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Race report
Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24h, H1: Ferrari, Porsche locked in tight battle at the start

Ferrari and Porsche were locked in a close battle after the opening hour of the Le Mans 24 Hours, with a 10-second penalty hanging over the leading #50 499P of Nicklas Nielsen.

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen, #51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Nielsen was running fractionally ahead of the #6 Porsche of Laurens Vanthoor after one hour of racing, but must serve a 10-second penalty at his next pitstop for an unsafe release.

The three Ferrari LMH cars made blistering starts as the 92nd running of Le Mans 24 Hours got away at 4pm local time, with Nicklas in the #50 car jumping from fourth to slot into second.

Nielsen then got a great run on the polesitting #6 Porsche 963 of Laurens Vanthoor, getting the move done into Indianapolis to grab the lead of the race.

The #51 Ferrari started by former Formula 1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi initially dropped to fourth, but reeled in the #3 Cadillac of Sebastien Bourdais for second on lap 2 before passing Vanthoor two tours later to establish a 1-2 for the Prancing Horse behind Nielsen.

The two Ferraris were able to build a brief buffer in the first 30 minutes of the race, but the first of the Porsches and Cadillacs managed to close back in on them, with the leading four cars peeling into the pitlane right on the tail of each other.

The factory Penske pitcrew managed to service the #6 Porsche in two fewer seconds, allowing Vanthoor to return to the track in the lead of the race. Nielsen was next in queue, but nearly ran into Bourdais’s Cadillac as he rejoined the fast lane.

In the next two laps, Nielsen was able to get back ahead of Vanthoor to retake the lead of the race, but is likely to drop back down the order when he comes in to serve his penalty.

Third place is currently held by the sister factory #51 Ferrari of Giovinazzi, who served a 10-second stop/go penalty at the first pitstop due to an offence in qualifying, the Italian getting ahead of Bourdais in the second stint.

The #8 Toyota completed the top five with Sebastien Buemi at the wheel, with Charles Milesi sixth in the best of the Alpine LMDh cars on the French manufacturer’s return to the top class.

An impressive launch from 12th on the grid helped Robert Kubica to move up to seventh in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari, which also was sanctioned in qualifying like the factory #51 car.

The first Hypercar manufacturer to suffer a setback was BMW after Marco Wittmann spun the #15 BMW M Hybrid at the esses while running in seventh position, lightly hitting the barriers. 

It forced the two-time DTM champion to make an early pitstop, leaving him firmly at the bottom of the Hypercar order.

The #99 Proton Porsche started by 2016 Le Mans winner Neel Jani was wheeled back into the garage after just 45 minutes on the clock.

The #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid that started from the rear of the class made little headways in the opening hour, with Nyck de Vries - who was involved in a collision with a Lexus GT3 car in warm-up - only climbing up to 16th place.

In LMP2, a rapid pitstop helped Bent Viscaal to take the lead in the #9 Proton ORECA 07 ahead of #65 Panis Racing entry of Mathis Beche and the #22 United Autosports car of Oliver Jarvis.

Polesitter Louis Deletraz had led comfortably in the first stint in the #14 AO by TF Oreca, but a change of driver in the pits meant PJ Hyett rejoined the field in the lower half of the top 10.

A brief slow zone was caused by gentleman driver Ben Keating when he beached his #23 United Autosports Oreca at the Dunlop Curve. He was able to continue after receiving external assistance in form of a crane.

The LMGT3 class continues to be led by Frederik Schandorff in the polesitting  #70 Inception McLaren 720S GT3 despite a big challenge from Ben Barker in the #77 Proton Ford Mustang GT3.

Barker had started from fourth but made rapid gains in the early laps to grab second from Aliaksandr Malkyhin, whose #93 Manthey PureRXcing Porsche 911 GT3 R continued to tumble down the order in the opening hour.

Larry Ten Voorde holds third in the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 296 GT3.

Le Mans 24 Hours 2024, Hour 1 results

POS # CLASS TEAM CAR LAPS GAPS PITS
1 50 Hypercar H FERRARI AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 499P
16 - 1
2 6 Hypercar H PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT
 
Porsche 963
16 0.423 1
3 3 Hypercar H CADILLAC RACING
 
Cadillac V-Series.R
16 2.558 1
4 51 Hypercar H FERRARI AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 499P
16 3.095 1
5 8 Hypercar H TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
 
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid
16 3.617 1
6 35 Hypercar H ALPINE ENDURANCE TEAM
 
Alpine A424
16 4.017 1
7 83 Hypercar H AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 499P
16 4.914 1
8 36 Hypercar H ALPINE ENDURANCE TEAM
 
Alpine A424
16 6.593 1
9 5 Hypercar H PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT
 
Porsche 963
16 10.496 1
10 38 Hypercar H HERTZ TEAM JOTA
 
Porsche 963
16 11.602 1
11 311 Hypercar H WHELEN CADILLAC RACING
 
Cadillac V-Series.R
16 12.975 1
12 4 Hypercar H PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT
 
Porsche 963
16 13.782 1
13 2 Hypercar H CADILLAC RACING
 
Cadillac V-Series.R
16 15.690 1
14 93 Hypercar H PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES
 
Peugeot 9X8
16 16.762 1
15 12 Hypercar H HERTZ TEAM JOTA
 
Porsche 963
16 17.102 1
16 94 Hypercar H PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES
 
Peugeot 9X8
16 18.566 1
17 7 Hypercar H TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
 
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid
16 19.763 1
18 19 Hypercar H LAMBORGHINI IRON LYNX
 
Lamborghini SC63
16 20.550 1
19 63 Hypercar H LAMBORGHINI IRON LYNX
 
Lamborghini SC63
16 20.702 1
20 20 Hypercar H BMW M TEAM WRT
 
BMW M HYBRID V8
16 21.039 1
21 11 Hypercar H ISOTTA FRASCHINI
 
Isotta Fraschini Tipo6-C
16 1:19.761 1
22 9 LM P2 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 2:41.456 1
23 65 LM P2 P/A PANIS RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 2:47.163 1
24 22 LM P2 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 2:47.882 1
25 37 LM P2 COOL RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 2:48.176 1
26 28 LM P2 IDEC SPORT
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 2:51.746 1
27 15 Hypercar H BMW M TEAM WRT
 
BMW M HYBRID V8
15 2:52.058 2
28 10 LM P2 VECTOR SPORT
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 2:53.457 1
29 24 LM P2 NIELSEN RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 3:10.628 1
30 34 LM P2 INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 3:13.383 1
31 30 LM P2 P/A DUQUEINE TEAM
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 3:30.510 1
32 14 LM P2 P/A AO BY TF
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 3:34.007 1
33 183 LM P2 P/A AF CORSE
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 5.996 1
34 45 LM P2 P/A CROWDSTRIKE RACING BY APR
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 34.926 1
35 33 LM P2 P/A DKR ENGINEERING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
15 38.362 2
36 23 LM P2 P/A UNITED AUTOSPORTS USA
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
14 2 laps 1
37 99 Hypercar H PROTON COMPETITION
 
Porsche 963
14 3:14.735 2
38 70 LMGT3 INCEPTION RACING
 
McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
14 3:22.726 1
39 77 LMGT3 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Ford Mustang LMGT3
14 3:23.717 1
40 66 LMGT3 JMW MOTORSPORT
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
14 3:28.304 1
41 88 LMGT3 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Ford Mustang LMGT3
14 6.708 1
42 59 LMGT3 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
 
McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
14 9.948 1
43 95 LMGT3 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
 
McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo
14 16.399 1
44 60 LMGT3 IRON LYNX
 
Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2
14 17.918 1
45 46 LMGT3 TEAM WRT
 
BMW M4 LMGT3
14 18.902 1
46 44 LMGT3 PROTON COMPETITION
 
Ford Mustang LMGT3
14 19.874 1
47 27 LMGT3 HEART OF RACING TEAM
 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3
14 23.801 1
48 87 LMGT3 AKKODIS ASP TEAM
 
Lexus RC F LMGT3
14 24.267 1
49 85 LMGT3 IRON DAMES
 
Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2
14 26.177 1
50 55 LMGT3 VISTA AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
14 26.719 1
51 92 LMGT3 MANTHEY PURERXCING
 
Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3
14 24.254 1
52 777 LMGT3 D'STATION RACING
 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3
14 44.998 1
53 91 LMGT3 MANTHEY EMA
 
Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3
14 46.361 1
54 86 LMGT3 GR RACING
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
14 48.665 1
55 31 LMGT3 TEAM WRT
 
BMW M4 LMGT3
14 49.260 1
56 54 LMGT3 VISTA AF CORSE
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
14 53.157 1
57 82 LMGT3 TF SPORT
 
Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R
14 55.305 1
58 155 LMGT3 SPIRIT OF RACE
 
Ferrari 296 LMGT3
14 1:04.507 1
59 81 LMGT3 TF SPORT
 
Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R
14 1:06.852 1
60 25 LM P2 ALGARVE PRO RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
13 3 laps 1
61 78 LMGT3 AKKODIS ASP TEAM
 
Lexus RC F LMGT3
13 2:34.126 1
62 47 LM P2 P/A COOL RACING
 
Oreca 07 - Gibson
10 6 laps 1

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