|The annual motorsport marathon celebrates its 80th birthday
24 hours of racing, tactics and tension, 250.000 fans along the track and one team to beat them all - that's Le Mans 24 hours, the annual motorsport marathon, held in the city of Le Mans in France's northwest. Coming weekend, June 16th and 17th, the internationally renown sport event celebrates its 80th birthday. Since 1923, Audi, Porsche, Toyota, Ferrari and Aston Martin have sent their best teams and drivers to test their skills on the 13,6 km (8,45 miles) long track. With the exception of 1936 and 1940-1948 the event has been held every year.
The participating teams compete in one of the following (or both) categories: the "Prototypes" and "Grand Touring". Whereas the "Prototype" category refers to cars exclusively developed for competition on track, the "Grand Touring" category describes cars derived from models approved for road use that can be purchased.
Audi - winner of 24 h du Mans 2011
Last year's winner Audi experienced how closely joy and sorrow can be linked in sport, when after two horror crashes and one of the most dramatic races in Le Mans' history, German driver André Lotterer took the victory in the newly desigend Audi R18 together with co-drivers Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer, holding off three Peugeot 908. André Lotterer claimed both first place in the LMP1 class and the overall victory, beating the 2nd place Peugeot by a mere 13 seconds.
In the ranking of all-time victories, runner-up Audi is 6 wins behind Porsche with 16 victories and just before Ferrari with 9 triumphs.
Starting at 3 pm (CEST) on Saturday, you can get live coverage on http://www.lemanslive.com/.