22 June 2017
The race is conducted by Automobile Club de L’Ouest and runs at the Sarthe Racing Circuit with a mix of closed public roads and a special racing circuit.
The race is conducted by Automobile Club de L’Ouest and runs at the Sarthe Racing Circuit with a mix of closed public roads and a special racing circuit. It has inspired imitating races from all over the globe over the past few years, popularizing the 24-hour format at places like Daytona Nurburgring, Spa- Francorchamps, and Bathurst. The American le mens series and Europe’s Le Mans series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations.
Le Mans was designed to present a different perception of the most admired game. Rather than focusing on the ability of a car company to build the fastest machines, the 24 Hours of Le Mans insisted in concentrating on the ability of manufacturers to build sporty yet reliable cars. This was first to encourage innovation for producing more reliable and fuel efficient automobiles because these special cars were required to last and spend as little time in the pits as possible. In order for this, the layout of the track invoked cars with better aerodynamics and stability at high speed, increasing the importance of reliability. It also tests endurance of the drivers by frequently racing them for over two hours before a relief driver can take over during a pit stop while they eat and rest. Current regulations have mandated that three drivers would share each competing vehicle.
The race is usually held during the month of June, at times when there are very hot conditions for drivers, particularly in closed vehicles with poor ventilation; rain is commonly seen. Modern competitors often cover distances of over 5,000 km. Drivers and racing teams strive for speed, avoiding mechanical damage, as well as managing the cars’ consumables, primarily the fuel, tires and brakes.
The participating teams race with each other in groups of cars having similar specification called “classes”, while competing simultaneously for outright placing amongst each other’s class. Originally, the race showcased cars to be sold to the general public after the competition was over, by the name of “Sports Cars”, in contrast to specialized racing cars which they eventually are.
Competing teams have a wide variety of operations, ranging from competition departments of road car manufacturers (eager to prove the supremacy of the products supplied ) to professional motor racing teams (representing their commercial backers of which some are car manufacturers who want to win without paying to their own teams) and the amateur teams (racing to compete in the famous race so as to claim victory of their commercial partners).