24 Hours of Le Mans

24 Hours of Le Mans
24 hours Le mans logo.png
Circuit de la Sarthe track map.svg
FIA World Endurance Championship
VenueCircuit de la Sarthe
First race1923
Last race2020
Duration24 hours
Most wins (driver)Tom Kristensen (9)
Most wins (team)Joest Racing (13)
Most wins (manufacturer)Porsche (19)

The 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 24 Heures du Mans) is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France.[1] It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world[2] and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency". The event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, with the other events being the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. 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. In the 2019 race, 47 of the 61 qualifying cars ran the full duration.[3]

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 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.[4] 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.[5]

Le Mans inspired 24-hour races around the globe, including at Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Bathurst. The American Le Mans Series and Europe's Le Mans Series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Other races include the Le Mans Classic, a race for historic Le Mans race cars from years past held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a motorcycle version of the race which is held on the shortened Bugatti version of the same circuit, a kart race (24 Heures Karting), a truck race (24 Heures Camions), and a parody race 24 Hours of LeMons.

  1. ^ "Weekly auto agenda: Le Mans". The Independent. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  2. ^ Hargreaves, Eilidh (14 June 2019). "An insider's guide to the Le Mans 24hours: how to experience the ultimate endurance race in style". The Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ "FIA WEC 86th 24 Heures du Mans Race – Provisional Classification" (PDF). Automobile Club de l'Ouest. 17 June 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Past seasons". fiawec.com. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Calendar". fiawec.com. Retrieved 4 April 2019.