Category Archives: 24 Hours Of Le Mans

Toyota Gazoo Racing Tops Time Sheets At Le Mans Test Day (04.06.17)

Photo: Michael Jamin / ACO

Toyota Gazoo Racing set the three fastest times at the Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in two weeks time.

Kamui Kobayashi, in the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050-Hybrid he shares with Mike Conway and Stéphane Sarazin, set a 3:18.132 in the afternoon session. Sébasten Buemi was second quickest in the #9 Toyota after he set 3:19.290, again in the afternoon. The #9 Toyota was third quickest after Jose Maria Lopez, back in the car after having recovered from the impact he sustained at Silverstone in the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, set a 3:21.455.

With only two manufacturers competing in the premier class in 2017, Porsche LMP team set its fastest time with the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid after Earl Bamber lapped the Circuit de la Sarthe in 3:21.512.

In the LMP2 class, competing this year for the first time under the new regulations with the Gibson engine, the quickest time of the day was set by the #35 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470, driven by Nelson Pantiatici, Pierre Ragues and André Negrao, in which Pantiatici set a 3:28.844.

Second quickest in the LMP2 class was the #24 CEFC MANOR TRS TEAM CHINA ORECA 07 in which Jean-eric verge set a 3:28.844 in the car he shares with Tor Graves and Jonathan Hirschi.

Third quickest was the 2014 class-winners Jackie Chan DC Racing, run by Jota Sport, when its #37 ORECA 07 driven by Alex Brundle lapped in 3:29.104.

The additional power that the LMP2 class is enjoying in the 2017 was reflected in lap times which were nearly eight seconds quicker than at the Test Day 2016.

In LM GTE Pro Corvette Racing topped the time-sheets in both the morning and afternoon sessions. The quickest time of the day was set by Olivier Gavin in the #64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R when he lapped in 3:54.701 in the afternoon session.

Porsche GT Team were second and third quickest with the #91 Porsche 911 RSR lapping in 3:54.996 in the hands of Frédéric Makowiecki and the #92, driven by Kevin Estre just three-thousandths of a second slower at 3:54.999.

LMGTE Am honours went to the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage in the hands of Pedro Lamy who lapped in 3:38.250. Second quickest on his return to the Circuit de la Sarthe was Fernando Rees in the #50 Labre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in which he set set a 3:58.302.

Race Week for the 2017 running of the 24 Hours of Le mans begins with scrutineering in the Town Centre on Sunday June 11, followed by the first track outing for the cars on Wednesday June 14 at 16:00 for Free Practice 1.


Virage De Mulsanne – Friday June 16 2017

Photo: Roger Jenkins

If you are attending the 24 Heures du Mans in 2017, then don’t miss, whatever else you may be planning to do that day, the sixth “Virage de Mulsanne” event held on the iconic corner which bears the name of the local commune.

The 2016 event drew crowds of over 4,000 to view the display of 500 vehicles and enjoy the events in and around the town.

In 2016 the theme was ‘Ford at Le Mans’. This year the theme is a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Jaguar D-Type in the French classic in 1957. To mark the occasion, 50 examples of the marque will be gathered at Mulsanne Corner, ranging from XK120s, 140s and 150s and D-Types through to more contemporary examples.

In addition to the extensive static display, Miss 24 H will be in attendance as well as the creators of the famous animated racing driver Michel Vaillant, Marc Bourgne and Christian Lerolle. There will also be a display of the work of Ray Toombs, official painter of the 24 Heures du Mans and l’association Virage de Mulsanne.

virage-mulsanne-logo a.a 16.05.27

The event continues into the evening with a display of vehicles in the courtyard of the town-hall and a parade through the streets of Mulsanne. The day concludes wit concerts in the courtyard by Vibra’ scène and Sista’Flow.

The team visited “Virage de Mulsanne” last year and would thoroughly recommend the event. The vehicle display was extensive and fascinating and the opportunity to walk down the track from Mulsanne towards Indianapolis is one not to be missed.

The event starts at 9.00am on Friday June 16 at Ville de Mulsanne.



Toyota Gazoo Racing Adjusts Driver Line-Up Ahead Of 24 Hours of Le Mans (17.05.17)


Toyota Gazoo Racing has announced an adjustment to its driver line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 17 – 18.

The #7 Toyota TS050-Hybrid will now be driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Stéphane Sarrazin for the French classic. The line-up for the #8 entry remains unchanged with Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima sharing the driving duites.

Jose Maria Lopez, who was injured in an incident at the opening round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone and did not take part in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, will now join Nicolas Lapierre and Yuji Kunimoto in the #9 entry.

Toshio Sato, Toyota Gazoo Racing Team President, explained the decision:

“Our circumstances have changed over the last few weeks as a result of the injury to José Maria. He is in the unfortunate position of having completed very few racing laps this year in WEC, so we all felt it was appropriate to adjust the driver line-up.”

“I am very confident that Stéphane will fit well into a #7 line-up that can fight for the win,” continued Toshio Sato. “José Maria, like Yuji, will learn a lot at Le Mans this year, familiarising himself with the track and the event in general, and this is an important step for the future as well.”

The 2017 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place on June 17 – 18.