The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the pinnacle of international sports car racing, and you’d likely expect a pretty impressive start to the event from some of the world’s greatest drivers. But at the 2021 start, that was not the case. Let’s relive the glorious mess.
This year, the race started out wet, with rain having fallen prior to and during the start. Rather than immediately go green, Le Mans officials opted to run some formation laps behind the safety car as the time clock started counting down from 24 hours.
It was a poor start for High Class Racing, though, whose car didn’t even leave the start. The team had left its jack underneath the car, meaning that it couldn’t immediately leave. They had to clear the jack away, then send their car out on the track.
Then Sebastien Buemi in the No. 8 Toyota spun after the Glickenhaus machine made contact with it in a fairly aggressive move to secure a position.
It was the start of a series of spins for Buemi, who had what could be easily described as his worst start to a race in his entire career.
Other cars, like the Alpine of Nico Lapierre, lost control as a result of too much power in too damp of conditions.
Meanwhile, the High Class Racing team spun... again.
Interestingly, the prototypes suffered much of the chaos. A few GT cars ran wide or spun, but not in any large quantity — not like the prototypes.
As chaos reigned at the start, the No. 7 Toyota managed to keep it on track and start posting up a very impressive lead over the field. Honestly, it was a bit of a lucky break, the rest of the grid seemed to forget that an endurance race is generally not won in the first few laps.