24 hours of Mans
See also: 24 hours of Mans (homonymy)
The 24 Hours of Mans are a Automobile race one duration 24 hours, being held on a road circuit, close to the city of the Mans, in the department of the the Sarthe, France. This competition exists since 1923.
IntroductionIn 1920, the Automobile Club of the West work to the realization of a competition whose character was to contribute to the evolution of technological advance and to support the rise of the Automobile. In 1922, the club announces the creation of a new type of competition in the the Sarthe, a test of endurance. During the test, crews of two pilot S by car would take turns day and night.
The first edition, with 33 crews, is held the 26 and May 27th 1923 on a circuit close to the city of the Mans in the department of the Sarthe. It was gained by André Lagache and Rene Léonard over Chenard and Walker. They covered 128 towers with the average of… 92,064 km/h. Today, the “24 Hours of Mans” take place each year in June. It is oldest and most prestigious of the races of endurance for car of sport and Sport-Prototypes.
See also: Road racing set of the Sarthe
The track, measuring 13,629 km, borrows part of the Circuit Bugatti and comprises most of Trunk road. The most famous passages are the turns of the Red Tertre, Mulsanne, Arnage, White House and the straight line of the Hunaudières, long 5 km and where the prototypes maintained a speed of almost 400 km/h for one minute (the speed records of the circuit are of 405 km/h). This portion of the circuit was divided into three straight lines by the installation of two baffles in 1990. The purpose of these baffles are to limit the research maximum speed by reductions of too important aerodynamic supports and to limit by consequence the differences in speed between competitors. The take-off of certain vehicles was due to the geometry of the track with a change of plan which could create an aerodynamic unhooking according to their configurations and aerodynamic adjustments. The bump was levelled for the edition 2001.
Organization of the race
When Mans is put per hour of the race, they are not only 24 hours but one week complete of events. All begins with weighing vehicles, on the Quinconces of the Jacobins. The tests and the qualifications follow Wednesday and Thursday. Follow from there the classic British Welcome in the suburbs of the city, the famous parade of the pilots in the center town. Then, as of saturdays and throughout the weekend of the competition, animations are numerous the such fun fair, the concerts, the village, and of course the race.
Directors of race
- Charles Faroux: of 1923 with 1956
- Jacques Loste: of 1957 with 1968
- Charles Deutsch: of 1969 with 1980
- Marcel Martin: of 1981 with 2000
- Daniel Poissenot: since 2001
Various starting styles
Standing start on line: 1923 to 1924
- Standing start Mans : 1925 to 1969
- Standing start out of ear with pilot on board: 1970
- Flying start: since 1971
The departure of the cars in the style Mans , although most spectacular, the pilots springing while running towards their cars placed out of ear on with dimensions one opposed, was called into question in 1968 following the fatal accident of Willy Mairesse due probably to a badly closed door of its Ford WP 40. The following year, to mark its opposition to this type of departure, Jacky Ickx crosses the track while going and springs in the last. That will not prevent it from finishing first. In 1970, the departure is slightly improved with the pilots already aboard the cars. The year according to, the departure conveys stopped is definitively abandoned.
Since 1949, the departure is given by a personality, different each year, and either by a member of the ACO. One can name inter alia 2 Presidents of the French Republic: in 1949, Vincent Auriol and in 1972, Georges Pompidou, personalities of the cinema world: in 1971, Steve Mac Queen, in 1996, Alain Delon and in 2003, Luc Besson or in the world sporting: in 1978, Raymond Poulidor, in 1982, Luigi Chinetti and in 2000, Jacky Ickx.
See also: List of the accidents fatal at the 24 hours of Mans
With high speeds which are associated with Mans, the track saw a certain number of accidents, some which were mortals with the pilots, but also with the spectators. The worst moment in the history of Mans was during the race 1955 in which more than 80 spectators, as well as the pilot Pierre Levegh were killed by the take-off of the Mercedes 300 SLR. This carnage caused a shock in the world of the automobile sports which led to the suppression of many principal and minor races in 1955, such as the Grand Prix of Germany and Suisse, banishing even, still to date, for this last country any competition motorized on its territory. This accident brought new regulations on the safety of the pilots and the spectators in all the categories of motorized sports.
In 1986, OJ Gartner is killed at the wheel out of Porsche 962C who broke on the barriers of the straight line of Mulsanne. Its fatal accident is most recent during the race itself, however there be another death in 1997 during the tests.
In one of the recent accidents most recognizable, fate will strike Mercedes-Benz again, although without consequence mortal. The CLR Mercedes-Benz which ran in 1999 suffered from aerodynamic instabilities which transformed these cars of planes under certain conditions. After a first the day of the qualifications alerts, where the CLR #4 leads by Mark Webber takes off of before and is immobilized along the rails, then after Mercedes proclaimed to have solved the problem, and although still at the time of Warm up at a few hours before the race, the same car repaired with the same pilot took again a take-off and is found on the roof, a new accident occurred in race. The CLR #5 of Peter Dumbreck flew away with several meters height while whirling, passed above the rails of safety and went to fail in wood several meters further. No driver was seriously wounded in these three accidents, but Mercedes-Benz quickly withdrew the remaining car in race and, thereafter, adopted its development program of the sport scars to go in Formule 1.
CategoriesThe cars which take part in this test are divided into several categories.
- LMP1 (in the past LMP900) (Audi R8, and now Audi R10 TDI)
- LMP2 (in the past LMP675) (Mg-Lola Ex257)
- LMGT1 (standard Aston Martin DBR9)
- LMGT2 (standard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
Abbreviation LM means Mans .
Victories by pilot
Consecutive victories by pilot
Victories by nations
Victories by manufacturers
Consecutive victories by manufacturers
- As of the second edition, it was decided that the test would proceed at the time of the second weekend of June, because of the performances of the headlights of the time. This organization of the second weekend of June has sudden later modifications more, due to external circumstances. In 1968, the test was held in September because of the events of May. In 1998, the test took place the first weekend of June in order not to be superimposed on the Football world cup organized in France. Since 1998, the organization was softened, the race takes place either the second, or the third weekend of June.
In 1926, three Lorraine B 3-6 gained the 24 hours of Mans with for each one an average higher than 100 km/h. It was the first time that this average was crossed.
In 1931, Alfa Romeo 8C of English Lord Earl Howe in Sir Henry Birkin traversed for the first time more than 3.000 km of 24 hours.
At the time of its victory in 1950, Jean-Louis Rosier disputed practically all the race as a recluse, letting his son control only during two turns. In 1952, Levegh disputing only the race on a Talbot-Lago, failed to beat Mercedes of factory, giving up at the time of the last hour on a mechanical breakage caused by a missed rétrogradage whereas it occupied the head of the race. It is following this exploit that the Mercedes stable had proposed to him a wheel of factory at the time of the tragedy edition of 1955, associating it with pilots as prestigious as Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss and Karl Kling.
In 1953, it is the limit of the 4.000 km of 24 hours which was crossed by four cars including three Jaguar XK120 C.
the edition 1955 was endeuillée by a serious accident successor in title 92 dead: 83 on the site (of which a gendarme on the track) and 9 in the days which followed. Remains (driving, nose gear and cap) of the Mercedes 300 SLR of Pierre Levegh were catapulted in the platforms of the straight line of the stands following a collision with the Austin-Healey of Lance Macklin. The race continued normally (except for the voluntary withdrawal of the Mercedes stable). However this accident caused an important media agitation and had notable consequences on the history of the automobile sport, by involving the prohibition of the automobile races on circuit on the territory Suisse during more than 50 years, and in incentive the firm Mercedes-Benz (whose sporting return had been badly accepted in France, the success of the money arrows of pre-war period being still associated with the period hitlérienne) not to take part more in high level automobile competitions during about thirty years. The race was in addition gained by Mike Hawthorn, for which the responsibility seemed committed in the accident, which started a media polemic against the British pilot. The question of the responsibilities for Macklin or Hawthorn never was clearly elucidated.
In 1966, the average of 200 km/h during 24 hours was beaten by two Ford MkII. The two machines crossed the finishing line at the same time, according to the orders of the TEAM manager which wished to have a double-victory in Mans for the American manufacturer. But the payment of the test stipulating that the first place returned to the crew and the car having traversed the longest distance lasting 24 hours, the victory was allotted to the car n°2 because it had been qualified in 4th position, that is to say two rows further its colleague, and had thus traversed a distance slightly more important during these 24 hours.
the following year, it is the limit of the 5.000 km of 24 hours which was crossed by three cars: a Ford Mk IV and two Ferrari 330 P4.
Until 1970, the procedure starting (reproduced in many other tests of endurance) forced the pilots to cross the track while running to join their car, stationed out of ear on the starting line. This tradition made spectacular the departure of the automobile races, but was the cause of many accidents, some pilot preferring not to buckle their safety straps in order to appear among best placed at the conclusion of the first turns. At the time of the edition 1969, Jacky Ickx boycotted this procedure while crossing the track while going, that in order to spring deliberately last. That did not prevent it from gaining (with Jackie Oliver) with torn off the race, in front of the Porsche 908 of Hans Herrmann and Gerard Larrousse. This gesture of protest was concomitant with a change of the technical payment of the TRUSTED, which made it possible to the manufacturers to align prototype of 5 liters cubic capacities, surpuissants (their performances were higher than those of F1 of the same time), but whose engagement required a thorough reflection and commune with the whole of the mechanical sports, on the degree of professionalism with which the safety of the pilots and the spectators was taken into account. The impact of the gesture of Ickx was all the more legitimate as, this same year, the departure of the race was precisely the theater of an accident costing the life to the British pilot John Woolfe, who controlled the any news Porsche 917, emblematic car of this time.
- the absolute records of the test (in term of distance covered) was carried out during the edition 1971 by Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep, with 5 335,313 km (that is to say 222,304 km/h of average) on Porsche 917. It remains difficult to beat because of installation of baffles (for safety reasons) in the line of the lines of Hunaudières in 1991.
Graham Hill, winner on Matra in 1972, is to date the only pilot to have gained the three automobile competitions considered as most prestigious: the automobile Grand Prix of Monaco of Formula 1, Mans and 500 Miles of Indianapolis. Mario Andretti, holder of a championship of the world of Formula 1, and also winner in Indianapolis, also disputed Mans to him on several occasions, but does not have Pu to be classified better than third (with his/her son Michael on Porsche 956 in 1983) and second (on Courage - Porsche in 1995). In 2007 Jacques Villeneuve tried, without success, to equalize Graham Hill at the wheel of Peugeot 908.
Jean Rondeau is the only pilot to be itself to date imposed on Mans (victory in 1980, associated with Jean-Pierre Jaussaud) on a car of its design (Group VI: Distance covered: 4.608 km with the average of 192 km/h).
In 1985, the private stable Joest aligning Porsche 956 customer succeeds in the exploit to precede with regular the cars engaged by the factory.
Roger Dorchy carries out the speed record of 405 km/h in race on the Straight line of Hunaudières in 1988 with a W.M Peugeot.
Michael Schumacher took part in the edition 1991, little time before the beginning of its career in F1. It signed on this occasion a very convincing service: 5th on Sauber - Mercedes (with Karl Wendlinger and Fritz Kreutzpointer), and holder of the best turn in race on the circuit of the time.
the edition 1999 was marked by the take-off of both Mercedes CLR of the TEAM AMG, at the level of the fast curve preceding the Virage by Indianapolis and of the Straight line of Hunaudières following a lack of stabilizers for the first and with a loss of the one of the stabilizers at the time of a touchette with Porsche 911 GT2 (old name) for the second.
Among the pilots more the unlucky persons having taken part in the test appears certainly Bob Wollek (disappeared in 2001): quadruple winner of the 24 hours of Daytona, victorious 12 hours of Sebring, it is assembled seven times on the podium without never appearing among the winners of the mancelle test.
on December 13rd, 2005, Audi presented the R10, been driven by a diesel engine, which carried out its beginnings in Mans at the time of the edition 2006. Helped by its low fuel consumption and its enormous couple, it is a window to introduce in mass diesel technology on the automobile primary market in the world, the United States, at the moment when the standard will impose a low content of Soufre.
the habit wants that the track is invaded by the spectators at the time of the final podium. The automobile stables withdraw all then what can be taken as memories (panels indicating the number and the name of the car…).
the edition 2005 was particularly hot, a mechanic of a Aston Martin DBR-9 had to use an extinguisher to cool the cockpit of the car. In 2004, also hot year, the thermometers installed in the Chevrolet Corvette posted 62°C at the time of the departure. In 2005, the American engineers used aluminum foils to protect the two vehicles from the rays of the sun…
Audi places for the first time a diesel engine on the 24 hour old podium with its two R10 TDI which finishes in 1st and 3rd positions of the edition 2006.
the 14 last editions were gained by a car having a German engine (eight times Audi, four Porsche times and twice BMW); Bentley English victorious in 2003 had an engine derived from the Audi engine of R8.
edition 2007 24 hours marks the return of Peugeot in the competition with its 908. The objective is very indicated and the return must be convincing. The 908 will finish second of the edition behind Audi R10, a promising return.
- 24 hours of Mans automobile motor bike
- Mans.org - 24 hours official site of Mans
- First edition of the 24:00 of Mans in 1923
- Endurance-series.com - News daily of the endurance
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