Le Mans: Grid, pre-race thoughts and story lines to watch

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Here are some quick final thoughts heading into Saturday’s 24 Hours of Le Mans:


At least seven cars have been moved to the rear of the field for Saturday’s race – five LMP2 cars plus the No. 4 ByKolles CLM P1/o1 AER and the No. 63 Corvette C7.R.

No reason was listed on the provisional starting grid for the move, although in the past, it’s been a case where if one or more drivers didn’t complete their requisite night laps, that would trigger a penalty.

Here’s the provisional starting grid, which differs a bit from the qualifying times:


Rain has interrupted much of the week’s activity and it’d be a shock if it didn’t interrupt at least a portion of the race itself. Rain is forecast… quite for how long it does remains to be seen.


The unprecedented changes that saw the ACO peg back the Fords and Ferraris by adding weight to both cars in GTE-Pro, as well as make air restrictor changes to the Corvettes and Aston Martins, were the talk of the day.

A statement from Corvette Racing about the changes is below:

“We respect the additional review of data and performance by the FIA and ACO for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The GTE Pro race has, from the beginning, promised to be one of the highlights of the event. We will continue to prepare ourselves for this immense challenge and compete with the same never-give-up attitude we have displayed each of our 17 years here.”

Meanwhile, this Sportscar365 report has good takes from all five manufacturers represented in GTE-Pro.

The changes come after qualifying produced a skewed and wide gap between the new built for 2016 GTE regulations car to the older but updated cars. Arguably, BoP has overshadowed what was meant to be a classic duel in the class – but the hope is that these changes will at least make it a competitive race.

There’s still a lot to be decided here.


We’ll just put these in simple one-line bullet points here, by class:


  • What’s the reliability situation going to be in LMP1?
  • Will Porsche repeat, will Audi go a second consecutive year without winning Le Mans for the first time since its entry into the top class in 1999 (Audi’s only defeats since 2000 were 2003, Bentley, 2009, Peugeot and 2015, Porsche), or will Toyota finally break through and become the first Japanese manufacturer other than Mazda (which did so 25 years ago this year) to win this race?
  • Will Rebellion Racing score an overall podium?


  • Can Pipo Derani complete his Daytona/Sebring/Le Mans Triple Crown attempt?
  • Can the Oreca 05/Alpine A460 package – the class pacesetters – be toppled?
  • Does Nissan score a likely victory with one of its 20 entered cars or could Judd or Honda shock with an upset?
  • Can KCMG repeat in its one-off appearance?
  • What is the fate of the open-top cars (the Gibson 015S, Morgan, Oreca 03R) in their likely final Le Mans bow?
  • How does British cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy fare in his race debut?
  • What surprise stars emerge?
  • Who ends ahead after the “musical chairs” round robin at G-Drive, Manor and Greaves?
  • American teams Tequila Patron ESM and Michael Shank Racing – how will they do? Shank enters with a five-minute in-race penalty looming following an engine change.
  • Does Mikhail Aleshin do something typically exciting, crazy or mind-blowing in his No. 27 SMP Racing BR01 Nissan?


  • How does Ford respond to the BoP changes? Does Ford have the reliability to last? What’s the reaction if Ford does pull off the win 50 years after 1966?
  • Can Corvette complete its second consecutive Triple Crown sweep, and secure its 100th win for its program?
  • Is there any Ford on Corvette violence? Ford on Ferrari? Any contact of note?
  • Does the new Ferrari 488 GTE win its third FIA WEC race in as many races?
  • Can Porsche or Aston Martin spring a surprise of sorts?
  • How do Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber fare as they race in GTE-Pro after scoring the overall win last year?
  • Verizon IndyCar Series stars Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais drive separate Fords. How does Dixon fare in his race debut and Bourdais in his return?


  • Does Aston Martin Racing atone for its near miss last year?
  • Can Scuderia Corsa break through with the trio of Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell in their Ferrari F458 Italia?
  • How does the second all-American trio (Marc Miller, Leh Keen, Cooper MacNeil) do in the WeatherTech Proton Porsche 911 RSR?
  • How does Johnny O’Connell do in his return to Le Mans?
  • Same with Christina Nielsen in her Le Mans debut?


Best way to do so is via Radio Le Mans, live for all 24 hours with pre- and post-race coverage, live and online at radiolemans.com.  There’s also the FIA WEC app, which can be purchased and provides comprehensive video, stats and additional up-to-date information.

Meanwhile here is the U.S. TV breakdown across FOX Sports:

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”