Nürburgring, Le Mans, Spa: Who could achieve the 24-hour Triple Crown?

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Image: Porsche Newsroom
The Nürburgring 24 Hours will begin this weekend, but two other major round-the-clock enduros will also happen within the month. Who could feasibly win all three overall?

If you are a fan of sportscar endurance racing, June is the month for you: First up are the Nürburgring 24 Hours which is this weekend, 1-2 June. The 24 Hours of Le Mans occupy its typical mid-June slot, being held two weeks from now on 15-16 June. Then lastly, the 24 Hours of Spa which up until 2022 was held on the last weekend of July, has now moved to an earlier date of 29-30 June.

That makes three 24-hour races in five weeks, all at some of the most beloved racetracks in the world.


In all the top classes at each race, numerous prominent drivers will be fighting for the win, but only a select few will be battling for top honours across all three. By the end of June, we could quite feasibly have someone win all of them - a Triple Crown of 24-hour races, if you will.

Having all three and many more major sportscar enduro races on your CV is already special. Winning them all in the same year though? A monumental achievement. Thanks to the random nature of 24-hour races. Here are a few candidates who could win this unofficial Triple Crown.

Matt Campbell​

In the first two months of 2024, one man was unstoppable in major sportscar endurance events. Australian racer Matt Campbell was part of the entries that won both the Daytona 24 Hours and Bathurst 12 Hours, then finished third in the Sebring 12 Hours. So he is perhaps the safest bet to win all three races this month.

Considering the leading classes in both races were the prototypes we will see at Le Mans and the GT3 cars heading the Nürburgring and Spa races, the question of versatility is already well covered. Campbell will be part of the Herberth team in the Pro class for the GT3 leading races at the Nürburgring and Spa, whilst at Le Mans, he will line up in a 963 with Porsche Penske Motorsport in the Hypercar class.


Although all three races are challenging, Le Mans may prove the trickiest for Campbell due to the high level of competition in the Hypercar class. That being said, Campbell and his WEC teammates Michael Christensen and Frédéric Makowiecki got pole in the Qatar opener and the fastest lap on their way to a P3 finish, got third again in Imola and had pole for Spa, too. Unfortunately, Christensen crashed out during the final WEC event ahead of Le Mans.

The pace should be there for Le Mans in his first go in the top class. Campbell did win in the LMGTE Am class at the 2018 race. Then, of course, as far as past attempts at the other two races, he has not had much luck on the Nordschleife, failing to finish all but one of his five attempts - and even then it was tenth. For Spa, his team was fourth in the 2020 edition.

If anyone was to win all three this month, Campbell's name has to be high up on the list. But there are a few others in the Pro class at the Nürburgring and Spa as well as the Hypercar class for Le Mans who could do the same.

Kévin Estre & Laurens Vanthoor​

Grouping these two together makes sense - they will be doing all three races as part of the same team. Estre and Vanthoor will race the Nürburgring for Manthey, Spa with HubAuto and of course, Le Mans in the other Porsche Penske 963. Vanthoor was Campbell's teammate for Bathurst along with Ayhancan Güven, who will join Vanthoor and Estre this weekend at the Nürburgring.

When it comes to their records at all three races, both have been frequent teammates across the sportscar endurance board. Along with Michael Christensen, they all won the LMGTE Pro class in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans. Currently in the Hypercar class in WEC along with multi-Le Mans overall winner André Lotterer, they won the season opener in Qatar and were second in both Imola and Spa, leading the points standings.


Both Estre and Vanthoor have won the Nürburgring and Spa 24 Hours overall before. Vanthoor was part of the winning entry of the Nürburgring 24 Hours back in 2015, plus the Spa 24 Hours in 2014 and 2020. Meanwhile, Estre won Spa in 2019 and at the Nürburgring in 2021, on both occasions having a large portion of both races interrupted by rain.

With a proven track record of successes in the GT3-leading races and momentum on their side for Le Mans, the combined power of the Frenchman and the Belgian could have a serious shot at the triple this month.

Raffaele Marciello​

Once a single-seater prodigy and Ferrari junior academy member, Raffaele 'Lello' Marciello has gone on to be one of the leading sportscar racing stars. In only his second year out of single seaters, he came perilously close to sealing the triple of Blancpain GT Sprint (which he did win), Blancpain GT Endurance and Intercontinental GT Challenge championships.

For this year, Marciello has switched from Mercedes to BMW just in time for the Munich marque's first assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the top class since their 1999 overall win. He will race at the Nürburgring with ROWE RACING, and with WRT for both Le Mans and Spa, the latter of which will be with MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi as his teammate.


When it comes to his record at all races, he has one Spa 24 Hours victory under his belt from 2022, and his best finish on the Nordschleife has been third in 2021 and 2023. As for Le Mans, Marciello will actually be making his debut in the race this year, but is technically already a Le Mans winner - at least in the rig.

Back in 2020, the first ever 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual was held towards the end of the motorsport season suspension due to the pandemic. Marciello, along with Louis Delétraz and sim racers Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzezinski, took the overall victory. It may be a tall order for Lello to achieve that in the real life race with BMW in their first attempt in the Hypercar class, since pretty much all the other teams have at least a year's experience ahead of them and the BMW M Hybrid V8 having struggled in the 2024 WEC season thus far.

But all three races have sprung surprises before, so it is not out of the question that Marciello could feasibly win Nürburgring, Le Mans and Spa.

Sim Racers Representing​

Of course with the likes of Marciello and Ayhancan Güven, there are plenty of drivers competing that do sim racing at various levels. But some people more known for their sim racing exploits are appearing in some of these top level 24-hour races.

At the Nürburgring, Jimmy Broadbent, Steve 'Super GT' Brown, Manuel Metzger and Misha Charoudin are all racing a BMW M4 GT4 as part of the Bilstein Black Falcon team in the SP 8T category. At least they were supposed to - Brown, unfortunately, got disqualified from running the race because he entered a Code 60 zone in the Thursday night qualifying session at a way too high speed.


Things had looked promising beforehand: As preparation for the event, the trio took part in the opening round of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie season, and after a scary puncture in the first race, they won their class the following day.

Then, only announced recently, 2019 World's Fastest Gamer victor James Baldwin is back in a racing car. For the Spa 24 Hours, Garage 59 will have Baldwin as part of their line-up two years after his previous attempt at the race with the team, Once again fielding a McLaren 720S GT3, albeit the updated Evo model.


Baldwin also raced a 720S GT3 in the British GT championship back in 2020 as part of his prize for winning World's Fastest Gamer. He won on his debut at Oulton Park and ended up finishing fourth in the championship overall. He did not have the best experience at the Spa 24 Hours in 2022, and he will be looking to rectify that this time around.

Who are you rooting for to win the Nürburgring, Le Mans and Spa 24 Hours? Let us know your choices on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
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Luca [OT]
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Steve Brown. At least if all tracks, series and races are featured in GT7.
 
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Well it looks like the Nürburgring 24h isn't a 24 hour race anymore.

At the time of writing the race has been red flagged for over twelve and a half hours due to weather conditions (thick fog), and despite the next info from race control coming in 15 minutes it's looking unlikely that the race will resume any time soon.
 
Nurburgring ...Nordschliefe or the squiggly little modern circuit?
LeMans ...no Mulsanne Straight = not Lemans
Spa ...the real track or its modern incarnation?

A few decades separates the boys from the men.
 
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Well, looks like the possibility isn't there anymore - they did laps behind the pace car, but the race will not be restarted, handing the win to the #16 Audi. To the surprise of nobody, the Eifel weather is nuts :confused:
 
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Spa is in July isn't it?

Maybe this should be called the European 24h triple crown.

As far as I know, the traditional (unofficial of course) triple crown of endurance consisted of Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans.
Spa was in July, but they moved it to June. As stated in the article, 29-30 June.
 
Spa is in July isn't it?

Maybe this should be called the European 24h triple crown.

As far as I know, the traditional (unofficial of course) triple crown of endurance consisted of Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans.
Yes, Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans is the triple crown that matters in endurance racing.
Spa and Nurburgring are important but way less so than those three.
 

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