Le Mans Day 1 Race Report: Ferrari dominate, Mick Schumacher and Alpine retire

All three Ferrari cars have shown pace but it’s the #83 that currently leads after nearly seven hours.

Ferrari Le Mans
Ferrari Le Mans

Ferrari have been the team to beat so far at the 2024 24h of Le Mans race as Robert Kubica leads for the #83 car.

12th to start the race, Kubica made quick progress up fifth as he benefited from his soft tyres.

After making the right decision when rain fell a couple of hours into the race, Kubica leapfrogged the leading #50 Ferrari and the #6 Porsche which started on pole.

The #50 then began to close in as pit stops and driver changes came into effect, however, the #83 managed to remain in the lead as heavy rain came six hours into the race.

Both factory Ferrari’s stayed out while Kubica and the #83 pitted for wets, which again proved to be the right call as he lapped the #51 which had been fifth before dropping to 13th.

Battling Ferrari for top spot was the #5 Porsche Penske car, which like the #83 car, made the right calls at the right time to move up the order.

Toyota were not shy in making progress either, as Brendon Hartley was able to claw back a lot of time on the leading trio.

Alpine suffered a disastrous opening few hours as the #35 reitred before Mick Schumacher was also out of the race just after the six-hour mark.

Despite early pace, Cadillac’s challenge faded as both full factory V-Series R machines went backwards.

In LMGT3, the highly-anticipated #46 BMW was a constant presence at the front before taking the lead after a few hours.

Valentino Rossi spent much of his first stint leading the way before handing back over to Maxime Martin, who made a mistake when getting back underway following the latest full course yellow when he spun round an LMP2 car.

As a result, Martin was under investigation for him part in the incident.

After big problems for the #20 BMW early on, the #15 was forced to retire when Dries Vanthoor suffered a big crash after contact with race leader Kubica.

As a result of the incident the safety car was deployed for the first time today.

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