the #7—with Conway back the wheel—resumed the lead.

Third place was long held by the #3 Rebellion which, in the hands of Gustavo Menezes, moved up from fourth on the grid and held off advances by Vitaly Petrov in the #11 SMP. However this came to an end later in the evening, when Thomas Laurent put the #3 in the wall and dropped two laps behind the two SMPs, with Egor Orudzhev’s #17 now the Russian team’s lead car.

There was trouble throughout the first ten hours for the remaining privateers. Bruno Senna picked up a puncture for the #1 Rebellion in the first hour and dropped to last in class, while the #4 ByKolles made eight difficult pitstops in the by hour 3. Later in the afternoon the #10 DragonSpeed entered the garage and has remained there since.

Joao Filipe, Adrenal Media / FIA WEC Media

LMP2:

Signatech Alpine took an early lead as Nicholas Lapierre moved the #36 up from third to first off the line. But impressive pace from Jean-Éric Vergne and Dutch rookie Job van Uitert in the #26 G-Drive soon put the #36 under pressure, and Van Uitert took the class lead during his second stint.

The remaining class podium position changed hands several times during the first ten hours of the race. Initially Matthieu Vaxiviere held third in the #28 TDS Racing, but a strong opening stint from Giedo van der Garde took the position for the #29 Racing Team Nederland.

However, at hour 3 Nyck de Vries picked up a puncture during his stint in the #29. Anthony Davidson’s #31 DragonSpeed was briefly promoted to third, but was dropped down to fourth by the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing.

Joao Filipe, Adrenal Media / FIA WEC Media

GTE:

Corvette took first blood in the Pro class with Antonio Garcia moving the #63 up from third to first. But over the course of the afternoon the Porsches hauled in the Corvette and the #92 took the lead with Kevin Estre at the wheel.

In the Am class, Matteo Cairoli in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche converted pole into an early lead. But this was lost when he handed over to Satoshi Hoshino, who spun the #88 on the Mulsanne Straight and handed the lead to Giancarlo Fisichella in the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari.

Hoshino would be involved in another, much heavier incident later in the evening as he collided with Marcel Fassler’s #64 Corvette, making the first official retirement of the race.

The 24 Hours of Alonso

The Canadian Grand Prix was a milestone for one of the drivers. Fernando Alonso would start his 300th Grand Prix in Formula 1 (although some still argue it was his 297th start as he did not start all of them). This was enough reason to make it a memorable weekend for the Spaniard. Knowing that he doesn’t have a winning car in the McLaren-Renault, the expectations were not that high. Finishing in the points would be more than enough. After a very disappointing qualifying; he only ended up in P14, hoping to get just one point as overtaking at Montreal can be difficult. He didn’t have an amazing start, which doesn’t happen often to the Spanish McLaren driver, but he did fight his way through the field. This ended in vein as he had to retire the car again due to problems with the electronics.

A disappointing 300th Grand Prix in F1 it was then for Fernando. However, he did have something else to look forward to. As part of his pursue to the Triple Crown, he would participate at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Toyota LMP1 team. He already won the Monaco GP twice, but he didn’t have an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans yet. The third piece of the Triple Crown is a victory at the Indy 500. Fernando did participate at that race last year and it looked like he could actually win the race as a rookie, until his Honda engine blew up near the end of the race. He thus still has to win both of them. This weekend Alonso had his first try at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Could he get this important victory after another disappointing weekend in Formula 1?

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada Fernando Alonso, McLaren.
Image courtesy of Steven Tee/McLaren ref: Digital Image _1ST9206

The Toyota number 8 car with Nakajima, Buemi and Alonso as the drivers took pole as Nakajima posted the fastest time in Qualifying 3 with a 3:15.377, putting them in front of their sister car number 7 with a gap of two seconds. This of course meant that the first ever victory for the Toyota team at Le Mans was within reach.

As Alonso was a rookie at Le Mans, it would be a risk to put him behind the wheel for the start of the race as it can be quite busy. That’s why Buemi was allowed to go first. Their race could’ve ended very early as Buemi had to defend hard to keep his first place, which led to a light touch with the Rebellion number 1 car which then went on and crashed into the Dragonspeed car.

It was at night, with thirteen hours left on the clock, where Alonso showed his full potential. The Spaniard took the wheel over from Buemi who had a good stint, but the gap to the number 7 Toyota kept growing. Fernando solely closed the gap to the number 7 Toyota from 1 minute and 30 seconds to just 40 seconds. Finding his way through the traffic he posted some very fast lap times. With eleven hours to go, Nakajima took over from the Spaniard and the fight for victory would go on between the Toyotas. They didn’t have a complete flawless race, as both cars got stop-and-go penalties for speeding during a slow zone. These penalties eventually got the number 7 car out of the running for the victory as they got two penalties in succession near the end of the race. Toyota, however, decided to not let Fernando take the flag, but the Japanese drivers Nakajima for the number 8 car and Kobayashi for the number 7 car. This was a good choice, as Nakajima finally could get his redemption for the drama in 2016, where the car stopped working with just one lap left. After 24 hours, the Toyotas took the flag in P1 and P2, giving them their first ever overall victory at Le Mans.

#8 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING / JPN / Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Hybrid / Sebastien Buemi (CHE) / Fernando Alonso (ESP) / Kazuki Nakajima (JPN)
Image courtesy of fia wec

Of course this victory for Toyota couldn’t come without complaints from critics. With Toyota being the only factory team in the LMP1 class, there wasn’t any competition . The privateer teams like Rebellion and SMP couldn’t match the pace of the Toyotas at all. Bykolles retired early in the race after a crash, and Rebellion number 1 with Lotterer behind the wheel knew a difficult start after hitting the Dragonspeed LMP1 car.

Many fans thus say that the victory wasn’t that unexpected and some even say it was undeserved because of the lack of competition. This might be partially true as it was indeed just a fight between the Toyotas up front. However, the last two years the Toyotas retired from the lead, with perhaps the most dramatic finish ever at Le Mans in 2016, But to win at Le Mans you have to battle against Le Mans itself.  It was not a battle against an Audi or a Porsche, but a fight against themselves as they still had to survive those 24 hours. An engine problem could end their race in a second, a crash could end their race, a suspension failure could end their race  and so on. Even with the fastest car you’re not safe from the wear and tear of Le Mans, hence the comment “to win at Le Mans you have to beat Le Mans”.

And it isn’t just the cars that have to survive, the drivers need to survive as well. Especially with a rookie, in endurance racing that is, it can be tough. Keeping up the pace all 24 hours long, fighting through the always unpredictable traffic and driving for more than two hours straight each stint wears those drivers out. A good example of that were the faces of Alonso and former F1 teammate at McLaren Jenson Button in their cars near the end of the race. They both had very tired eyes and in interviews they looked and sounded very tired as well.

A win at Le Mans therefore is never undeserved. It might be less special without the competition from other factory teams, but it is still a tough race on itself.

#8 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING / JPN / Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Hybrid / Sebastien Buemi (CHE) / Fernando Alonso (ESP) / Kazuki Nakajima (JPN)
Image courtesy of Joao Filipe/fia wec

Winning at Monaco and Le Mans, Alonso just needs one win to be the second person ever to take the Triple Crown, the Indy 500 victory. The Le Mans win could mean then that he will focus fully on Indycar and this might be his last season of Formula 1. The WEC ‘superseason’ ends with the Le Mans race of 2019, where Alonso potentially could get a second victory there. He already has two wins at the Monaco GP. Could Alonso be the first driver ever to achieve the Triple Crown twice?

 

Featured image courtesy of Steven Tee/McLaren ref: Digital Image _1ST0758

Le Mans LMP2: G-Drive takes maiden Le Mans win

The #26 G-Drive of Jean-Éric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Romain Rusinov put in a commanding display at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to take the outfit’s first win at the event.

The #26 initially had a poor start, with Vergne losing places at on the opening lap and dropping to seventh. But after recovering one place to sixth, Vergne then went a lap longer before pitting than the leading group and the offset was enough to bring the #26 out into first, where it remained for the rest of the race to finish fifth overall and two laps up on the rest of the LMP2 field.

#36 Signatech Alpine A470 / Andrej Alesko, WEC Media

Finishing a distant second behind G-Drive was the #36 Signatech Alpine, driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and André Negrão.

For most of the race, the #36 had been locked in a close fight over the runners-up spot with the #23 Panis-Barthez Ligier, with the two cars trading second and third throughout Saturday evening and into the night.

But with four hours remaining on Sunday morning, Will Stevens brought the #23 Ligier into the pits with technical issues—he was kept there for over an hour, dropping him to 11th and allowing Signatech Alpine to finish second unchallenged.

Panis-Barthez’s lengthy stop promoted the polesitting #48 IDEC Sport Oreca into third, until gearbox problems ended the latter’s race within the final hours.

In the #48’s absence, the #39 Graff Oreca inherited third and held the position until the chequered flag, with Tristan Gommendy fending off a late charge by former race winner Loïc Duval in TDS Racing’s #28 car.

#47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara P217 / Marius Hecker, WEC Media

Juan Pablo Montoya ended his Le Mans debut in fifth in the #32 United Autosports after a puncture in the penultimate hour dropped the Colombian a lap behind the LMP2 leaders. Jackie Chan DC Racing’s all-Malaysian #37 car finished sixth while the #31 Dragonspeed, which had started second and led early on, finished seventh.

Racing Team Nederland’s #29 was the highest Dallara finisher in ninth, sandwiched between the #38 and #33 Jackie Chan cars. There were issues for the #35 SMP and the #47 Cetilar Villorba Corse, with steering problems for the former and a late crash for the latter putting them 12th and 13th in class respectively.

As well as the #48 IDEC, there were four other retirements in the 20-car LMP2 field. The #34 Jackie Chan became the first after suffering an engine failure during the night, and was followed two laps later by the #40 G-Drive, which was spun into the Porsche Curves wall by José Gutiérrez. The #25 Algarve Pro Racing also retired, and United Autosports’ #22 car crashed out from fourth with four hours left.

The #44 Eurasia did not retire, but went unclassified as it failed to complete the final lap of the race.

#22 United Autosports Ligier JSP217 / Joao Filipe, WEC Media

Le Mans LMP1: Alonso adds to Triple Crown bid with #8 Toyota win

Toyota broke its 24 Hours of Le Mans curse with an emotional 1–2 finish led home by the #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso.

#8 and #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrids / Toyota Gazoo Racing

The Japanese marque was the overwhelming favourite coming into the 86th running of Le Mans, and aggressive opening stints from both Buemi and the #7 car’s Mike Conway soon put the two TS050 Hybrids well ahead of the privateer LMP1 entries battling for third.

The #7 gained the advantage late on Saturday when Buemi earned the #8 car a 60-second stop-go penalty for speeding in a slow zone. But a pair of rapid nighttime recovery drives by first Alonso and then Nakajima saw the #7’s lead disappear. Nakajima then completed the #8’s comeback in the 16th hour by snatching first place from Kamui Kobayashi on the inside of Arnage.

The #8 went on to hold the lead for the remaining eight hours, while the #7 dropped back after a series of late difficulties that included Jose Maria Lopez spinning at the Dunlop chicane and Kobayashi missing a pit stop and needing to take an extra lap at full course yellow speed to save fuel.

In the end Nakajima brought the #8 Toyota across the line with two laps in hand over Kobayashi in the sister car, which was a further ten laps clear of the #3 Rebellion in third. The win was Toyota’s first at Le Mans after 19 attempts and the first by a Japanese manufacturer since Mazda in 1991. Nakajima meanwhile became the first Japanese driver to win since Seiji Ara did so with Audi in 2004.

#3 Rebellion Racing R13 / Joao Filipe, WEC Media

Behind the Toyotas, Rebellion and SMP Racing immediately established themselves as the chief contenders for best-of-the-rest.

After Andre Lotterer lost the nose of his #1 Rebellion in a first lap collision, it was Thomas Laurent in the sister #3 who took charge of the Swiss team’s race by pressuring the #17 SMP of Stephane Sarrazin for third.

The two Frenchmen and their subsequent replacements swapped third and fourth position several times in the opening hours of the race, although the battle was eventually ended early and in Rebellion’s favour when Matevos Isaakyan spun the #17 into the barriers at the Porsche Curves shortly after midnight.

Isaakyan’s crash came not long after Dominik Kraihamer spun the #4 ByKolles out of the race at the same part of the track. The #10 Dragonspeed was another casualty of the Porsche Curves with Ben Hanley finding the barriers in hour 17, while the Manor-run #6 CEFC Ginetta and the #11 SMP were both waylaid by mechanical troubles to make it five LMP1 retirements by the end of the race.

That left the #1 Rebellion—which recovered from its opening lap crash and several late penalties to take fourth—and the #5 CEFC Ginetta, as the only surviving LMP1 cars outside of the podium.

#6 CEFC Ginetta G60-LT-P1 / Joao Filipe, WEC Media

Toyota can’t fail this year

Le Mans 24 – Iconic. Photo credit Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC

Toyota have never won the 24 hours of Le Mans which is one of the world’s most demanding races. They are massive favourites this year and they have got the best chance through various reasons! 

Toyota are the only team in the leading LMP1 Hybrid class, as Porsche withdrew from the series last year. They have no realistic competition and you could say the LMP1 rule book gives them an advantage that places Toyota in firm control.

The number seven car will be piloted by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López. Photo credit, Toyota WEC

The handicaps that the privateer LMP1 teams are as follows. They are not allowed to lap faster than the hybrid class, and if the privateers do, they will get a drive through penalty. The others involves the pit stops, in that a hybrid car can go a lap longer of 11 laps on fuel, whilst the privateer cars can only go 10 laps. Finally the hybrids also have a minimum pit stop time of 5 seconds which shorter than the other class. Toyota therefore will spend much less time in the pits than any other team. So realistically reliability is the only thing that would prevent them. 

Toyota have come so close in recent years and it was reliability that stopped them. The team came closest in 2016, it was leading for 23hrs 55mins until a failure happened on the penultimate lap. Porsche overtook them for victory, it was heartbreaking for the Japanese team. To add insult to injury the car took them over 11 minutes to finish the last lap which meant they were not even classified. In the race you have to complete the last lap in under 6 minutes by regulation 10.5 to be classed.

Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Le Mans rookie Fernando Alonso pilot the number eight car. Photo credit, Toyota WEC

In their #8 challenger, they have Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso, who is driving for them as well McLaren in Formula 1. Alonso has taken to endurance racing like a duck to water as it was his car that took victory in the first round of the World Endurance Series in Spa, Belgium. It was his first win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix in F1. 

To have without a doubt the fastest car on the grid, rules restricting the limited opposition they have and an increased calibre of drivers is it just a matter of the #7 or #8 taking victory?

It would be embarrassing for the manufacturer to lose this year, they would become a laughing stock. If they fail to win I also see the end of the LMP1 Hybrid category. To have one team in that field is also just ridiculous. 

We’ll find out! Follow @PitCrew_Online as we’ll have commentary throughout,  and get the kettle on for the early hours. 

WEC Super Season – 2018/19

As the World Endurance Championship heads to the 6 Hours of Shanghai and then onto the 6 Hours of Bahrain, thoughts have turned to 2018/19, the ‘Super-Season’.

The big news coming from the provisional calendar is that Spa and Le Mans now feature twice, with the return of the Sebring 12 Hours to the calendar which last appeared in 2012. The prologue returns to Paul Ricard in April.

The Sebring 12 Hours will be on the same weekend as the IMSA race, but starting at midnight.

Silverstone remains, though this is partly due to negotiations falling through to bring the race to Mexico City, if that had materialised then the British circuit may not have appeared at all on the calendar. Gone are CoTA, Bahrain and the Nurburgring.

Le Mans and the Sebring 12 Hours will not feature double points, but enhance points the details of which are yet to be announced. It seems fitting that the season will end at Le Mans (second visit), in most fans eyes the greatest race in the world.

The season will now begin in April 2018 and run for 14 months until June 2019. The FIA state the calendar has been designed in conjunction with the regulations to keep costs under control and offer a viable business model for the future of the series.

BMW will join the GT ranks to compete against Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche.

TRS and Manor have confirmed they will compete in LMP1 using a Ginetta chassis, with another unconfirmed team due to enter using another Ginetta chassis.

From next season the WEC will see the incorporation of the LMP1 Non-Hybrid cars into a single classification with the hybrid cars, be it that Porsche have now left Toyota as the only hybrid competitor. It is also proposed to equalise the lap performance of the best LMP1 Non-Hybrid cars by adjusting the instantaneous fuel flow and fuel consumption per lap for the Non-Hybrids. A fuel range advantage for Hybrid cars (one extra lap at Le Mans) will also be enforced.

With two Le Mans races in one season to enjoy, there is a lot of entertainment on offer from the WEC for 2018/19.

Provisional calendar:

5 May 2018 – 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

16/17 June 2018 – 24 Hours of Le Mans

19 August 2018 – 6 Hours of Silverstone

21 October 2018 – 6 Hours of Fuji

18 November 2018 – 6 Hours of Shanghai

16/17 March 2019 – 12 Hours of Sebring

4 May 2019 – 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

15/16 June 2019 – 24 Hours of Le Mans

 

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Spirit Of Le Mans

2010 Le Mans 24 Hours
Peugeots run 1-2-3 and away from the field during the opening hours of the race. Photograph taken from a helicopter shows the famous Dunlop Bridge at bottom of frame and the road winds up to the Terte Rouge corner and the beginning of the Mulsanne straight.
Photo: Rick Dole
©2010 Rick Dole/All Rights Reserved.

Every person has a burning ambition inside them, born from a desire to test their resolve to the ultimate limit. Being able to reach those limits, to go beyond the boundaries, to come face to face with fear like nothing ever experienced before.

Not knowing whether the current lap will be the final chapter in the story. Holding on to every single piece of emotion so much, that the body tenses with every turn. Searching for ‘that’ zone, where the car becomes an extension of the mind through the curves and chicanes.

As the car begins to feel at ease gliding effortlessly through historic parts of the course another, more powerful, force enters the fray as Mother Nature calls upon all of her strength to cast sun, cloud, wind and rain into the dramatic opera. Responding. Reacting. Realising that this is all part of the test. Can the driver adapt and overcome to these powerful elements as the car speeds through treacherous rain on one side of the course to be met by dry conditions in another part?

Day becomes dusk. Dusk gently dissolves into night wrapping it’s cold arms around the circuit as the cars take on a new existence of life. The headlights flash at every turn, brake discs glowing hot in the cold night praying for morning to arrive, a step closer to that final chapter.

The field of gladiators dwindles, some temporarily but for others it is the end of the emotional journey.

On the horizon the first signs of daylight begin to appear as the sun rises to bring the start of a new day to this epic battle of endurance and speed. Drivers on the limit for every second of every minute of every hour.

There are no losers, not in this story, just the chosen men and women taking a journey into a world that few will ever experience. The crowd are roaring with delight, gasping at horrific crashes and applauding every driver that passes their vantage point. It is a distant respect of honour.

The excitement building to a crescendo of tears, laughter and sadness. To be victorious in unfavourable circumstances, humble in the disappointment of defeat and sombre at the loss of those who never returned from the journey.

Fireworks exploding along the grid as the hero crosses the line with the cast of equal heroes parading behind, every single one playing their part to perfection in this epic tale.

It is remembering why they do this, the reason that every single driver gambles with their life on every stretch of tarmac around this historic circuit and never forgetting that within a second everything can change.

That is the spirit of Le Mans.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Le Mans By Numbers

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber (c) photo courtesy of Porsche

LE MANS BY NUMBERS

There are names. There are stories. There are legends. Then, there are numbers.

Here are a few of those numbers.

For WEC Week and the build up to the greatest endurance race in the world, here is Le Mans By Numbers:

1 – Wins In Their First Entries – Andre Lagache, Rene Leonard, Bernard Rubin, Woolf Barnato, Luigi Chinetti, Tazio Nuvolari, Philippe Etancelin, Luis Fontes, Jean-Pierre Wimille, Peter Walker, Fritz Riess, Hermann Lang, Ivor Bueb, AJ Foyt, Hurley Haywood, Klaus Ludwig, Andy Wallace, Christophe Bouchut, Eric Helary, Alexander Wurz, Tom Kristensen, Laurent Aiello, Nico Hulkenberg, Earl Bamber

2 – Most Pole Positions Without Winning – Toyota

2 – Most Consecutive Wins By Same Car – Bentley Speed Six, Ford GT40, Porsche 956 & Porsche WSC-95

2 – Most Cars In The Leading Lap – 1933, 1935, 1966, 1969, 1983, 1987, 1988, 2004, 2008 & 2011

3 – Wins In All Drivers Entries – Woolf Barnato

3 – Most Consecutive Pole Positions – Jacky Ickx & Stephane Sarrazin

4 – Most Consecutive Fastest Laps – Mike Hawthorn

4 – Winner With Most Constructors – Yannick Dalmas

5 – Most Wins By A Car – Audi R8

5 – Most Second Place Finishes Without Winning – Toyota

5 – Most Consecutive Fastest Laps – Audi

5 – Most Fastest Laps – Jacky Ickx

5 – Most Pole Positions – Jacky Ickx

6 – Most Consecutive Pole Positions – Porsche

6 – Most Consecutive Wins – Tom Kristensen

6 – Fewest Finishers – 1931

6 – Most Podiums Without A Win – Bob Wollek

7 – Most Consecutive Wins – Porsche

8 – Most Podium Hatricks – Porsche

8 – Most Cars Of The Same Brand In A Row – Porsche

9 – Most Driver Wins – Tom Kristensen

9 – Most Consecutive Podium Finishes – Emanuele Pirro

11 – Most Entries As Team Mates – Tracy Krohn & Niclas Jonsson

11 – Most Consecutive Finishes – Johnny O’Connell

12 – Most 1-2 Finishes – Porsche

12 – Most Safety Cars In A Race – 2013

13 – Most Wins By A Team – Joest Racing

13 – Biggest Gap In Years Between Two Wins – Alexander Wurz

14 – Most Fastest Laps – Porsche

14 – Most Starts Without Finishing One Race – Hans Heyer

14 – Most Podiums – Tom Kristensen

16 – Most Starts Before First Win – David Brabham

16 years (202 days) – Youngest Driver To Start A Race – Matt McMurry

17 – Biggest Gap In Years Between First And Last Win – Hurley Haywood

17 – Entries With Most Constructors – Francois Migault

17 – Fewest Cars In A Single Race – 1930

18 – Most Constructor Wins – Porsche

18 – Most Consecutive Podiums – Audi

18 – Most Retirements – Henri Pescarolo

18 years (133 days) – Youngest Driver On The Podium (Overall) – Ricardo Rodriguez

19 – Most Pole Positions By Constructor – Porsche

19 – Most Finishes – Derek Bell

20 – Most Entries With The Same Constructor – Bob Wollek

21 – Years Of Most Time Between Successive Starts – Jean Alesi

22 years (91 days) – Youngest Winner – Alexander Wurz

23 (hours, 15 minutes & 17 seconds) – Most Time In The Car During 24 Hours – Louis Rosier

30 – Most Winning Drivers Per Nation – United Kingdom

30 – Most Consecutive Starts – Henri Pescarolo

30 – Most Starts Without Winning (Overall) – Bob Wollek

33 – Most Entries By A Single Constructor In A Single Race – Porsche

33 – Total Starts – Henri Pescarolo

34 – Most Wins By Nation Constructor – Germany

34 – Most Winning Tyre Manufacturer – Dunlop

35 – Most Times Between First And Last Start – Mario Andretti & Yojiro Terada

43 – Total Driver Wins Per Nation – France

44 – Most Finishers – 2016

47 years (343 days) – Oldest Winner – Luigi Chinetti

55 years (110 days) – Oldest Driver On The Podium (Overall) – Mario Andretti

60 – Most Cars In A Single Race – 1950, 1951, 1953, 1955 & 2016

66 – Most Participations By A Single Constructor – Porsche

68 years (110 days) – Oldest Driver To Start A Race – Jack Gerber

788 – Most Total Entries By A Single Constructor – Porsche

24 – The Hours It Takes To Finish The Greatest Race In The World

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing