24 Hours of Le Mans – What will make the difference in the LMP2 class?

24 Hours of Le Mans – What will make the difference in the LMP2 class?

With 25 entrants, the LMP2 class is the largest of the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans. The top contenders will determine what precisely will give an edge within this very homogeneous class.

The LMP2 class is tighter than ever, with several teams in the running to win. As always, performance relies on preparation, but other considerations come into play.

""Putting one's ego aside is crucial.""
Loïc Duval

2013 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Loïc Duval: "Sometimes, you want to go as fast as your teammate, accelerate in traffic, and that's when mistakes add up. That type of problem is very punishing." According to him, the chemistry and understanding between the three teammates is one of the keys to a successful race. Also, you can't commit any errors if you hope to win. "The car that wins will have made pit stops only to refuel, change the tires and drivers, and nothing else. It is all about teamwork, but of course you need the car to go the distance." At this level, no failures are allowed. 

L'Oreca 07 - Gibson n°22 (United Autosports) remettra son titre en jeu.
L'Oreca 07 - Gibson n°22 (United Autosports) remettra son titre en jeu.

Dutch driver and Racing Team Nederland owner Frits van Eerd agrees, as he underscores the caliber of the 24 Hours of Le Mans field: "There are more competitors here than anywhere else." G-Drive Racing driver and Pro/Am win contender Roberto Merhi insists on the importance of the car's set-up and driver comfort"You have to feel good in the car to avoid mistakes, it's critical. But, you also need to be able to go fast." 

Duqueine Team's Tristan Gommendy highlights mental preparation: "The recipe for success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is to remain focused and calm. You definitely cannot be in a rush because that is when things end badly. All drivers want a car that performs well for all three teammates. Then if the rhythm is right, everything becomes possible." 

New regulations for the Pro/Am allow teams with at least one Bronze driver to fight for a podium finish no matter the gap with the lead cars. The introduction of a class within a class has overjoyed drivers and team managers alike, such as Frits van Eerd"We are here for the Pro/Am championship and are trying not to focus on the rest. That should alleviate some pressure, but on the contrary, we are more stressed than normal. Thanks to this sub-class, we are all competing for something." The participation of Jan and Kevin Magnussen, along with Anders Fjordbach in High Class Racing, shows the interest in these prototypes. 

Technical and mental preparation, precision, speed and even a little luck: to win Sunday afternoon, teams have to rely on a lot of components across 24 very intense hours. Realteam Racing's Loïc Duval"The 24 Hours is a sprint."