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Magazine: Le Mans 24 Hours review

Ferrari’s victory in a dramatic Le Mans 24 Hours kicks off a special issue of Autosport magazine, out today (15 June).

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Le Mans couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate its centenary. The new Hypercar era properly getting under way and a titanic battle for victory going the way of Ferrari must have been more than even the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and FIA could have hoped for.

AF Corse, Ferrari and drivers James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi and Alessandro Pier Guidi narrowly beat Toyota, which put up the sort of performance that adds weight to its five wins scored between 2018 and 2022, even if that run came to an end.

There will always be some disquiet and doubt about the late Balance of Performance changes that hampered Toyota. Exactly how much of a difference they made is open to debate but, as Gary Watkins shows in our in-depth report, there were many other factors that determined the result.

As ever, there were some great subplots, from the Jota squad showing that a privateer can challenge the factory teams in this new age to a shock LMP2 victory and a remarkable comeback in GTE Am’s swansong. And, of course, there was the NASCAR, which made a big impression and was a good deal stronger than the 1976 effort.

Our 24-page package covers all that, plus an extensive results rundown and a look at the rollercoaster ride of the distance and fastest lap records over the first 100 years of the world’s greatest motor race.

There was plenty of news from the Circuit de la Sarthe, too. Toyota showed its hydrogen Hypercar concept, Alpine launched its LMDh challenger and LMP2’s demise in the World Endurance Championship from 2024 was confirmed. That forms part of our Pit + Paddock section, which also includes Formula 1’s desire to cut weight in the next ruleset.

On the subject of F1, Alex Kalinauckas assesses George Russell’s assertion that Max Verstappen is less aggressive now that he has his hands on Red Bull’s dominant RB19.

The challenges facing the future of UK motorsport are also investigated in our 16-page National section, which has all the usual news and reports.

For the best motorsport coverage, from F1 to Britain’s club-racing scene via Le Mans, why not get Autosport magazine delivered to your door each week? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport: www.autosportmedia.com/offer/Autosport

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