Q:

What is the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

A:

Quick Answer

The 24 Hours of Le Mans, or 24 Heures du Mans, is a world-class endurance racing event held annually in Le Mans, France. Teams of three drivers take turns driving a team vehicle around the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe for 24 hours. The team that covers the most miles wins the prestigious event.

Continue Reading
What is the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
Credit: GUILLAUME SOUVANT AFP Getty Images

Full Answer

The first 24 Hours of Le Mans was held in 1923. The winning team was André Lagache and René Léonard, who covered nearly 1,373 miles. The original plan was to have one 24-hour race each year for three years, and the winner would be determined by who had covered the most distance over those three races. This idea was discarded in 1928, and the once-a-year race format has been in place ever since.

From 1923 until the early 1980s, teams usually consisted for two drivers, although people would occasionally attempt a solo race to avoid losing time on the circuit due to changing drivers. For the safety of the participants, teams were required to have three drivers starting in the late 1980s.

The record for the most miles driven at Le Mans belongs to the team of Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, who completed 3,362 miles, or 397 laps, in 2010.

Learn more about Motor Sports

Related Questions

Explore