The 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship continues this weekend with its most high-profile race, as drivers and teams are set to compete in the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France.
In the United States, television coverage of the entire 24-hour race will be exclusively on the Velocity channel, with coverage from 8 a.m. ET on Saturday through 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday. The race starts 9 a.m. ET on Saturday.
If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch Velocity via Philo TV, a cable-free, live-TV streaming service.
Not only is Philo the cheapest option among all the streaming services at just $16 per month, but you can sign up for a free trial without having to enter any billing information. You’ll get two days for free right off the bat, then if you enter your billing information after that, you will get five more days free. After signing up, you can watch 24 Hours of Le Mans live on your computer via the Philo website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Philo app.
Additionally, if you can’t watch live, Philo also allows you to DVR programs and watch them later. And even if you forget to DVR the race, it also comes with a 72-hour rewind feature, which allows you to replay any show or event that has aired in the last 72 hours.
Much of the focus this year, of course, surrounds Fernando Alonso, the two-time F1 champion who will be making his first start in the famed endurance race. Alonso, who joined Toyota Gazoo Racing for the 2018-19 season, won the season’s opening race in Belgium in the No. 8 car alongside teammates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.
It’s widely expected that either Alonso’s team or the No. 7 car shared by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez will bring Toyota its first Le Mans win. As the only team racing in the LMP1 class with hybrid cars, they don’t figure to be challenged at Le Mans unless they run into unforeseen problems.
But even if things go as expected, that doesn’t mean the race will be without drama. There has been speculation that Toyota will plan to ensure Alonso’s team wins if possible, but they’ve shot down those rumors.
“Our cars will race for victory with the target of achieving a Toyota one-two,” said a spokesman. “Both cars start the race with an equal and fair chance of winning.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Other former F1 drivers in the race include Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 world champion who is teamed with Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov at SMP Racing, and Juan Pablo Montoya, who joins Hugo de Sadeleer and Will Owen at United Autosports in his debut at Le Mans.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to experience Le Mans and I’m looking forward to joining United Autosports after they had such a strong finish at Le Mans last year,” said Montoya. “I’ve always watched the race so I’m very happy to finally be part of it. Hopefully we can have a shot at a win.”
Though it’s unlikely, a win would complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport for Montoya, who has previously won the Indy 500 and the F1 Monaco Grand Prix.