24 HOURS OF LE MANS

Created in 2002, Le Mans Classic offers a great retrospective of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours 1923-1979 period. In 2016, the ’80s and early ’90s become also celebrated with the Group C racers. The most famous endurance race in the world, marked by sportsmanship, quest for innovations and performance, has told, since 1923, a heroic chapter of automobile history.

Bentley, Alfa Romeo and Bugatti before the war, Ferrari, Jaguar, Ford, Porsche, Matra, Peugeot and Audi since WWII – and now Toyota: the greatest car manufacturers have entered their name on the winners’ roll call on several occasions spending without counting to ensure periods of domination. Thus, they have forged the incredible reputation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an event that has paid them back in full by enhancing their renown.

Everybody knows the 24 Hours of Le Mans and each person has his/her own image of the race – a very close finish, the top speed of a prototype roaring down the Mulsanne straight, the beauty of aerodynamic bodywork that owes nothing to stylists, etc.

Since 1923, except during WWII, for 24 hours per year the best drivers in the best cars often designed expressly for the race come to take on their rivals in spectacular battles, and above all to take up the challenge of what is undoubtedly the most demanding endurance race in the world.

1923: First edition of the 24 Heures du Mans
1930: Bentley wins for the 5th time, this is the saga of the “Bentley Boys”
1949: Luigi Chinetti wins the event with Ferrari
1955: A dreadful accident in the first hours of the race causing the death of 80 people
1967: The “Race of the Century”, 300.000 spectators throng to attend the fight of the Ford-Ferrari duel… Breaking through of the 5,000 km mark!
1970: First victory for Porsche and making of the film Le Mans with Steve McQueen
1971: Flying start and not standing start anymore
1972: Matra, Pescarolo and Graham Hill win. Hill is the only driver having won in Le Mans, in Indianapolis and being F1 world champion
1980: Rondeau becomes the first driver who wins in Le Mans driving his own car
1988: Speed record of 405 km/h by the prototype WM with a Peugeot engine
1991: Victory of Mazda, first and only Japanese manufacturer having won the event
2006: First victory of a diesel engine in Le Mans
2012: A hybrid car puts its name on the list of winners: the Audi R18 e-tron quattro
2013: Tom Kristensen wins for the 9th time the event with Audi
2017: 19th victory of Porsche. A record!

They have won Le Mans: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Matra, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault…

Legendary drivers: Tazio Nuvolari, Juan-Manuel Fangio, Graham Hill, Henri Pescarolo, Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Tom Kristensen…