Last week, Le Mans welcomed one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world! The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923.

During 24 hours, the winner team drives more than 5 000 km. All famous kinds of car won this race : Porsche, Ford, Audi, Peugeot, Bentley, Alfa Roméo, Jaguar, Aston Martin, BMW… and Toyota for the first time this year with Fernando Alonso, Formula 1 driver, on board. 250 000 fans come every year from all over the world. It’s a big party near the circuit and in the city! This year, it was Rafael Nadal who gave the start!

The race is organized on the Circuit de la Sarthe (13 km), which contains a mix of closed public roadways and dedicated sections of racing track, in which racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars’ ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure.

Manufacturers must build 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. A lot of these innovations were incorporated into the common automobile : aerodynamics, brakes, engines, hybrid systems…

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Crédit photos: Sylvain Gardet