You have heard of INDYCAR and NASCAR racing. They’re well-known staples of the American auto racing scene. Around the world, though, perhaps no race is as prestigious as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. First held 98 years ago today, it tests the ability of manufacturers to build sporty, yet reliable, cars. It’s the oldest active sports car race in endurance racing and is held annually near the town of Le Mans, France. Here’s some of what makes it so special for racing enthusiasts worldwide.
- May 26, 1923. The inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race was held on the public streets around Le Mans, France.1
- Most miles wins. The 24-Hours of Le Mans race follows a simple rule: the car that covers the greatest distance in 24 hours is the winner.2
- Toyota. The team of winning drivers in 2018-2020 drove a Toyota TS050 Hybrid for Toyota Gazoo Racing.3
- Tom Kristensen. This former racing driver from Denmark holds the record for the most wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with nine.4
- Four classes of cars compete. The top two classes, LMP1 and LMP2, are high-performance race cars that cost millions each. The other two classes are grand touring cars: GTE-Pro and GTE-Am.5
- Aug. 21, 2021. The 89th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins.1
1 24 Hours of Le Mans. https://www.24h-lemans.com/en
2 BMW.com. https://www.bmw.com/en/performance/24-hour-race-le-mans.html
3 Toyota Gazoo Racing. https://racing.tgr-europe.com/toyota-gazoo-racing-takes-le-mans-hat-trick/
4 Tom Kristensen.com. https://tomkristensen.com/home.aspx
5 Car and Driver. https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a27672259/all-about-24-hours-of-le-mans-race/
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