The 24-hour race at Le Mans is one of the highlights of the calendar for motorsports fans and this year around 50,000 spectators will be able to watch in person. But for many, travelling to Circuit de la Sarthe in France still isn't an option. And by now, it's too late anyway: the race is happening this weekend.
For the uninitiated, Le Mans is perhaps the toughest motor race there is: 24 hours of non-stop racing. It's gruelling for both car and drivers.
Here's everything you need to know about catching the action on TV and online.
When is 24 Hours of Le Mans 2021?
The race itself begins at 4pm local time (France) on Saturday 21 August.
In the UK, that’s a 3pm BST start time.
Obviously, being a 24-hour race, it will conclude at 4pm local time on Sunday 22 August.
How can I watch Le Mans on TV?
If you’re in Europe, including in the UK, you can watch live on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 1 HD.
To watch Eurosport you’ll need the appropriate package or bundle for Sky, BT TV or Virgin. However, if you don’t have any of those services, you can watch Eurosport via its own app, but there’s no free way to access the channel.
To watch, you'll need a subscription to use Eurosport Player costs £6.99 per month or £39.99 per year.
In France, the free-to-air TV channel La Chaîne L'Equipe will broadcast live starting at 13:30 on Saturday 21 August until 18:45, then again from 21:10 to 02:00. Coverage will continue on Sunday from 06:00 to 17:30.
Alterntatively, the whole race will be broadcast live on Eurosport France. Also, on Thursday 19 August, you can watch Free Practice 3 from 13:50 to 17:10, Hyperpole from 20:50 to 21:45 and Free Practice 4 from 21:45 to 00:10. The warm-up on Saturday will be shown from 9:15 to 10:00.
Watch the pole lap here:
Here are the channels in other countries:
- RTL Nitro in Germany
- TV2 Denmark
- RTBF Belgium
- RTL Netherlands
- RTL Luxembourg
Le Mans 24H in the UK
- Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 1 HD
Eurosport is a pay-to-watch channel in the UK, and you can get it from BT, Sky and you can even subscribe directly if you just want to watch via the app on your phone or tablet.
If you're after a way to watch the race for free in the UK, you could take advantage of the 7-day free trial of Eurosport Player in conjunction with Amazon Prime with this special offer.
If you have Discovery+, you'll also be able to watch the race. If not, you can sign up for £29.99 for the first year, and it's £59.99 per year after that.
Otherwise, we can't help: there will undoubtedly be many illegal streams but - of course - we can't condone using those.
There's no way to watch Le Mans 24H on free-to-air TV this year in the UK.
US & Canada
For those in the US and Canada your best option is to watch on MotorTrend, which is now owned by Discovery and your only option to watch the entire race. The race itself starts at 10am EST.
You can also get MotorTrend via Hulu with Live TV and FuboTV.
How can I stream Le Mans 2021 online?
If you want to stream the entirety of 24H Le Mans as a one-off event you can buy a pass on the official WEC website for 9.99 € (around £9). However, this isn’t available to watch in the US or Canada as it is region-locked, and will therefore require a VPN service. We recommend using NordVPN or Surfshark.
You can also view the stream through the official 24H Le Mans app for Android and iOS, but like the WEC app, that will also ask you to pay €9.99 to subscribe to watch the race live. It will only give you live timings and some highlights videos otherwise.
Can I watch or stream Le Mans for free?
As we've said, in the UK, the 2021 race is not being broadcast on free-to-air TV. If you're happy to listen to commentary in English, that's freely available from Radio Le Mans.
In France, the entire event will be broadcast on the free-to-air La Chaîne L'Equipe channel. And it will also be shown in various other countries on free-to-air TV. Again, if you're outside of France, you can use a VPN to watch: NordVPN or Surfshark are both excellent options.