The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans is the 82nd edition of the auto-endurance race, and fans are excited to see the best drivers in the world tackling the difficult Circuit de la Sarthe in France for a full day.
With the race starting on Saturday and continuing through Sunday, motorsports fans will be treated to some of the most intense driving. As the ultimate endurance challenge, this will have all the drama needed to keep fans enthralled.
Here is all the vital viewing information for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Where: Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France
When: Saturday, June 14 through Sunday, June 15
Start Time: 9 a.m. ET
Watch: Fox Sports 1
Live Stream: Le Mans 24 Live
*Map via LeMansClassic.com.
Team and Drivers to Watch
With four different classifications taking the course for the 24-hour race (LMP1-H, LMP2, LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am), there are many different drivers and teams who will intrigue race fans.
The team and driver most worthy of the headlines is the No. 20 Porsche driven by Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley.
The three men have very different points of view coming into the 2014 event, but each is incredibly talented. The No. 20 car qualified on the pole with an impressive time of three minutes and 23.157 seconds.
Hartley’s qualifying lap was just 0.771 seconds better than Porsche teammates Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb of the No. 14 car. At only 24 years old, Hartley is the youngest member of his trio and looking to prove his worth in the sport and on the Porsche team.
Along with Hartley, the No. 20 car also has former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Bernhard, who will be looking to climb back into Victory Lane for the first time since 2010.
The combination of Bernhard and Hartley would make for a formidable team on their own, but the real X-factor in this trio is Formula One star Webber.
While the Australian driver has never won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he has nine victories and 42 podiums in Formula One. Together, these three drivers should make for the most dangerous team on the track.
Webber told Joshua Matic of The Queanbeyan Age about coming back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time since his huge crash in 1999:
Coming over the crest of the hump [during practice at Le Mans] I thought of the very different experience I had there in 1999, but it actually, and thankfully, felt like another lifetime. I am certainly more relaxed going into the race than I was 15 years ago. To come here with a Porsche 919 Hybrid is a big day for all of us and practice ran smoothly...we worked on balance and set-up of the car. We are constantly improving and again we learnt a lot.
With a cast of characters on the No. 20 Porsche team full of talent and fully motivated to drive away with the victory, Bernhard, Webber and Hartley have the right mix of tangible success and intangible effort to pull out the win.
Spending 24 hours on a track will undoubtedly yield problems. It always does. Whether it’s an error from the driver or a failure on the car, it’s about how the team diagnoses and reacts to the issues and how quickly they develop a solution.
The Porsche team boasts a talented crew of engineers and pit workers. Couple the surrounding pieces with the success of Bernhard, Webber and Hartley, and the No. 20 car will be in contention for the victory on Sunday.
*Stats via 24H-LeMans.com.