I usually write about subjects I am familiar with. Someone famous even told me to do so. (I assume someone famous said those four words.) But when there is a French race that has all sorts of crazy rules and lasts 24 hours; well, how do you pass that up? You do not; you cannot. (I just filled my semi colon quota for the year!) Ergo, with a vague understanding of the rules, less knowledge of the participants, and a general dislike of car racing, I will be covering the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In fact, I will even add a rule to their already extremely confusing event. Take that, Frenchies!
A Very Basic Overview
24 Hours of Le Mans is an endurance race in which cars fly around a route (made up of track and closed off civilian roads) for 24 hours. The car that goes the farthest distance in that time, wins (but there are some caveats, I believe). There is a prize for the overall winner, as well as winners for four different classes. (What is this, tee ball – where everyone gets a trophy?) There are two Le Mans Prototype classes (LMP1 & LMP2) and two grand touring classes (GTE Pro & GTE Am). The LMP classes are crazy-fast, technological wonders that I think are hybrids, some running on gasoline and some on diesel. The overall winner usually comes from the LMP1 class. The LMP2 class is a little slower… or something – maybe it is made-up of short buses. The GTE classes are civilian cars available to the public (i.e. Ferraris and Corvettes), but all roided out. The GTE Pro class is a little more roided than the GTE Am class. The odd part is that all of these cars (of different capabilities) race on the same track, at the same time. You would think that it would be incredibly dangerous to do so. And you would be correct, as many of the accidents occur when a LMP car is trying to pass a GTE car. Pish-posh to safety is what I always say – as well as the French.
Oh yeah, and there is something called a Nissan Deltawing, which looks like the Batmobile and is racing in its own class. I read a bit about it. The car goes against many conventions (largely because it looks like the Batmobile) and is not even expected to finish, but if it does then… hey, neat. (If not, I am sure it still gets a trophy.)
In addition to all of this junk, there are a ton of rules that I have a loose-to-no understanding of.
Seeing as I have to work until a little after the noon hour tomorrow and this thing kicks off at 6am, I will be recording it and catching up during commercials. The whole thing is not televised, as something like three hours of the night portion and a half hour here and there are cut out. I still think I will be getting in about 19 straight hours of Le Mans. My rules are to endure the 19 straight hours and have at least one drink during every hour. I expect to finish it sometime Sunday morning. Being the absolute pinnacle of journalism, NB will be covering the race as I see it with stream-like posts every few hours. So if you happen to wake up at 3am, skip that glass of water and log onto NB for what should be a very lucid account of what is happening at the Circuit de la Sarthe.