In a glorious comeback that will be etched in motorsport history, Ferrari’s hypercar emerged triumphant in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 — the centenary edition —, after a 50-year absence from the legendary endurance race. The victory resonated with a profound sense of significance, as Ferrari showcased their unwavering determination and unrivalled prowess on the track, as proved in the Hyperpole.

The absence of half a century seemed inconsequential as the prancing horse galloped to the forefront, reclaiming their rightful place at the pinnacle of endurance racing. This monumental win not only marked a milestone for Ferrari, but also served as a testament to the team’s enduring legacy and their enduring quest for greatness, just like the #21 NART 250 LM in 1965, the now second-latest Ferrari winner.

Text: Luca W. © Images: Thomas Z., 24hlemans ©


Do you still don’t know the differences between Hypercar and LMDh classes? Here is our full explanation.

The day has arrived. The 24 Hours of Le Mans. Undoubtedly the most renowned and arduous race in the realm of motorsports, and perhaps even in the realm of sports. Teams, drivers, and their cars need to endure a relentless 24-hour sprint without respite or distraction for the win. This year’s edition held an even greater significance – it marked the race’s centenary.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 centenary fireworks celebration
Centenary fireworks celebration

For us as well, it proved to be a formidable challenge: capturing a multitude of notes and photographs, traversing uncounted kilometers to capture that perfect shot or record that crucial observation. Yet, it is the passion that ignites our spirits, mending foot blisters, revitalizing our bodies, and enlivening our minds, just as it does every year.

There is no place or event quite like it, where our hearts thump in the dead of night, as cars fiercely battle for position. There is no place or event that sends shivers down our spines, knowing it may be the last time we catch a glimpse of a driver, fading into the Haunaudières straight.

To make it simple for petrolheads: this is Le Mans, basically.


24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 Race log

First hours to 8PM

Starting from the front row, both Ferraris faced a challenging race start, as Sebastien Buemi in the #8 Toyota seized the lead from Nicklas Nielsen in the #50 Ferrari 499P on the opening lap. The race took an early twist as the first safety car was deployed only after 3 minutes and 27 seconds, caused by #311 Action Express Racing Cadillac crash at the Hunaudières chicane.

After 37 minutes under the safety car, the green flag waved from the racing commissioners, allowing the #7 Toyota to make a move and overtake the #50 Ferrari 499P before Indianapolis. With this manoeuvre, Toyota secured a commanding 1-2 position, while both Ferraris and the #75 Porsche Penske 963 completed the top 5.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - both Toyotas in the lead
Both Toyotas in the lead

In the following lap, a fierce battle ensued between Mike Conway’s #7 Toyota and the two Ferraris. It was Nicklas Nielsen in the #50 Ferrari 499P who managed to surpass the Toyota and claim the second position, less than an hour into the epic 2023 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The intense fight for second place invited the Porsche trio to close in and join the fray, igniting a wave of “trash talk” (with beam calls). Brazilian Felipe Nasr, boldly vying to bring his Porsche 963 to the top spot, just like everyone else on the track.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - Felipe Nasr #75 Porsche 963
Felipe Nasr #75 Porsche 963

Feeling the mounting pressure from the five cars chasing closely behind, Ferrari made a strategic decision to pit Nicklas Nielsen for a refuelling stop. Simultaneously, this allowed him to catch a breath of fresh air and refrain from engaging in intense wheel-to-wheel battles that could potentially strain the car.

Sometimes, strategic retreat might go for an eventual victory.

Shortly after the #50 Ferrari’s pit stop, the pace of Mike Conway’s #7 Toyota began to fade, leading to direct overtakes by James Calado’s #51 Ferrari 499P and, a lap later, by Felipe Nasr’s Porsche 963.

The same statement could be observed on Sébastien Buemis’ #8 Toyota, as both cars were on soft tires.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023, Ferrari 499P #50 and #51
Ferrari 499P #50 and #51

GTE-Am pole sitter, the #33 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R encounters a front left damper issue and is forced to get back to the pits. Shortly after, the #14 Nielsen Racing LMP2, while being pursued by a Cadillac, lost control and collided at the Dunlop curve, ending their race. This incident set off a chain reaction of crashes (in other parts of the Circuit de la Sarthe) in both the LMP2 and GTE-Am categories, triggering FCY (Full Course Yellow) and Slow Zones.

Regrettably, the lack of professionalism displayed by certain drivers significantly impacted the overall outcome of the race. This was evident when the #3 Cadillac V-Series.R was struck from behind while entering a slow zone by the #21 Ferrari 488 GTE. This unfortunate incident foreshadowed a recurring pattern with potentially greater consequences as the race progressed.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - Cadillac V-Series.R #3 Hypercar
Cadillac V-Series.R #3 Hypercar

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023: 8PM to midnight

The end of the afternoon was marked by a fierce battle between Porsche and Ferrari, no less than 6 cars involved in incredible driving skills and overtakes.

As darkness fell upon the circuit, the race kicked into high gear. The night phase brought a whole new level of excitement and action.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR
Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR

Right before the stroke of midnight, we witnessed another incident in a slow zone, again. This time at the tricky Tertre Rouge corner, but this wasn’t just any ordinary incident. The #7 Toyota, driven by Kamui Kobayashi, got tangled up by the #6 Ferrari 488 GTE, and unfortunately, neither car could make it back to the pits. The #7 Toyota had to bow out of the race due to a damaged driveshaft.

But the show must go on, and at the stroke of midnight, a surprising leader emerged in the top category: the #94 Peugeot 9×8, making some strategic moves and executing flawless pit stops. And hot on their heels, just a couple of minutes behind, were the #50 Ferrari 499P and the #2 Cadillac V-Series.R.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023: Minight to dawn

By 1:30 AM, both the #5 Porsche 963 and the #50 Ferrari 499P faced some unturned events. The Porsche encountered a critical cooling issue, forcing them to make an unscheduled pit stop for repairs. Similarly, the Ferrari encountered its own set of cooling challenges, necessitating an unplanned pit stop as well. Both lost a valuable 20 minutes of time in the 24 hours of Le Mans. As a consequence, their chances of victory were significantly diminished, requiring an effort to regain lost ground.

Later on, the leading Peugeot 9×8 saw its day and night efforts come to an end, running wide and crashing in the barriers. Thankfully, driver Gustavo Menesez managed to bring the damaged Peugeot back to the pits. Nonetheless, the #94 Peugeot 9×8 will not recover from this considerable time loss, leaving to the #93 and finished P12, 13 hours later.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - Peugeot 9x8 #93 night photo
Peugeot 9×8 #93

In the GTE-Am category, the battle for supremacy unfolded between Kessel Racing’s #57 Ferrari and Iron Dames’ #85 Porsche 911 RSR, as both teams vied for the lead.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023: From birds singing to burger time

A small nap became more than mandatory to get to the end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2023. One hour later, the tranquility of the early morning was disrupted by the deafening roar of the Garage 56’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR, rousing every living creature within a 20-kilometer radius.

Dawn is usually the part of the race where teams and drivers make mistakes, as the focussing of the night fades and the mounting fatigue. Around 6:30 AM, the #50 AF Corse LMP2 Oreca fell into this tricky period, paying the heavy price.

In the hypercar category, the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid was forced to change the front bumper, after colliding a squirrel. The trouble didn’t end there, as it was the victim of a tire puncture. Porsche’s #6 car was also forced to change the back end of the car due to a contact with another car.

Around 8:30 AM, the Polish team, Inter Europol #34 LMP2 car had a great fight for the category first place with Belgian team WRT.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - Inter Europol Competition LMP2 car
Inter Europol Competition LMP2 car

2 hours later, the leading Ferrari had an electric failure while trying to exit the pits. An overall reset allowed the car to rejoin the track, but lost the lead in the process to Sébastien Buemi’s #8 Toyota. The to-and-fro between Ferrari and Toyota seems to never end. No less than 15 minutes later, Ferrari #51 driver Alessandro Pier Giudi takes the lead back from Sébastien Buemi after an amazing overtake. This is the moment where we realized the Ferrari was dominant in terms of overall pace.

Driving in the 24 hours of Le Mans is never easy: physical and mental preparations, the drivers need to be as focused and talented as possible. In his second participation in the legendary race, Michael Fassbender crashed his 911 RSR in the wall, ending the #911 Proton Racing race.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - Michael Fassbender's #911 Porsche 911 RSR
Michael Fassbender’s #911 Porsche 911 RSR

Burger time.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023: Digesting to celebration

In the LMGTE-Am category, Iron Dames, comprising the exceptional all-female driver lineup, have showcased their formidable prowess by having the lead.

The race proceeded uneventfully, with no significant incidents, until 2:15 PM when Ryo Hirakawa, while hunting the #51 Ferrari 499P, made a costly error, resulting in a substantial impact on his car’s bodywork. This accident resulted in a 3:21” delay. Barring any reliability issues or driving mistakes on the part of the #51 Ferrari, victory appears to be firmly within their grasp.

While the prospects of witnessing a dramatic spectacle seemed faint, a twist occurred during the Ferrari’s recent pit stop. Once again, an electric issue, forcing Alessandro Pier Giudi to start another Power Cycle (reset). The #8 Toyota, with a significant gap to overcome, watched its aspirations for victory vanishing.

As anticipated in the final three hours, the #51 Ferrari emerged triumphant, clinching victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2023. In the LMP2 category, despite a radio failure and Fabio Scherer’s foot injury, the Inter Europol team secured the LMP2 win. The Chevrolet Racing team celebrated their success in the LMGTE-Am category, while the Iron Dames, our personal favorites, achieved their best result yet, finishing in 4th place in the renowned Sarthe race.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 wallpapers

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 results


#5134224:00:18.099  3:27.890236.0
#234124:02:37.0161 LAP1 LAP3:27.967235.9


#3432824:00:50.903  3:36.739226.3
#3032724:01:36.1331 LAP1 LAP3:36.607226.5


#3331324:02:46.635  3:50.439212.9
#2531224:00:49.0231 LAP1 LAP3:51.530211.9
#8631224:01:46.4771 LAP57.4543:50.771212.6