It is the most iconic and demanding event on the motorsport calendar. It is the most gruelling race, but also the most rewarding. Victory sees your name entered into this history books as a conqueror in a perfect harmony of man and machine. It can only be the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
One third of the ‘Triple Crown’, the fabled endurance test is the one every driver wants on their CVs. 24 hours of pure racing, with total trust put into your team-mates, mechanics and most importantly your car.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the flagship event of the World Endurance Championship calendar, which this year has seen nine drivers from Formula E coupling their electric programmes with a drive in the endurance series.
Reigning Formula E champion suffered absolute heartbreak this time last year when his #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing, which was leading the race at the hands of Kazuki Nakajima, developed a mechanical issue as it crossed the line to begin the very last lap of the 24 hour race, handing victory to the #2 Porsche of Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas.
Buemi is in action again this year along with the usual crop of Formula E drivers plus a new face at Le Mans, as Felix Rosenqvist will make his debut.
The Swede, who took his maiden Formula E victory last weekend in Berlin, has joined the ELMS DragonSpeed team for an assault at the 24 hour event and will line up 16th on the grid in the LMP2 class where he will share the #21 DragonSpeed – 10 Star with Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley.
In LMP1, three Formula E drivers help make up the Toyota roster, with Buemi piloting the #8 alongside Nakajima and Anthony Davidson. Jose Maria Lopez has changed cars for this race and now joins Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre in the #9.
Stephane Sarrazin shares the #7 with Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, the latter putting in a stellar lap in qualifying to set a new course record and bring the car pole position.
Six Formula E drivers tackle the LMP2 class, with pole position taken by the #26 G-Drive Racing of DS Virgin Racing reserve of Alex Lynn along with Roman Rusinov and Pierre Thiriet.
The second row of the LMP2 grid is formed of Jaguar reserve Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent and former Audi driver Oliver Jarvis in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing and the #31 Vallainte Rebellion, which sees Renault e.dams driver Nico Prost team up with Bruno Senna and
In fifth is former Formula E champion Nelson Piquet, who shares the #13 Vallainte Rebellion with Mathias Beche and David Heinemeier Hansson, ahead of the #24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing of Jean-Eric Vergne, Tor Graves and Jonathan Hirschi.
Last but not least, Sam Bird will be Formula E’s sole representative in the LMGTE Pro class, following the withdrawal of Lucas di Grassi.
The Englishman, who pilots the #71 AF Corse alongside Davide Rigon and Manuel Molina, will line up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in fourth place.
Topher Smith | e-racing.net