Le Mans is a jewel with many facets: an ancient pre-Roman centre and the largest medieval centre in Europe to a modern vibrant city which has hosted the famous Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race since 1923. Visitors are often amazed to pass below almost complete, decorated Roman city walls, past the medieval cathedral, through a modern city and then find themselves driving along several kilometres of the 24 Hour race circuit all within a space of 30 minutes!
Le Mans, is well known for the 24 Hour Race which is also known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency because the cars must race for 24 hours without breaking down. The teams need to balance speed and at the same time control the effect son the car’s oil, tyres, brake pads and monitor fuel efficiency. Drivers often drive for two hours at a time before switching drivers in the pits; the rules now stipulate that three drivers must share the driving for each team. Much of the race circuit is along public roads which are only closed on race days so anyone driving on the public roads to the south of Le Mans has to drive for several miles along the race track.
In addition to the classic sport’s car race the track also hosts a number of other events throughout the year. Cars and motorbikes are to be expected but lorry racing, go-karts, cycles and roller skates all have their own events:
Le Mans also has the “24 Heures du Mans” museum with over 100 classic cars, a driving school for would-be racers, an 18 hole golf course and a private airfield all within the confines of the 24 hour track!