24 Hours of Le Mans - What's on when ?
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one hundred years old this year. The pinnacle of the endurance discipline, the famous race is the fourth round in the 2023 FIA world endurance championship. The event is always popular but this year there will not be a spare seat in the house as the automotive world celebrates the glittering anniversary.
A unique commemorative exhibition opens on Thursday 1 June at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum. An impressive 86 Le Mans cars will be on show, 65 of which were race winners.
The following day, Friday 2 June, sees the first of two scrutineering sessions. The pre-race checks are undertaken on Place de la République in the city centre where crowds gather to eye the cars and drivers up close. Session 2 is on Saturday 3 June. After the checks, several race cars will then parade through the streets of Le Mans.
- Oreca 07-Gibson #63 Prema Racing (LMP2)
- Chevrolet Corvette C8.R #33 Corvette Racing (LMGTE Am)
- Ferrari 488 GTE Evo #57 Kessel Racing (LMGTE Am)
- Porsche 911 RSR-19 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing (LMGTE Am)
- Porsche 911 RSR-19 #86 GR Racing (LMGTE Am)
- Ferrari 488 GTE Evo #100 Walkenhorst Motorsport
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 #24 Hendrick Motorsports
- Chenard & Walcker Sport
Don’t miss the chance to see them travel at a sedate pace for once! The evening will continue with a ceremony of thanks for all the volunteers, including the many track marshals, without whom the event could not happen.
On Sunday 4 June, the cars take to the track for Test Day. A round of the Ligier European Series is scheduled the same day. Test Day tickets are on sale now – your first opportunity to see the 16 Hypercars on track.
Tuesday is fan day at the circuit. The pit lane is open for autograph sessions and the pit stop challenge, when the mechanics take their turn in the limelight, in a wheel-change race. Drivers will be available for two autograph sessions, one at the circuit at 14:00 and one in the city from 18:00.
On Wednesday 7 June, it’s back to racing. The track hots up, starting with the Porsche Carrera Cup, Ferrari Challenge and Road to Le Mans, before the first Free Practice and Qualifying Sessions for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the evening, French pop star Zazie will set the pace for the musical entertainment.
Hyperpole is the highlight of Thursday’s agenda. The spectacular qualifying session features the fastest 8 cars in each class (Hypercar, LMP2 and LMGTE Am). Speed is the name of the game and drivers take full advantage of the small field to go full throttle around the 13.626-kilometer circuit. Famous British rock band Razorlight head the bill on the music stage in the evening.
24 HOURS OF LE MANS CENTENARY CELEBRATION
If there were ever any doubt, on Friday 9 June, Le Mans is definitely the place to be. Friday’s schedule is particularly spectator-friendly with support race track action in the morning, followed by the Drivers’ Parade, from 14:00. First, support races set the scene as the magic of the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins to take hold.
All on track!
From 15:00 to 20:00, the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit will be open to the public. A ticket will be required for access to the infield and spectator events, but the road part of the circuit, from Tertre Rouge to the Porsche Curves, will be open to all pedestrians and anyone using soft transport, i.e. cyclists, roller skates or kick scooters.
Drivers Parade (Parade des Pilotes)
The 27th Drivers Parade will follow a route through the city centre. All the drivers entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans parade through the streets perched on historic vehicles. Organised by Classic Automotive, in partnership with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the Drivers Parade brings a carnival-like atmosphere to Le Mans before the serious stuff begins the following day. Please note, the parade is earlier than usual this year: 14:00 to 16:30.
The grand centenary auction
On Friday 9 June the circuit provides the backdrop for a spectacular auction from 15:00 to 18:30. An impressive 21 cars, all of which have taken part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will come under the hammer of RM Sotheby’s. Among them, a 1932 Aston Martin LM8, a 1955 Ferrari 121 LM, a 1967 Alpine A210, a 1984 Lancia LC2 and a 1997 Chrysler Viper GTS-R. Head for the pit straight grandstands for great views of the exceptional machines.
All together now!
To celebrate its race’s 100th anniversary in style, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has put together a glittering ceremony, starting at 19:00 on the pit straight, in honour of everyone involved in the organisation of the world-famous event. At 19:30, look forward to the parade of legends when the cars displayed in the centenary exhibition line up on the pit straight ready for a demonstration of the memorable Le Mans style start, in which drivers ran to their cars to begin the race (at 20:45). Keep your wits about you in the grandstands. If you are lucky enough to catch a specially embroidered t-shirt, you could win a helicopter ride or a lap of the track as passenger to a racing driver. Eyes turn skywards for an hour-long air show including a flypast by the French air force acrobatics team, the Patrouille de France at 19:15.
Bob Sinclar takes the stage
French electronic music producer and DJ Christophe Le Friant, better known as Bob Sinclar, put French house music at the top of the bill across the world in the late 1990s and the 2000s. In the mid-2000s, his trio of albums Western Dream, Soundz of Freedom and Born in ’69 went gold in France. His track Love Generation topped the charts worldwide in 2005, and he was nominated for a Grammy the following year for another hit song, World, Hold On (Children of the Sky), featuring Steve Edwards. Follow signs to the Fan Zone Pop Art Concert to join the crowd, from 20:00.
The Centenary Show
The centenary festivities come to a head with a breathtaking night-time show. All eyes to the sky as the centenary festivities come to a head with a breathtaking night-time show involving fireworks and 400 drones! Follow signs to the Fan Zone Pop Art Concert to watch.
Please note that entertainment on Tuesday and Friday is open to Week Pass holders only.
Then comes the much anticipated race start, at 16:00 on Saturday 10 June. Always moving to witness, the starting ceremony will be extra special this year. After several hours racing, stand by for fireworks after nightfall, a drone display, and an exceptional concert from international star Mika.
At 16:00 on Sunday 11 June the winner of the 100th anniversary race shall cross the finish line. Which team will be presented with the unique Centenary Trophy made by the Paris Mint and sponsored by Rolex? Who’s your money on? Porsche, Ferrari, Toyota, Peugeot, Glickenhaus, Cadillac or Vanwall? We’ll know in 18 day’s time!
Detailed programme HERE
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