The 85th 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 85e 24 Heures du Mans) was an 24 hour automobile endurance event held for Le Mans Prototype and Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance cars on 17–18 June 2017 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, close to Le Mans, France. It was the 85th running of the 24 hour race organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest as well as the third round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. 258,500 people attended the event.
The race was won by the No. 2 Porsche driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber after taking the lead of the race in the final two hours. It was the second victory at Le Mans for Bamber and Bernhard, and Hartley's first. Toyota's Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, and Anthony Davidson finished in eighth place after starting on second position, and were the only other competitor in the LMP1 field to finish the event. The LMP2 category was won by Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent, and Oliver Jarvis in the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca, who led the race outright for several hours before finishing in second place overall. The second DC Racing entry of David Cheng, Tristan Gommendy, and Alex Brundle were three laps behind for third overall, followed by the No. 35 Signatech Alpine of Nelson Panciatici, Pierre Ragues, and André Negrão.
Aston Martin won the LMGTE Pro category, after the No. 97 car of Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, and Daniel Serra overtook the stricken No. 63 Corvette of Jordan Taylor, Antonio García, and Jan Magnussen in the final two laps of the race. The No. 67 Ford was also able to pass the Corvette on the final lap to take second place for Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx, and Pipo Derani. LMGTE Am was won by the Ferrari of , Will Stevens, and Dries Vanthoor. Ferraris also finished in second and third, with Spirit of Race's , , and in second, and Scuderia Corsa's Townsend Bell, Cooper MacNeil, and in third.
The date for the 2017 Le Mans race was confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in a press conference of the sport's organiser, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), at the Musée des 24 Heures du Mans on 16 June 2016. It was the 85th running of the event, and the third of nine scheduled rounds of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. The race was scheduled to avoid conflicting with other major motorsport events, as was the case in the 2016 edition when it clashed with the European Grand Prix.
Before the race Toyota drivers Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi led the Drivers' Championship with 50 points, 17 ahead of second-placed Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley and a further five in front of Neel Jani, Nick Tandy, André Lotterer in third. Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi were fourth on 19.5 points and their teammate Nicolas Lapierre rounded out the top five with 16 points. Toyota were leading the Manufacturers' Championship on 69.5 points, seven and a half ahead of their sole rival Porsche in second position. Toyota had so far dominated the championship with Davidson, Nakajima and Buemi winning the season's previous two rounds. Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley and Conway and Kobayashi had all finished in second once with their teammates Jani, Tandy, Lotterer having achieved one third-place result.
Following the 2016 event in which the leading car failed on its final lap and was eventually not classified in the final results, the standards by which a car is classified have been changed. Instead of the mandatory six minutes for the final lap of the race, penalties will be awarded for any lap over six minutes on a gradual scale. Failure to complete the last lap of the race in under fifteen minutes will now lead to a car no longer being classified.
The slow zone system used at Le Mans was also revised, with nine dedicated slow zone sectors laid out around the circuit. Previously individual marshal posts were used to mark the beginning and end of slow zones. The dedicated zones have been located such that the beginning of the 80 km/h (50 mph) is in a slow section of the circuit; previous slow zones could begin in areas of the track where cars were required to slow down from high speeds and cause accidents.
Modifications were made to the circuit from the Porsche Curves to the Ford Chicane. The run-off area where the last right hand turn goes into the left hand corner that begins the entry to Corvette corner was widened with the barrier at the Porsche Curves being moved further back. Further the angle of the wall at the left hand entry to the short straight before the Ford Chicane was altered. The changes led to criticism from Lotterer and Jan Magnussen about the potential loss of challenge. The ACO's sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil defended the alterations by saying that widening the run-off area was preferable than adding a chicane at the Porsche Curves.
The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) category was revamped with the introduction of a single specification engine from Gibson, with increased power output compared to 2016 LMP2 cars. Cockpit and chassis designs also mimic the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) regulations for safety. The four approved chassis manufacturers were Dallara, Ligier, Oreca and Riley.
Automatic entry invitations are earned by teams that won their class in the previous running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or won championships in the European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series, and the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup. The second-place finisher in the European Le Mans Series Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance (LMGTE) championship also earns an automatic invitation. Two participants from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are chosen by the series to be automatic entries by the ACO regardless of their performance or category. As invitations are granted to teams, they were allowed to change their cars from the previous year to the next, but not allowed to change their category. The LMGTE class invitations from the European and Asian Le Mans Series are allowed to choose between the Pro and Am categories. European Le Mans Series' Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) champion is required to field an entry in LMP2 while the Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 champion may choose between LMP2 or LMGTE Am. The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup champions are limited to the LMGTE Am category.
The ACO announced its initial list of automatic entries on 23 January 2017.
|Reason invited||LMP1||LMP2||LMGTE Pro||LMGTE Am|
|1st in the 24 Hours of Le Mans||Porsche Team||Signatech Alpine||Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA||Scuderia Corsa|
|1st in the European Le Mans Series (LMP2 and LMGTE)||G-Drive Racing||Aston Martin Racing|
|2nd in the European Le Mans Series (LMGTE)||JMW Motorsport|
|1st in the European Le Mans Series (LMP3)||United Autosports|
|WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at-large entries||Keating Motorsport||Scuderia Corsa|
|1st in the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP2 and GT)||Algarve Pro Racing||DH Racing|
|1st in the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP3)||Tockwith Motorsports||– or –||Tockwith Motorsports|
|1st in the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup||TF Sport|
Entry list and reserves
In conjunction with the announcement of entries for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series seasons, the ACO announced the full 60 car entry list for Le Mans, plus two reserves. In addition to the 28 guaranteed entries from the World Endurance Championship, 13 entries came from the European Le Mans Series, six from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, eleven from the Asian Le Mans Series, while the rest of the field was filled with one-off entries only competing at Le Mans. Two cars were initially named to the reserve entry list for the event; RLR Msport later withdrew their LMP2 Ligier, while a fourth entry from Proton Competition remained without being promoted to the race. With the withdrawal of Audi Sport Team Joest from LMP1, the class was reduced to just six entries for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Testing and practice
A pre-Le Mans testing day was held at the circuit on 4 June, and mandated all entrants for the race to participate in eight hours of track time divided into two sessions. The morning session, held on a dirty track with lap times improving throughout, was led by pre-race favourites Toyota, with Nakajima's No. 8 car setting a lap time of 3 minutes and 20.778 seconds. The second Toyota of Kobayashi followed almost seven-tenths of a second in arrears, and José María López completed a Toyota sweep of the top three in the No. 9 car. Porsche were off Toyota's pace by more than two seconds and completed the LMP1 field with Bernhard fourth and Lotterer fifth. Orecas led LMP2 with 13 cars at the top of the time sheets, led by the No. 36 Signatech Alpine of André Negrão, the sole driver to go under than 3 minutes and 30 minutes with a 3 minutes and 29.809 seconds lap, ahead of Rebellion and Graff. LMGTE Pro was topped by Corvette with Magnussen's lap of 3 minutes and 55.726 seconds, followed by Patrick Pilet's No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR and the second Corvette of Oliver Gavin. The No. 77 Porsche driven by Matteo Cairoli was fastest in LMGTE Am, ahead of the DH Racing Ferrari 488 of Andrea Bertolini.
The second session had Toyota continuing to lead the time sheets with Kobayashi setting a 3 minutes and 18.132 seconds lap, followed by Buemi whose best effort was 1.1 seconds slower and López was a further 2.2 seconds adrift in third. Porsche were still off Toyota's pace with their best effort coming from Bamber in the No. 2 car followed by Jani in the sister No. 1 entry. Nelson Panciatici in the No. 35 Signatech Alpine improved the fastest lap in LMP2 to finish in front of the sole LMP1 privateer, the No. 4 ByKolles Racing ENSO CLM P1/01 of Dominik Kraihamer, for sixth overall, putting him ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne's No. 24 Manor Oreca and the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car of Alex Brundle. Gavin missed 91 minutes due to a mid-session engine change but recorded the best LMGTE Pro lap of the day at 3 minutes and 54.701 seconds towards the end of testing to displace Frédéric Makowiecki's No. 92 Porsche at the top of the time sheets. Aston Martin led LMGTE Am with Pedro Lamy's 3 minutes and 58.250 seconds lap time to go two-tenths of a second ahead of Fernando Rees in the Larbre Compétition Corvette. The No. 33 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217 of Erik Maris stopped the session by becoming stranded in the Dunlop Curves gravel trap. Paul-Loup Chatin's No. 17 IDEC Sport Ligier and Jan Lammers in the Racing Team Nederland Dallara made contact at the second Mulsanne Chicane but both continued without major damage. The session prematurely ended with less than fifteen minutes remaining when the No. 25 Manor of Roberto González laid oil on the track and stopped.
Official practice was held on 14 June with the full 60-car field on track for four hours in hot and sunny weather conditions. Toyota led from the offset once again, with Lapierre setting the early pace and remained at the top for most of the session until Bamber bettered Lapierre's effort. Kobayashi improved on Porsche's time until he was overtaken in the final five minutes by Jani with a lap of 3 minutes and 20.362 seconds. Alex Lynn in the No. 26 G-Drive Racing car led LMP2 with less than forty minutes left with a lap of 3 minutes and 30.363 seconds and displaced the No. 13 Rebellion of Nelson Piquet Jr. Bruno Senna's sister No. 31 Rebellion was third. Aston Martins and Corvettes led LMGTE Pro from the start until Sam Bird's No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari topped the time sheets with a 3 minutes and 54.832 seconds effort. The best Aston Martin was placed second with Darren Turner's No. 97 vehicle and the second AF Corse car of James Calado placed third. In LMGTE Am, the quickest vehicle was the No. 98 Aston Martin of Lamy, ahead of a trio of Ferraris led by DH Racing. The safety cars were required for one hour and fifteen minutes after Christian Philippon's Larbre Compétition Corvette went off the track leaving the Porsche Curves and damaged the car's bodywork in an impact with a tyre barrier. Stephane Lemeret's No. 88 Proton Porsche scraped a barrier through the Porsche Curves but continued to the pit lane for repairs. The Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara of Roberto Lacorte slid into the Mulsanne Corner gravel trap and had to abandon the car.
The first of three qualifying sessions began late Wednesday night under clear conditions. The start was delayed due to an incident during practice for the first Road to Le Mans race in which a major crash necessitated barrier repairs to the Porsche Curves and the session was shortened by twenty minutes. Slow zones and yellow flags limited the amount of quick running, and the rapidly cooling track meant the best chance to set the fastest lap times was missed. The first timed laps of the session had Porsche lead early on with a benchmark effort from Jani, followed by Bernhard's 3 minutes and 19.710 seconds lap. Fifteen minutes later, Kobayashi had no slower traffic impeding him and topped the session with a time of 3 minutes and 18.793 seconds for provisional pole position. Nakajima followed six-tenths of a second behind in second and Bernhard's effort put him in provisional third. Lapierre was the slowest of the three Toyotas in fourth and Jani was off the pace. Rounding out the LMP1 field was Kraihamer whose fastest time was ten seconds slower than the leading Toyota but clear of the LMP2 field.
Matthieu Vaxivière carried TDS Racing's Oreca to provisional pole in LMP2 with a time of 3 minutes and 29.333 seconds set late in the session. He was half a second clear of Senna who held the class pole until Vaxivière's lap. The No. 25 Manor, driven by Vitaly Petrov, was third-fastest and was followed by teammate Vergne in fourth. Eric Trouillet in the No. 39 Graff Oreca caused the session's first yellow flag when he clouted the barriers leaving the second Mulsanne Chicane. The No. 27 SMP Racing Dallara caused further disruption when it reportedly impacted the barriers and suffered a fire that was extinguished quickly. Aston Martin topped the LMGTE categories, with Nicki Thiim setting the fastest time of 3 minutes and 52.117 seconds in the No. 95 car, while Mathias Lauda was the fastest Amateur class entry with a 3 minutes and 55.134 seconds lap. The No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 was eleventh amongst LMGTEs before ACO officials disallowed their fastest lap times for the team transgressing parc fermé regulations by handling the tyres after the session.
Thursday's first qualifying session began with a stoppage for a crash. Maris spun and crashed his No. 33 car heavily into the outside barriers leaving the first Mulsanne Chicane seventeen minutes in. Maris was unhurt but he was transported to the medical centre for a precautionary check-up. This meant organisers rescheduled second qualifying to end at 21:30 Central European Summer Time (CEST) (UTC+02:00). When it restarted, Kobayashi exited the pit lane early. He was aided by tailwinds on the Mulsanne Straight and headwinds through the Porsche Curves to set a new provisional pole lap of 3 minutes and 14.791 seconds.[N 1] The No. 8 Toyota stopped leaving the second Mulsanne Chicane with an oil supply problem that necessitated an engine change. The Toyota returned to the track with ten minutes remaining but fell to fourth as Buemi could not improve on its best time. Jani and Bernhard in the two Porsches bettered their lap times and moved to second and third. Yuji Kunimoto also improved the No. 9 Toyota's best lap but fell to fifth.
Petrov's Manor set a new LMP2 class lap record with a time of 3 minutes and 25.549 more than a second faster than rookie Thomas Laurent in Jackie Chan DC Racing's No. 38 vehicle and the sister Manor of Vergne. Petrov consequently demoted the ByKolles car to seventh overall. The LMGTE categories had some changes with Aston Martin remaining the leaders in Pro but Jonathan Adam bettered Thiim's first qualification session lap with Calado improving to second. Euan Hankey became the provisional LMGTE Am pole sitter before Will Stevens eclipsed his time to take over the position. At the premature end to qualifying with half an hour left, Timothé Buret drove onto grass in the No. 23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier and lost control of his car. Buret heavily damaged the vehicle in an impact with a barrier and was stranded in a gravel trap entering Tertre Rouge corner.
As temperatures cooled for the final qualifying session, more than half the field improved their fastest laps, but Kobayashi's time could not be bettered by any other LMP1 driver. He thus held the record to clinch Toyota's third pole position at Le Mans and their first since 2014. Nakajima improved the No. 8 car's time by more than two seconds to start alongside the sister No. 7 Toyota on the grid's front row. Porsche did not improve on their times from the second qualifying session and settled for third and fourth. Hartley precautionarily slowed and stopped the No. 2 Porsche at Indianapolis corner due to rising oil temperatures. He attempted to return to the pit lane on electric power but was forced to abandon the car. Lapierre improved early on but could only muster fifth position. Oliver Webb used clear air to move the ByKolles car back to sixth overall but was more than nine seconds off the pace. Lynn reset the LMP2 lap record early on by 11.3 seconds over the 2016 time. demoting the No. 25 Manor Oreca to second. Ho-Pin Tung's No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car took third and battled with Senna for the position. Oreca chassis, as well as the variant Alpine chassis, secured the first nine positions in LMP2, while the Dallara of SMP Racing was the fastest of the other chassis in tenth place.
Aston Martin led LMGTE Pro with Richie Stanaway setting a new class record before Turner improved with a 3 minutes and 50.837 lap to secure the British marque's first category pole since 2015. The two cars were separated by Calado in the closing minutes and Bird came within 0.048 seconds of Stanaway's effort. All five manufacturers in LMGTE Pro were within a second of Turner's lap, with the fastest Ford in fifth courtesy of Ryan Briscoe, Antonio García taking sixth for Corvette and Porsche's best time came from Michael Christensen in seventh. The lead in LMGTE Am changed with Rees earning Larbre Compétition's first class pole for ten years with a time of 3 minutes and 52.843 seconds, almost four-tenths of a second clear of Lamy's No. 98 Aston Martin in second and the No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari of Townsend Bell in third.
Provisional pole positions in each class are denoted in bold. The fastest time set by each entry is denoted with a gray background.
|Pos.||Class||No.||Team||Qualifying 1||Qualifying 2||Qualifying 3||Gap||Grid|
|1||LMP1||7||Toyota Gazoo Racing||3:18.793||3:14.791||3:19.928||1|
|2||LMP1||8||Toyota Gazoo Racing||3:19.483||No time||3:17.128||+2.337||2|
|3||LMP1||1||Porsche LMP Team||3:21.165||3:17.259||3:18.210||+2.468||3|
|4||LMP1||2||Porsche LMP Team||3:19.710||3:18.067||3:20.154||+3.276||4|
|5||LMP1||9||Toyota Gazoo Racing||3:19.958||3:19.889||3:18.625||+3.834||5|
|6||LMP1||4||ByKolles Racing Team||3:28.887||3:26.026||3:24.170||+9.379||6|
|8||LMP2||25||CEFC Manor TRS Racing||3:30.502||3:25.549||3:26.521||+10.758||8|
|9||LMP2||38||Jackie Chan DC Racing||3:31.024||3:26.776||3:25.911||+11.120||9|
|12||LMP2||24||CEFC Manor TRS Racing||3:30.847||3:26.871||3:27.359||+12.080||12|
|14||LMP2||35||Signatech Alpine Matmut||3:31.439||3:29.328||3:27.517||+12.726||14|
|15||LMP2||37||Jackie Chan DC Racing||3:41.393||3:28.432||3:27.535||+12.744||15|
|17||LMP2||36||Signatech Alpine Matmut||3:31.065||3:28.856||3:28.051||+13.260||17|
|22||LMP2||21||DragonSpeed – 10 Star||3:34.046||3:30.396||3:29.777||+14.986||22|
|23||LMP2||29||Racing Team Nederland||3:33.796||3:31.766||3:29.976||+15.185||23|
|24||LMP2||47||Cetilar Villorba Corse||3:34.846||3:30.014||3:33.412||+15.223||24|
|25||LMP2||45||Algarve Pro Racing||3:37.814||3:30.164||3:32.425||+15.373||25|
|26||LMP2||23||Panis Barthez Competition||3:35.559||3:31.346||3:32.888||+16.555||26|
|28||LMP2||49||ARC Bratislava||3:37.226||3:33.921||No time||+19.130||28|
|29||LMP2||17||IDEC Sport Racing||3:40.162||3:36.362||3:36.230||+21.439||29|
|31||LMP2||33||Eurasia Motorsport||3:42.660||3:42.916||No time||+27.869||31|
|32||LMGTE Pro||97||Aston Martin Racing||3:53.296||3:51.860||3:50.837||+36.046||32|
|33||LMGTE Pro||51||AF Corse||3:53.123||3:52.087||3:51.028||+36.237||33|
|34||LMGTE Pro||95||Aston Martin Racing||3:52.117||3:52.525||3:51.038||+36.247||34|
|35||LMGTE Pro||71||AF Corse||3:52.235||3:52.903||3:51.086||+36.295||35|
|36||LMGTE Pro||69||Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA||3:55.553||3:52.496||3:51.232||+36.441||36|
|37||LMGTE Pro||63||Corvette Racing – GM||3:54.847||3:52.886||3:51.484||+36.693||37|
|38||LMGTE Pro||92||Porsche GT Team||3:54.243||3:52.177||3:51.847||+37.056||38|
|39||LMGTE Pro||66||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||3:55.803||3:52.558||3:51.991||+37.200||39|
|40||LMGTE Pro||67||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||3:54.118||3:53.059||3:52.008||+37.217||40|
|41||LMGTE Pro||64||Corvette Racing – GM||3:54.876||3:52.391||3:52.017||+37.226||41|
|42||LMGTE Pro||82||Risi Competizione||No time[N 2]||3:52.138||3:54.129||+37.347||42|
|43||LMGTE Pro||68||Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA||3:55.059||3:52.626||3:52.178||+37.387||43|
|44||LMGTE Pro||91||Porsche GT Team||3:54.564||3:52.593||3:53.807||+37.802||44|
|45||LMGTE Am||50||Larbre Compétition||3:56.259||3:54.559||3:52.843||+38.052||45|
|46||LMGTE Am||98||Aston Martin Racing||3:55.134||3:54.456||3:53.233||+38.442||46|
|47||LMGTE Am||62||Scuderia Corsa||3:57.267||3:54.576||3:53.312||+38.521||47|
|48||LMGTE Am||77||Dempsey-Proton Racing||3:55.692||3:54.890||3:53.381||+38.590||48|
|49||LMGTE Am||55||Spirit of Race||4:01.098||3:54.941||3:53.641||+38.850||49|
|50||LMGTE Am||84||JMW Motorsport||3:56.890||3:53.981||3:53.977||+39.186||50|
|51||LMGTE Am||83||DH Racing||3:55.966||3:54.813||3:54.088||+39.297||51|
|52||LMGTE Am||90||TF Sport||3:55.953||3:54.319||3:54.551||+39.528||52|
|53||LMGTE Am||99||Beechdean AMR||3:57.463||3:55.046||3:54.328||+39.537||53|
|54||LMGTE Am||93||Proton Competition||3:58.196||3:54.621||3:59.046||+39.830||54|
|55||LMGTE Am||61||Clearwater Racing||3:56.333||3:55.995||3:54.955||+40.164||55|
|56||LMGTE Am||60||Clearwater Racing||3:57.321||4:02.436||3:54.994||+40.203||56|
|57||LMGTE Am||88||Proton Competition||3:56.507||3:55.468||4:00.323||+40.677||57|
|58||LMGTE Am||54||Spirit of Race||3:58.904||3:57.005||3:56.301||+41.510||58|
|59||LMGTE Am||86||3:58.427||No time||3:56.469||+41.678||59|
|60||LMGTE Am||65||Scuderia Corsa||3:58.249||3:59.842||No time||+43.458||60|
The cars took to the circuit on Saturday morning for a 45-minute warm-up session. The No. 8 Toyota driven by Nakajima set the fastest time with a late lap of 3 minutes and 18.308 seconds. The sister Toyota of Kobayashi was three-tenths of a second slower in second place. The best placed Porsche was Tandy's No. 1 car in third having led the majority of the session. Kunimoto was fourth-fastest and Hartley rounded the top five. The fastest LMP2 lap was set by Lynn with a time of 3 minutes and 27.096 seconds. Briscoe, driving the No. 69 Ford GT, was the quickest driver in LMGTE Pro with the No. 83 DH Racing Ferrari driven by Bertolini the fastest of the LMGTE Am drivers by more than a second. Paul Lafargue oversteered the No. 17 IDEC Sport car driving through the Porsche Curves and made contact with the barriers before stopping in the gravel trap. Lafargue returned to the pit lane for repairs.
The weather conditions on the grid at the start of the race were sunny and hot. The air temperature throughout the race was between 19 and 32 °C (66 and 90 °F) and the track temperature ranged from 27 to 38 °C (81 to 100 °F). 258,500 people were in attendance. The race began at 15:00 local time, with the chairman and chief executive of the Formula One Group Chase Carey having the honour of waving the French Tricolour to start the race. After pre-race problems the LMP1 No. 4 ByKolles Racing Team entry retired after completing seven laps due to a loss of compression in the engine. Toyota established a healthy lead in the early hours of the race and the No. 2 Porsche took a lengthy stop after three and a half hours to fix its front axle, losing touch with the leaders. Four and a half hours in the No. 8 Toyota also had to make repairs in the pits, dropping them from contention for the win.
Ten hours in, the overall leader Kobayashi in the No. 7 Toyota, suffered a clutch failure and could not make it back to the pits under hybrid power, forcing its retirement. The No. 7 Toyota's retirement was attributed to Algarve Pro Racing's Vincent Capillare running up to the car and gave Kobayashi the thumbs up which the latter interpreted as a signal to leave the pit lane. Toyota then told Kobayashi over the radio to stop but this created further confusion. This was quickly followed by the No. 9 Toyota colliding with an LMP2 car which caused a puncture. The debris left on the wheel rim caused further damage to the No. 9's gearbox and forced it to retire. These events left the No. 1 Porsche with a large lead in the overall standings. However, with four hours to go, it failed too and retired from the race. This left the No. 38 LMP2 car as the overall leader, meaning that for the first time in history the race was led by an LMP2 runner. The eventual winner was the No. 2 Porsche (coming back from its early repair stop), passing the No. 38 with less than two hours to go and taking victory with 367 laps; the No. 8 Toyota, in eighth, was the only other LMP1 car to finish the race (also after an early repair stop). The No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage battled with the No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, until a tire puncture on the last lap slowed the Corvette, and allowed Aston Martin to take victory in the LMGTE Pro class.
Following the race, the third-place overall finisher No. 13 Rebellion Oreca was disqualified by race officials after it was found that the team had modified the rear bodywork by cutting a hole to allow them to hit a faulty starter motor. This modification was declared an unnecessary modification of a homologated part of the bodywork. The disqualification promoted the second Jackie Chan DC Racing car to third place overall and second in class.
The minimum number of laps for classification (70 per cent of the overall winning car's race distance) was 257 laps. Class winners in bold.
- Kobayashi's time was nearly two seconds faster than the qualifying lap record set in 2015 on the current 13.629-kilometre (8.469 mi) version of the Circuit de la Sarthe and averaged 251.882 km/h (156.512 mph) to beat Hans-Joachim Stuck's 1985 qualifying run.
- The No. 82 Risi Ferrari had its lap times from the Qualifying 1 session deleted for the team breaking parc fermé regulations by handling the tires after the session.
- The No. 13 Rebellion Oreca was disqualified from the race after the team was found to have intentionally modified the bodywork on the car to permit starting it more easily.
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