When talking about famous racing events, the FIA World Endurance Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans will be near the top of the list. Held at the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France, the grueling 24 hour race enjoyed its 100th anniversary this past weekend.

And according to many fans, it couldn’t have been scripted any better, because if the centennial wasn’t enough, the race itself heralded several milestones, featured dramatic weather, drew intense racing, and gave us some unlikely heroes. Let’s take a look.

Welcome Back, Ferrari

While the name Ferrari was once practically synonymous with Le Mans, believe it or not, the Prancing Horse hadn’t competed there since 1973—if you’re doing the math at home, that’s 50 years.

So you can imagine the joy that spread all across Italy when the Ferrari 499P driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, with backup Antonio Giovinazzi, took the top Hypercar class race win. It was Ferrari’s 10th overall victory at Le Mans, adding a trophy to the ones collected in 1949, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965.

A historic race, a famous marque, and a major milestone in a triumphant return. Congratulazioni!


(Image/Richard Prince for Corvette Racing)

While Ferrari notched its 10th overall victory, the Corvette Racing team grabbed its 9th class victory the same day. The #33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R raced to a win in the LMGTE class at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans, marking the Corvette’s first Le Mans win of its mid-engine era.

The last Le Mans victory for Corvette Racing was a LMGTE class win with the C7.R in 2015.

We recently spoke with one of the architects of Chevy’s current racing efforts, Chevrolet Director, Motorsport Competition Engineering Mark Stielow, You can listen to that interview here.

Cadillac Gets a Pair of Top 5 Finishes

(Image/Richard Prince for Corvette Racing)

Not to be outdone by its GM cousins, Cadillac Racing had a good weekend at Le Mans too. The team grabbed 3rd and 4th place in the Hypercar class (behind the powerhouse teams of aforementioned Ferrari and Toyota Gazoo Racing), marking the first time Cadillac Racing has earned a podium finish at Le Mans. Heck, even the third Cadillac entry that crashed early returned to the track and climbed back to finish 10th.

And there’s more reason for optimism in the Cadillac Racing pits moving forward, as the No. 2 Cadillac actually led the class for a while before falling off the pace of the Toyota and Ferrari teams.

And Then…There’s the Garage 56 Camaro

(Image/Richard Prince for Corvette Racing)

In what seems like an audacious movie plot, NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet, Goodyear, and IMSA worked together to send a version of the Chevy Camaro ZL1 NextGen car to Le Mans in a single-entry class reserved for “innovative and extraordinary vehicles.” The sheer sight of the hulking Camaro surrounded by flyweight sports cars and purpose-built racers was laughable—but all laughing stopped when folks saw the V8-powered Chevy stock car screaming around the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The driving team of Jenson Button and Jimmie Johnson, with backup Mike Rockenfeller, proved that the specially-prepped NASCAR NextGen Camaro wasn’t just competent, it was seriously competitive. So competitive in fact that, in testing, it was faster than all the cars in the comparable GTE class—which if you recall, includes the C8.R Corvette along with plenty of Porsches and Ferraris too.

As icing on the cake, the Garage 56 Camaro team won the Le Mans Pit Stop Challenge against other crews in the GTE Class, completing a blistering-fast pit stop service in a scant 10.364 seconds—and yes, they were the only team in the class to use a manual jack!

Alas, keeping the NASCAR Camaro running consistently through a relentless 24 hour race (imagine running multiple 600-lap NASCAR races back-to-back) proved a challenge and resulted in a driveline issue that hindered the team. All told, the Garage 56 Camaro ZL1 finished 39th out of the 62 cars in the GTE class. (Though again, the Camaro technically ran in its own unique class and didn’t have any direct class competitors.)

In a race where simply finishing is a massive achievement, motorsports fans across the world are still applauding the efforts of the Garage 56 Camaro team—once they picked their jaws off the floor, that is.


Congratulations to all the racers and teams in this year’s event, and we can’t wait to see what the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans brings.