Key timings and timetable for Le Mans race week
In less than ten days’ time, the run-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins with the opening of the grand centenary exhibition followed by the scrutineering sessions in the city. Read on for details of what to see and where to be!
The 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of FIA WEC, is 100-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, 2 June , sees the first of two scrutineering sessions. The pre-race checks are undertaken on Place de la République in the city center 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 parade through the streets of Le Mans.
- Prema Racing (Oreca 07 - Gibson / LMP2)
- Corvette Racing (Chevrolet Corvette C8.R / LMGTE Am)
- Kessel Racing (Ferrari 488 GTE Evo / LMGTE Am)
- Dempsey-Proton Racing (Porsche 911 RSR - 19 / LMGTE Am)
- GR Racing (Porsche 911 RSR - 19 / LMGTE Am)
- Walkenhorst Motorsport (Ferrari 488 GTE Evo / LMGTE Am)
- Hendrick Motorsport (Chevrolet Camaro ZL.1 / Innovative Car)
- Chenard & Walcker 1923
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 June 4 , 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 2:00 pm and one in the city from 6:00 pm
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 eight fastest cars in each class (Hypercar, LMP2 and LMGTE Am). Speed is the name of the game as drivers take full advantage of the small field to go full throttle around the 13.626-kilometre circuit. Famous British rock band Razorlight head the bill on the music stage in the evening.
If there were ever any doubt, on Friday 9 June , Le Mans is definitely the place to be. In the morning, support races set the scene for the magic of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to take hold. And that, of course, includes the highly popular city center Drivers Parade beginning at 14:00.
• The afternoon begins with a charity fun run open to accredited personnel only, then from 15:00 the track is open to all so that spectators can check out their favorite landmarks. Fans will be able to walk, cycle or skate on the legendary circuit. Imagine being able to touch the hallowed ground! Don't miss the chance!
• At the same time, RM Sotheby's will be holding an auction of superb Le Mans cars on the pit straight. Head for the grandstands for great views of the exceptional machines.
• The official 24 Hours of Le Mans centenary celebration begins at 19:00. Spectators get a rare chance to applaud everyone involved in the organization of the world-famous event, a team that includes many volunteers. Eyes turn skywards for an hour-long air show including a flypast by the French air force aerobatics team, the Patrouille de France at 19:15.
• 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 a passenger to a racing driver.
• The entertainment continues with French DJ Bob Sinclar and concludes with the Centenary Show at 23:00. Drones, light, video and pyrotechnics all combine in a spectacular celebration of 100 years of racing history.
The much-anticipated race start is at 16:00 on Saturday, 10 June . Always moving to witness, the starting ceremony will be extra special in this anniversary year. Once the race is under way, at nightfall, look forward to the second edition of the Centenary Show followed by an exceptional concert from international star Mika.
At 4:00 pm 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? Who's your money on? Porsche, Ferrari, Toyota, Peugeot, Glickenhaus, Cadillac or Vanwall? We'll know in 18 days' time!
Click HERE for the detailed timetable.