Starting this Saturday, June 16th, at 6am PT / 7am MT / 15:00 CEST, one of most prestigious racing events of the season happens – The 80th running of the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Make no mistake, this is a BRUTAL racing event. 24 straight hours racing on a collection of closed off public streets and true race track sections. This is the ultimate test of technology, endurance, and reliability for those involved. In fact, many of technologies showcased this weekend will be in our cars in a few years time.
To give you a good idea of what it takes to run (and win) in the 24 hours of Le Mans, I point you towards two free movies:
On pole for tomorrow, the #1 Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro – yes, a Quattro hybrid. Behind it, Toyota’s return from a 13 year absence to la Sarthe, the Toyota #8 TS 030 Hybrid. Qualifying 3rd is the 2nd Audi, the #2 E-Tron Quattro hybrid.
Rounding out the top 3 in LMP2: #25 ADR-Delta Oreca 03-Nissan, #30 Status Grand Prix Lola Judd, #49 Pecom RAcing Oreca 03-Nissan..
For LM GTE Pro: AMR’s #97 Aston Martin Vantage V8, Af Corse’s #71 Ferrari 458 Italia, Corvette Racing’s #74 Corvette C6 ZR1.
And for the LM GTE Am Class top 3: #75 Prospeed Competition Porsche 911 RSR (997), Team Felberbay-Proton’s #88 Porsche 911 RSR (997), and AF Corse’s #81 Ferrari 485 Italia
What to watch for:
In LMP1, this should be an epic battle between Audi and Toyota proving which hybrid tech is the “best”. Audi has won Le Man 10 times the past 12 years, Toyota hasn’t been to Le Mans in 13 years. As a side note, it really is too bad that Peugeot pulled out of WEC, would have been great to watch 3 factory hybrid teams battle it out.
In the GTE class, Corvette Racing (yes, the same Corvette Racing racing state side in ALMS) is looking for a repeat of last year, winning their class (GTE Pro). Hot on their tails will be a collection of Porsche 911 RSR and Ferrari 458 Italias, and I can’t leave out the Aston Martin Vantages. Look closely at AF Corsa, AMR’s Aston Martins, and Flying Lizard Motorsports (also racing in ALMS).
And lastly, the oddly shaped Highcroft Racing Delta Wing Nissan running on it’s own. Is this the further of prototype racing??
To catch of it live, head over towards:
Drive’s live coverage on YouTube
Audi Team live feed
a user feed over on Justin.tv (iOS users, use the Justin.TV app and search for “24 hours of le mans”)
And I’m sure you can find other venues online that will be showing the race.
[photo Frederic Gaudin ACO/NIKON]