18 June 2005, 14:27 by mark hoekstra

24 Heurs du Mans 2005

This weekend there’s the 24 hours-race of Le Mans. Probably the most historic race of the year along with the Monaco Grand Prix. The Monaco Grand Prix gets excellent coverage all over, but somehow the 24 hours of Le Mans seems to be a little forgotten, which is a shame cause it’s a great race. It’s actually a lot of races all into one, there are different categories which all race in the same 24 hours…

1.1 – Catégories “LE MANS” Prototype :
a/ Groupe “LM” P1, plus “LM” P900, “LM” GTP, “LM” P675 châssis carbone
b/ Groupe “LM” P2, plus “LM” P675 châssis aluminium ou tubulaire
1.2 – Catégories “LE MANS” Grand Tourisme :
a/ Groupe “LM” GT1
b/ Groupe “LM” GT2

That’s probably part of the problem... Since it’s such a long race, there’s most of the times a difference of one or more laps between the cars, next to that there are the different categories, so when you see cars racing next to each other on the track, chances are they aren’t competing in the race next to each other…

official page

Jan Lammers / Racing for Holland-site

Le Mans at Eurosport

Somehow, the golden years are long ago I guess… Even though there have been little changes to the track, the absolute track-record and distance-record was set in …1971!

Distance record set by the 1971 winners: 5,335.31 km, average speed: 222.304 km/h. (that’s an average over 24 hours!)

Fastest lap was set during the 1971 race by Jackie Oliver in the number 18 Gulf Porsche 917LH with a time of 3:18.40, an average speed of 244.387 km/h.

The winners in 1971 (also the year of the movie Le Mans, although it was shot in the 1970-race) were Dr. Helmut Marko and (dutchman) Gijs van Lennep in the glorious Porsche 917K … (there’s a reason that car is in my dreamcar-list).

So what’s the point of the prototypes since technologically they’re able to produce much faster cars than they actually drive (same goes for the Formula 1)? Imho, the GT-categories seem to become more interesting (but that could be personal). I wouldn’t mind if they would split it up into two raceweekends, one for the prototypes and factory-teams and such and one weekend with a GT-only race where (just like in the old days) anyone who has a lot of money to spend can race in such a race…

Anyways, this is a race which should be there forever and I really hope it does… (so I’m able to visit it at one time in my life)

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