It's that time of year again, the one where you stay up for two days to watch the most important race of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Monaco Grand Prix. The Indy 500. The Isle of Man TT. There are incredibly few motorsport spectacles on the globe that come close to capturing the pure essence and legendary status of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What makes Le Mans the incredible race it is is difficult to nail down.
Some might point towards its history. The 2019 edition to the Le Mans history will be the 87th time the world's best and brightest racers, teams, manufacturers, engineers, etc., have descended on the legendary circuit to go tooth and nail with one another.
Whilst the circuit today has changed much from it's original much more terrifying layout where the cars were able to reach speeds nearing 250mph the Le Mans circuit has retained much of it's undeniable pedigree, and thoroughly deserves it's place within motorsport's 'Triple Crown'.
Others may revel in the technology which powers these incredible machines. The way in which Le Mans, and more specifically the WEC, has helped to pioneer the way in which our road cars have been transformed from mere machine to portable computers capable of the most mundane and complex calculations simultaneously is remarkable. Add to that, the fact that'd you'd be hard pressed to find a racing car capable of producing in excess of 1000bhp, only adds to the spectacle.
For the majority however it's the sheer variety of machinery on display which makes Le Mans so compelling. Of the record 62 cars and almost 200 drivers who will compete at Le Mans this weekend, only the number of different manufacturers on display even comes close to matching these numbers.
Whether your a committed Tifosi, a Corvette man or a Aston thoroughbred, a Porsche or a Audi die-hard or even if you fancy a punt on a privateer Rebellion, Le Mans offers diversity in ways in which few racing series can even dream of. Even if you've never watched a WEC, ELMS or IMSA race in your life you can still guarantee that you'll find someone to cheer on come Saturday.
If you, just as I was, find yourself somewhat tired of the new castrated, eco-centred F1 then Le Mans is for you. Le Mans makes no excuses for what it is at it's core. There's no driving to conserve tires or fuel or to match a given time. When the green flag drops on Saturday there will be nothing but completely flat out, committed, and intense racing for the next 24 hours.
Just grasping the sheer concentration and ability that this race demands of those lucky enough to be on the grid beggars belief and must be seen to be truly appreciated.
To paraphrase the great Murray Walker; anything can happen at Le Mans, and it usually does.
Watch the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans Live
Watch our live stream page and popular chatbox and enjoy the toughest race of the year with other racing fans from around the world.
Timetable in GMT (BST +1 / CEST +2)
- Qualification | Thursday 13th June 18:00
- Race Start | Saturday 15th June 15:00
- Race Finish | Sunday 16th June 15:00
When you are not among the 300,000 fans that spectate the biggest endurance race of the world live from the track you can stay in your seat behind your PC, Tablet or Mobile phone and enjoy the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 from the comfort of your own home.
The race is aired for free in Europe on Eurosport television and make sure to support the amazing FIA WEC series and purchase an official Le Mans Race Pack here for only a few bucks.
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Useful 24 Hours of Le Mans Links
- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019: Test Day Results
- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019: Practice Results
- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019: Qualifying Results
- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019: Spotter guide
- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019: Full Entry List
- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019: Live Stream
- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019: Live Timing
- From Amputee to Le Mans Racer: The Remarkable Story of Frederic Sausset