Le Mans Motor Race

Le Mans Motor Race

June
The motor racing circuit in the city of Le Mans, capital of the Sarthe department of France, has been the scene of important races since 1914, although it wasn't until 1923 that the first 24-hour sports car race for which the course is now famous was held. Over the years the Le Mans 24-Hour Grand Prix d'Endurance has had a significant impact on the development of sports cars for racing, resulting in some prototype sports cars that are not far behind Formula I racing cars in terms of power and speed. The original course was rough and dusty, with a lap distance of just under 11 miles. Eventually the road surface was improved, the corners were eased, and the lap distance was reduced to just over eight miles. Part of the course is still a French highway, now flanked by permanent concrete stands for spectators and the pits, where refueling and repairs are done. A serious accident at Le Mans in 1955, in which a French driver and 85 spectators died, led to a number of course improvements.
The all-night racing at Le Mans is a favorite spectacle for motor racing fans. One of the major attractions is the opportunity to watch what goes on in the pits. Although most Grand Prix races can now be run without refueling or tire changing, the highly efficient work of the teams' mechanics still plays an important part in long-duration races like the one at Le Mans.
CONTACTS:
Automobile Club de l'Ouest
Circuit des 24 Heures
Le Mans, 72019 France
33-2-4340-2424; fax: 33-2-4340-2415
www.lemans.org/accueil/index_gb.html
References in periodicals archive ?
42-45 TV PREVIEWS Sir Chris Hoy on fuelling his competitive spirit in bid to win the tough Le Mans motor race.
THE 58th anniversary of the 1955 Le Mans motor race crash that suffered the heaviest loss of life in motor racing history fell yesterday.
The Dane was also in Paris for the tournament and the Englishman stayed there as part of a trip to the Le Mans motor race.