Le Mans' recordbreaking 2019

Le Mans' recordbreaking 2019

Besides being a great race to watch, there were also some great stats that emerged from Le Mans

Le Mans' recordbreaking 2019

A surprise move by Le Mans 24 Hours organiser Automobile Club de l’Ouest six weeks prior to this year’s race to turn the gap between the two permanent pit buildings into temporary garages for two more entries meant on Saturday 14 June a record 61 cars took the start of the twice-around-the-clock event.

Due to the World Endurance Championship’s decision to host a ‘superseason’ across 2018/19, the 2019 edition acted as the final race of the season; the first time the legendary enduro has appeared twice in a single season.

Of the 61 starters, a record 49 took the chequered flag 24 hours later. It was almost 50 finishers, with the #43 RLR Msport LMP2 car not being classified due to not completing the race’s final lap. Had it crossed the finish line, the number of finishers would have exceeded the entry list size of just 14 years ago.

Toyota Motorsport’s hybrid LMP1 car, driven by Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, took a second successive win after the sister car had tyre problems late on. They were separated by 16.972 seconds at the end, the 10th time in 87 runnings that two cars have finished on the lead lap and the fourth closest finish ever.

Sir Jackie Stewart at 80

Sir Jackie Stewart at 80

Three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart turns 80 today

Sir Jackie Stewart at 80

When Jackie Stewart appeared in Formula 1 in 1965 as a 25-year-old, he made an impact in his rookie season that has only been bettered by Lewis Hamilton and Jacques Villeneuve. Stewart took five podiums in his first season with BRM, including victories at the Italian Grand Prix and the non-championship BRDC International Trophy, and finished third in the standings.

He kicked off his second season with victory at Monaco, but a Belgian GP crash led to him missing a race and poor reliability left him seventh and ninth in the points in 1966 and ‘67.

Like fellow greats Michael Schumacher and Hamilton, it was an inspired move to reunite with former colleagues at Tyrell that brought out his best success and performances, including three titles and two seasons as runner-up.

If it wasn’t for injury in 1968, he may well have won the title, and his tally of 27 grand prix wins has been bettered by only seven drivers. In an era where the number of grand prixs in a season was roughly two thirds of what it is today, and having retired early it’s tantalising what achievements Stewart could have added.

Mick Doohan's motorcycling legacy

Mick Doohan's motorcycling legacy

Mick Doohan, the most successful qualifier in MotoGP history, turns 54 today

Mick Doohan's motorcycling legacy

Despite being absent from racing in MotoGP since the last century, Australian Mick Doohan still had an influence on the greats that succeeded him, and although two all-time legends have taken to Honda motorcycles after he did, he still has the record for the most pole positions at 58.

His five world championship titles is a tally beaten only by two others, and his 54 career wins is also a number only surpassed by Italian greats Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini.

Doohan’s 1997 title is one of the most dominant displays in motorcycling history, with 12 wins and 12 poles from 15 races. He’s one of just five riders to win 10 races in a row.

No other rider in MotoGP history has held the ability to lead a race from lights-to-flag like Doohan, having achieved the feat a record 37 times.

Prior to his super successful MotoGP career with Honda, Doohan made four appearances in 1988 in the inaugural season of the World Superbike Championship. He won three times, putting him 12th in the standings. Had he contested a full campaign he would likely have won the title.

Photo: Rikita

WRC 2019 half-term report

WRC 2019 half-term report

Halfway into the 14-rally season and it's clear who are the drivers in control in 2019

WRC 2019 half-term report

Seven rallies into the 2019 World Rally Championship season, and once again we have a three-way fight for the title between three different manufacturers.

Sebastien Ogier, Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville are once again the main protagonists at the halfway point of the season. So dominant have they been, fourth placed driver Elfyn Evans (representing a fourth different manufacturer) has less than third placed man Neuville’s points tally, and is the only other driver to have graced the podium twice.

Hyundai leads the manufacturer standings through Neuville and his rotating cast of team-mates, although it is third third placed Citroen that is the only outfit with a 100% podium record - and also heads the drivers’ championship thanks to Ogier.

The Frenchman’s average finishing position is 5.86, considerably lower than Toyota driver Tanak’s 2.86, and he has less rally wins with two to three. On stage wins the ratio is greater, with Tanak’s 38 dwarfing Neuville’s 21 and Ogier’s 18.

Although neither have made the podium, Toyota duo Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala have a shared 19 stage wins between them.

A stunning 12th in the standings is WRC-2 pro entrant Kalle Rovanpera. The 18-year-old Skoda driver has finished in the top eight twice.

On This Day

Sunday, 16 June: Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emmanuel Pirrobecame the first drivers to win three successive Le Mans 24 Hour races with the same team


Saturday, 14 June: Bernie Ecclestone bought a stake, estimated to be worth $4 million, in F1 backmarker team Minardi while active as F1 supremo


Thursday, 13 June: Ferrari factory driver, WEC champion and former F1 tester James Calado celebrates his 30th birthday today


Saturday, 12 June: Mark Webber's Mercedes CLR flipped for a second time in warm-up for the Le Mans 24 Hours, prompting the car to be withdrawn from the race


Sunday, 10 June: F1 rookie Lewis Hamilton took his first win at the Canadian Grand Prix from his first pole. He's since added another 77 wins


Sunday, 9 June: David Hobbs, Britain's only driver to have raced in F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, the Bathurst 1000 and Le Mans 24 Hours, turns 80 today


Sunday, 8 June: Robert Kubica took his and BMW Sauber's first, and so far only, Formula 1 win at the Canadian Grand Prix


Tuesday, 6 June: Rumours emerged that CART planned to host a race in the UK. A year later, the championship visited the Rockingham oval


Thursday, 6 June: Red Bull launched its American talent scouting programme with Danny Sullivan. It took Scott Speed to F1 before closing in 2005


Wednesday, 5 June: The Minardi F1 team signed Slovakian government minister Jirko Malchárek as its test driver for aerodynamic work


Sunday, 2 June: Dutch sportscar legend and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jan Lammers is celebrating his 63rd birthday. He raced at Le Mans as recently as 2018


Saturday, June 1: Martin Brundle, a F1 podium regular, grid walk pioneer and Ayrton Senna's British F3 rival, turns 60 today


Friday, 31 May: Andrea de Cesaris, one of the youngest F1 polesitters of all time, would have turned 60 today. He sadly died in 2014.


Thursday, 30 May: 1990s F1 driver and two-time International GT Open champion Andrea Montermini turns 55 today


Wednesday, 29 May: David Coulthard made his F1 debut at the Spanish Grand Prix with Williams, retiring mid-race with electrical issues

Formula 1 Grand Prix
Race Details
Distance: 310.633 km (53 laps)
Your time
Local time
  • Jun 21, Friday
    11.00 - 12.30Practice 1
    15.00 - 16.30Practice 2
  • Jun 22, Saturday
    12.00 - 13.00Practice 3
    15.00 - 16.00Qualifying
  • Jun 23, Sunday
Formula 1 Records
Formula 1 2019 World Championship
The numbers