Saturday, June 18, 2016

It's time for 24 Hours of Le Mans

It takes something special to drive more than 3,000 miles in a single day as quickly as possible. But since 1923, that's exactly what teams have done at France's annual 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

It's the oldest still-active auto competition of its kind. When it kicks off this weekend, 60 teams of three drivers will cover nearly 3,300 miles.

The race format is simple: Drive a car for 24 hours and complete as many laps as possible.
The Circuit de la Sarthe is a combination of permanent track connected to public streets. It is 8.5 miles long. The 2015 winners went around it 395 times. The Porsche's average speed was 140 miles per hour.
Over the past 20 years, 18 German-manufactured cars have won. The country's domination began in the mid-1970s. Before that, victories were largely celebrated by French, Italian and British automakers. However, there was a brief period in the 1960s when Ford was the car to beat. Starting in 1966 Ford won Le Mans four years in a row.

50 years since that first historic victory, Ford is making its triumphant return to Le Mans. One of its cars even qualified for the pole position — in its class. It's Porsche that has the overall No.1 car at the start.

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