Everything you need to know about the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Dutch participants

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for this weekend and that’s a great interpretation of a weekend without Formula 1. For F1 fans unfamiliar with the endurance event, it’s hard to make your way through the many classes, teams and drivers involved. F1 max Put everything you need to know to be able to talk about the biggest annual endurance race, while of course the talent from home.

The 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place in 2021. After being first held in 1923, this event has become the most famous challenge in the World Endurance Championship (WEC, editor). Usually the second or third weekend of June is used for the event, but due to the coronavirus, no spectators could be seen on that date. As a result, the competition will take place two months later this year. The match will start on Saturday at 4pm local time and conclude the following day at the same time. RTL 7 and Eurosport are broadcasting the entire event, so stay tuned for those channels.

Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held in the Circuit de la Sarthe, named after the nearby Sarthe River. It is a path of at least 13.6 kilometers through the French countryside. To put this in perspective, the full lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe is just under twice the length of the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps. Originally it featured a six-kilometre straight, but in 1990 the FIA ​​required that the track strait be no longer than two kilometers for safety reasons. Thus the Hunaudières were divided into three more or less equal straight.

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Circuit de la Sarthe, the route on which the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place. (Image: unchanged, Will Pettinger)

Some of the other notable sections of the circuit, held by Kamui Kobayashi (3:14971, 2017), are Dunlop Bridge, Tertre Rouge, Mulsanne, Indianapolis-Arnage, Porsche Curves and Ford Chicanes. Tertre Rouge is important because it’s good Exit It results in great velocity during the first part of the long straight line. In the Mulsanne, drivers drop from a top speed of 340 km/h to 100 km/h, while this is seen as one of the places where overtaking can be attempted.

Indianapolis-Arnage is one group of angles where judgment is of great importance. After Mulsanne ends asphalt. Arnage’s sharp right hand gesture is particularly challenging. More dedicated drivers can take this corner to the fullest. Porsche’s curves form a solid mix of left and right turns where every steering error costs. After 2020, a modification was made to the left turn, after which there is now a slightly larger running bar. At the end of the lap the drivers take the Ford Chicanes, as large barriers sometimes cause damage to the cars. So optimum focus is also of great importance there, because class victories often stand or fall with the reliability of the cars.

Racing classes

During the event, no less than four racing classes can be found simultaneously on the asphalt. So all of these classes fight separately for victory during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, although the real “winner” of Le Mans is usually attributed to the team that crosses the finish line first. The categories are split into Hypercar, LMP, and GTE, and then each category is split into Pro and Amateur. useful Observer’s Guide Where categories, teams and drivers are clearly displayed, you’ll find over here.

In 2021, the Le Mans Hypercar class will enter WEC. This is the pinnacle of endurance racing, so it will be a supercar team that will claim the overall victory. The LMH class, the successor to LMP1, is expected to complete a Tour of Le Mans in three and a half minutes. The primary contenders for the overall win are the two Toyota Gazoo Racing teams, which includes well-known names such as Sebastian Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kamui Kobayashi, split between the two teams. We twice found a Glickenhaus Racing car with almost all-red paint, and finally Alpine partnered with a team.

Left: Glickenhaus Racing LMH. Right: Corvette Racing GTE-Pro.

The second LMP class is LMP2. A platform for endurance racing, but for parties who don’t have a ton of money to spare, relatively speaking. A modular engine block is used in the LMP2 class, while the gearbox is the same for all teams. In addition, you can choose from three chassis, of which the Oreca 07-Gibson is the favorite model of all participants. The use of standard components in LMP2 classes allows drivers to make a real difference and makes the competition exciting and engaging.

In order to ensure that the LMP2s don’t overtake Hypercars, they will drive with less power and more weight in 2021. Lap times of three and thirty minutes are also expected in this class. One of the details that distinguishes the LMP2 class from the Hypercar class is the presence of at least one amateur driver on each team. This increases the strategic aspect of the 24 Hours race, as teams have to decide when to use the “amateur”. There is a category for drivers (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) and each team must have at least one bronze or silver driver.

GTE Categories

The GTE classes can be divided into Pro class and Am class. As can be inferred from the name, Pro teams race with professional drivers only, while Am teams must bring in at least one Amateur, just like in the LMP2 class. The Pro class had five participating teams, which put a total of eight cars on the track. For Dutch fans, it is especially important to pay attention to the yellow Corvette Racing, which Nick Katzberg works for. He alternates his periods in the cockpit with Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor.

There will be no battle for the overall win in the Am class due to the low level of drivers involved. However, there is also something Dutch Le Mans fans can gain. In the German Rinali is Jeroen Blekemolen, who was a gold-ranked driver taking two bronze gentlemen under his wing, Pierre Ayrett and Christian Hook. However, he is immediately the only Dutchman to be found in the Am class. Our little country is richer in the LMP2 category.

Dutch acting in 24 Hours of Le Mans

We already mentioned above a couple of gentlemen who will be in action within 24 hours of Le Mans, but in fact most Dutch driving by far is in the LMP2 class. Below we cover the top local names competing in the endurance event.

Petsky Visser

Betske-Visser will race this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans for Richard Mille Racing Team. The LMP2 team, with start number 1, consists exclusively of female drivers. So Visser shares the cockpit with Tatiana Calderon and Sophia Florsch (three silver). Colombian Calderon is known for her short participation in Formula 3. Florsch, German, also participated in Formula 3, but did not make it to the W Series. Thus, these three ladies are the only team that includes exclusively female participation. The dark red Visser is recognizable by the Richard Mille logo on the shark fin.

Nick de Vries

New Formula E champ Nick de Vries celebrated his championship victory hard, but he already wore the helmet. The platinum-rated driver takes the lead in the G-Drive race, sharing the cockpit with Roman Rossinov and Franco Colapinto. The black-orange car with the starting number 26, a G-Drive in capitals on the shark fin and Gazprom as the sponsor on the planks had already managed to put De Vries in fourth during qualifying, meaning the team got off to a good start. Let’s see if the Dutch-Russian and Argentine group wins this weekend.

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Nyck de Vries has already been spotted on the net in France. Racing Team Netherlands Fritz Van Erd can be seen on the right of the photo.

Netherlands Racing Team

Of course, Racing Holland shouldn’t miss the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Dutch team sponsored by Jumbo is recognizable, as the name might suggest, by the main sponsor. The Jumbo logo can be found prominently across the yellow and all-black car, making it easy for you to choose Frits van Eerd, Giedo van der Garde and Job van Uitert. Van Eerd, co-owner of Jumbo, is the bronze-ranked driver on this team, while Van der Garde holds the platinum rating. van Uitert, from F1 max Speaking before the event, he has a golden circle behind his name.

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The livery of Racing Team Nederland, the only Dutch racing team to have participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Robin Frings

Robin Frijns, who eventually snatched the Formula E title with 10 points (P5 in the final standings), is also not ready after his season in the electric racing category. On Saturday and Sunday it will be at WRT Team’s Oreca 07-Gibson. This Belgian team is recognizable by its white and red color, red mirrors and red accents on the headlights and on the windshield. Frenz forms a trio with the Austrian Ferdinand von Habsburg and the French Charles Melissy. Frijns in this team is classified as the platinum driver, while his fellow country driver is the obligatory “amateur”.

Ranger van der Zande

We close the Dutch roster with the driver Ringer van der Zande. The Ziggo Sport regular analyst will once again compete in endurance competition in 2021 and will do so in Inter Europol, as his Polish racing stable is called. The bright yellow car has light green and dark green accents around the shark fin, which are the car’s highlight. Van der Zande teams up with silver Jakub Smiechowski and gold seed Alex Brundle. The Dutchman himself also has a golden side note after the name.

The yellow-green color of the team that works for Ranger van der Zande.

Who else should you watch?

Are you totally interested in Dutch talent? So the information below is superfluous. If you want to follow up on some other beautiful storylines, Le Mans can definitely deliver. There are an incredible number of big names taking part in the event, from Formula E driver Alex Lynn to Sky Sports F1 analyst Paul di Resta. Perhaps the name Stoffel Vandoorne also rings a bell. The 24 Hours of Le Mans attracts many drivers of all racing categories who love to drive this prestigious event.

One of the LMP2 teams to watch is the army green Jota Sport. A British team featuring Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Robert Gonzalez. This gives them two platinum engines (1st and 2nd) and one of the most powerful formations on the LMP2 network. In another WRT car, we also find Robert Kubica, who is looking for redemption in other racing seasons after a brief return to Formula 1. And naturally, sponsor Orlen nominated for financial support. Look out for the Orlen logo if you’re a pool fan.

Perhaps the most beautiful LMP2 story for a neutral viewer revolves around the Sashi-High Class Racing team. In the Danish racing stable, we find father Jan Magnussen and son Kevin Magnussen. It’s not often that father and son go on to win Le Mans, but the two former Formula One drivers will venture out together in 2021. The two platinum drivers have found a silver mate at Anders Fjordbach (also a Dane) who should help them secure the class title. For Magnussen lovers: Shark fin sashimi is in large letters. (Photo: WEC)

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