The 24 hours of Le Mans is an extraordinary motor-racing event where dozens of sports cars try to complete the most laps over one day and one night. The Château des Briottières is less than 85 km from the Circuit de la Sarthe and is the perfect base for discerning motor-racing fans coming to watch the spectacle.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans was first held in the 20s to encourage manufacturers to develop new technologies and to advance the automotive sector. The result is a sports car race that has endured over time and still offers some of the most spectacular confrontations in the racing world.
The 13 km long track covers both a section of the Bugatti Circuit and surrounding public roads. Before 1990, the track included a 6 km straight stretch, which led manufacturers to concentrate on top speeds (the fastest lap was completed in 1985). Later, two chicanes were added to improve the chances for all competitors.
Four categories of vehicles compete during the 24 hours of racing. The fastest two categories consist of prototypes and are recognisable by their distinctive look and their white headlights at night, while the other two categories include GT Endurance Pro and GT Endurance Am cars, that is to say production-based cars modified for the competition. Both professionals and amateurs compete in this class. Grand Tourer cars (Porsche, Corvette, Aston Martin, Ferrari, etc.) have yellow headlights to help them navigate the circuit after dark.
The event is not limited to the 24 hours of the race. It begins long before the arrival of the public at the circuit, looking for the perfect place and checking out the various activities. There’s a party atmosphere at the Château des Briottières too because lots of racing enthusiasts make the château their base during the event.
The tension mounts even before the race begins, when the engines are roaring for the free practice and qualifying sessions. While the crowd waits for the vehicles to appear on the track, there are secondary races to keep everyone entertained. Wear your team’s colours and cheer for your favourite driver.
Rue du Circuit, Le Mans, France