24 Hours of Le Mans 2017: History, Past Winners, and 2016 Recap

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is an endurance event regarded as one of the biggest tests in the world of motorsports. The event was first organised in 1923, and it takes place in the town of Le Mans. The event is considered as being part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500. The race takes place over 24 hours – as its name suggests – with teams trying to achieve a balance of endurance and speed. Over the course of the race, teams will cover just over 5230 km through 384 laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

In this piece, we will cover some key Le Mans 2017 news as well as some essential recap of last year's event. We will also delve into the Le Mans 2017 history.

2016 Recap

The 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the 85th edition of this event. The Porsche team comes into the race as the defending champion after having won the 2016 race with Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, and Neel Jani. They also happen to be the class winners. The Porsche 919 Hybrid with a 2.0 L Turbo V4 managed to finish ahead of the Toyota TS050 Hybrid with a 2.4 L Turbo V6.

History and Famous Winners

The event has been dominated by Tom Kristensen, who has managed to take up nine wins. Incredibly, six of those victories came at the start of the millennium. In terms of the constructors, Porsche are the most successful team with 18 wins and they are closely followed by Audi with 13 wins.

Ferrari come third with nine wins. The era of dominance in the 24 Hours Le Mans for Porsche was in the 1980s when the team managed seven consecutive wins. Audi has been the dominant force in recent years with five consecutive wins at the start of this decade.

Le Mans 2017 Preview: When, Where & Recent News

Certain changes to the rules mean that teams will have to complete laps within six minutes. Last year’s winner Neel Jani is once again part of the Porsche team but along with Nick Tandy and Andre Lotterer.

The 85th edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held on 17–18 June 2017 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France.

As of June 15, some of the most important things you need to know about the 24 Hours of Le Mans are:

  • Di Grassi was ruled out of Le Mans with an ankle injury
  • Porsche leads Toyota in practice
  • Super-sub Rugolo happy to replace Di Grassi for Ferrary Le Mans chance
  • Kobayashi took provisional pole for Toyota

Le Mans 24 Hours 2017 Edition: 5 Key Questions

1. Can Toyota Dominate the Pace?

Toyota TS050 Hybrids showed incredible force in the test day pace, particularly the #7 car piloted by Kamui Kobayashi. The final qualifying stage will definitely not be as clear cut or stark as the test day, so it's worth seeing whether or not Toyota can maintain the advantage. Porshe is looking to catch up in the Le Mans 2017.

2. Does Porsche Have Any Aces Up Its Sleeve?

Since the brand is not looking for headlines this year, at least not in the qualifying stage, our questions still remain. Will the Weissach concern go full throttle for a 19th Le Mans victory with an ace up their sleeve? They have a more efficient fuel application and a wheel-nut device that is retained.

3. Can Someone Beat the Pole Position Time With The Current Circuit Configuration?

Kobayashi's best lap of 3 minutes and 18.13 seconds during the 10-11 June test was 1.3 seconds shy of Neel Jani's pole setting time in 2015. Can Toyota beat that record in the Le Mans 24 Hours 2017?

4. Will There Be a Podium Finish For An LMP2 Car?

Yes, one can. There are just six LMP1 cars, but it will not that difficult for an LMP2 car to make a historic appearance at Le Mans 2017. These hybrid cars provide weird surprises for their teams, but the LMP2 class has proven to be more reliable.

5. Can Toyota's Surprising Driver Swap Be Beneficial For Them?

Jose Maria Lopez has gone through bad start to his WEC career, as he was involved in an accident in his only race start to date for Toyota. Since he missed the Spa dates, will his replacement Stephane Sarrazin be more beneficial for the team?

Le Mans 2017 dates are definitely bringing incredible updates for motosport fans. Stay tuned for more at OddsDigger!

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