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The 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 24 Heures du Mans) is an endurance-focused sports car race held annually near the town of Le Mans, France. It is the world’s oldest active endurance racing event. Unlike fixed-distance races whose winner is determined by minimum time, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is won by the car that covers the greatest distance in 24 hours. Racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars’ ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure.
The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which is composed of closed public roads and dedicated sections of racing track. The event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, with the other events being the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans was frequently part of the World Sportscar Championship from 1953 until that series’ final season in 1992. In 2011, it was a part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Since 2012, the race has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. In World Endurance Championship’s super-season of May 2018 to June 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans was both the second and the last round of the season.
Launched when Grand Prix motor racing was the dominant form of motorsport throughout Europe, Le Mans was designed to present a different test. Instead of focusing on the ability of a car company to build the fastest machines, the 24 Hours of Le Mans would concentrate on the ability of manufacturers to build sporty yet reliable cars. This encouraged innovation in producing reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles, because endurance racing requires cars that last and spend as little time in the pits as possible.
At the same time, the layout of the track required cars with better aerodynamics and stability at high speeds. While this was shared with Grand Prix racing, few tracks in Europe had straights of a length comparable to the Mulsanne. Additionally, because the road is public and thus not as meticulously maintained as permanent racing circuits, racing puts more strain on the parts, increasing the importance of reliability.
The oil crisis in the early 1970s led organizers to adopt a fuel economy formula known as Group C that limited the amount of fuel each car was allowed. Although it was later abandoned, fuel economy remains important as new fuel sources reduce time spent during pit stops. Such technological innovations have had a trickle-down effect and can be incorporated into consumer cars. This has also led to faster and more exotic supercars as manufacturers seek to develop faster road cars in order to develop them into even faster GT cars.
Additionally, in recent years hybrid systems (flywheel, super-capacitor, battery coupled with both gasoline and diesel) have been championed in the LMP category as rules have been changed to their benefit and to further push efficiency.
This article includes material from “24 Hours of Le Mans” Wikipedia . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_Hours_of_Le_Mans Licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States (CC BY-SA 3.0 US) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/ Authors: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=24_Hours_of_Le_Mans&action=history