The 2021 Le Mans – the most famous 24 hour endurance race in motorsport – is underway at the Circuit de la Sarthe, France. The race was delayed from its usual June date to give motorsport fans the chance to attend and watch 62 cars scream down the world-famous Mulsanne Straight at 330km/h. French fans can stream every lap free on the L'Equipe website. Read on to find out how to watch a 2021 Le Mans live stream from anywhere in the world.
The latest news is that Toyota is dominating after a wet start. So far, no early retirements. Olivier Pla's Glickenhaus #708 clipped Sébastien Buemi’s #8 Toyota but both drivers remain in the race.
This is the 89th running of the Le Mans 24 Hour race, and for the first time in Le Mans history, the field will include a new Hypercar class, replacing the long-standing LMP1 class. Whereas LMP1 was restricted to bespoke prototypes, vehicles entered in the Le Mans Hypercar class can be competition-spec versions of existing hypercars.
So whether you're a die-hard fan of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest event, or new to the Le Mans festivities, you won't want to miss this epic endurance race. Hyperpole qualifying is at 8pm BST on Thursday, ahead of the race on Saturday at 3pm BST (10am ET).
Toyota goes into the event aiming for a fourth consecutive win, having dominated Le Mans since the withdrawal of Porsche in 2017. The Japanese carmaker is currently unbeaten with its latest GR010 HYBRID, which has won the last three rounds of the World Endurance Championship.
Toyota's Hypercar will face a stiff challenge from the Glickenhaus 007 LMH, while Corvette Racing returns to take on Ferrari and Porsche in the GTE Pro class. Eleven ex-F1 drivers will take part this year. Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. Alex Brundle, son of ex-F1 driver Martin, will also be working the wheel for Team Inter Europol Competition.
As always, the winner at Le Mans is the car that completes the most laps in 24 hours. Last year, it was the Toyota Gazoo car driven by Kazuki Nakajima, Sébastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley, who managed 387 laps.
Ready for 20,000 gear changes and 28 million ignitions? L'Equipe is streaming the the entire 24 hour race live and free in France. Make sure you know how to watch a Le Mans live stream from wherever you are in the world.
Le Mans free live streams 2021
Free-to-air French TV channel L'Equipe has the rights to Le Mans until 2023, which means motorracing fans can stream every lap free at live.lequipe.fr.
Of course, the L'Equipe stream is only available within France. So if you're a French citizen travelling abroad, you'll need to use a VPN to watch from anywhere, without being blocked. We recommend ExpressVPN as it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
In the USA, MotorTrend is the only channel offering start-to-finish coverage of the 2021 Le Mans. Fubo TV carries MotorTrend and new users get a free 7-day trial. Again, you'll need to use a VPN to access Fubo TV when travelling outside of the US.
In the UK, Amazon Prime subscribers can sign up for a free 7-day Eurosport trial and enjoy live, commercial-free coverage of every lap of Le Mans 2021 for free.
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Watch Le Mans 2021 free from abroad using a VPN
Even if you have subscribed to the relevant 2021 Le Mans rights holders, you won't be able to access them when outside your own country. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
There are lots of VPN providers but some are more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we suggest a paid-for service such as ExpressVPN which offers a 100 per cent risk-free money back guarantee. If you're not happy with the service any time within the first 30-days, then you can cancel with no penalties at all.
Watch a Le Mans live stream in the UK
If you live in the UK and want commercial-free coverage of Le Mans, try Eurosport. The streaming service costs just £7 a month, or you can sign up via Discovery+ currently for the half usual price of £30 a year (the half price offer ends on 22nd August, so there's just time to grab it).
You can also subscribe to Amazon Prime and sign up for a free 7-day Eurosport trial. After the trial ends, you can subscribe at the usual £7 a month.
Le Mans coverage is exclusive to Eurosport in the UK, but you can get in the mood by watching the brilliant 24 Hours of Le Mans documentary, which is streaming now on BBC iPlayer.
Watch a Le Mans live stream in the USA
MotorTrend is the only place to watch Le Mans 2021 in the USA. The Discovery-owned channel is available via a host of streaming services including Sling TV.
The special offer below gets you your first month for only $10, saving you a healthy $25 (details below). After the first month, you'll pay the usual fee of $35 a month.
The 2021 Le Mans race starts at 10am ET / 7am PT.
Fubo TV is a another decent option for Le Mans fans. This cable-replacement service serves up 109 channels – including MotorTrend – for $65 a month. New users a get a free 7-day trial, too.
Le Mans 2021 full schedule
Wednesday 18th August 2021
FP1, 1pm BST / 8am ET
Q1, 6pm BST / 1pm ET
FP2, 9pm BST / 4pm ET
Thursday 19th August 2021
FP3, 1pm BST / 8am ET
Hyperpole, 8pm BST / 3pm ET
FP4, 9pm BST / 4pm ET
Saturday 21st August
Race, 3pm BST / 10am ET
24 hours of Le Mans: history, stats and facts
Between 1925 and 1969, drivers sprinted to their parked cars to start the race. That all changed in 1969 when Jacky Ickx, who considered this type of start to be dangerous, decided to walk to his car in protest. As of 1971, a rolling start was introduced with the green flag given after the cars take a warm-up lap.
Whether Ickx was right or not, Le Mans has a well-deserved reputation as a death trap. The 1955 Le Mans disaster at the Circuit de la Sarthe saw large pieces of debris fly into the crowd, killing 83 spectators and French driver Pierre Levegh.
Of course, safety is a bigger priority these days. In 1999, Scottish driver Peter Dumbreck walked away from an epic crash that saw his Mercedes CLR flip through the air and land in the woods, just ahead of Indianapolis corner. (Here it is on YouTube).
US racer Dan Gurney invented the champagne shower, now a familiar part of any motor race, at the 1967 Le Mans race. After beating Ferrari, Ford driver Gurney grabbed a bottle of champers and let rip. “Henry Ford joined us on the podium,” said Gurney. “We were exhilarated, because we had just beaten Ferrari. It was a great moment, so I just sprayed it all around.”
If all 62 cars make it to the start line for 2021, it will be a new Le Mans record for the most starters, exceeding 2019’s current record of 61. The UK is the most represented nation on this year's grid, with 31 drivers. They include two in Hypercar, 15 in LMP2, three in GTE Pro and 11 in GTE Am.