The legend of Le Mans went international when iconic Hollywood actor Steve McQueen raced his car here in the 1971 Film “Le Mans” portrayed as racing driver Michael Delaney for the Gulf Porsche team.
Le Mans is the oldest active endurance sports car race in the world. It began in 1923 and is held annually. The stamina of drivers is tested as they spend hours behind the wheel before stopping in the pits to get sustenance and hand over to another driver (there are three drivers to one vehicle). The drivers must manage their own abilities to race for prolonged periods and then have to balance speed against the cars’ capacity to run for 24 hours without sustaining time-threatening damage.
The circuit consists of public roads that are closed for the time of the race together with a specialist motor racing circuit. Teams race in groups – known as classes – in which the vehicles are of similar specification. Cars are required to have at least two seats, No more than two doors are allowed; open cockpit cars do not require doors.
All the cars compete at the same time though there are separate classes. Each class has a prize winner and there is an overall winner.
There are four classes : Custom-built Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) are the top two classes, LMP1 and LMP2, divided by speed, weight, and power output; production-based grand tourer (GT) classes, GT Endurance Pro and GT Endurance AM.
This year’s unsettled weather may prove to add even more excitement and challenge to a race which draws thousands to watch it live and millions to coverage on TV.
For more information and tickets check out the official site for Le Mans.