Following a reconstruction of the Bugatti Circuit, the Le Mans circuit was changed between the Dunlop Bridge and Esses, with the straight now becoming a set of fast sweeping turns. This layout allowed for a better transition from the Le Mans circuit to the Bugatti circuit. This layout change would also require the track's infamous carnival to be relocated because the area it had once occupied became runoff. The carnival was relocated to the Porsche curves.
The 2002 edition saw Audi Sport Team Joest, with drivers Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen, and Emanuele Pirro, taking their third victory not only as a team and manufacturer, but also as a driving team, marking the first time a set of three drivers won the event three years in a row.