[ame=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db5W8cVhdm0″%5DYouTube- 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours Race Start HD[/ame]
The start of last year’s race
I’d like to interrupt the World Cup buildup to ask, no, to implore you to take a few minutes out of your fervent soccer watching to watch one of greatest sporting events in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I’ve made it a bit of an annual tradition to plug sportscar races on this site but this is the big one. Le Mans. Yup, it’s the race Steve McQueen made a movie about back in the 70s. It’s quite simply the greatest motor race on earth and it’s definitely worth tuning into for even a few minutes.
Speed Channel summed it up pretty well a few years ago.
[ame=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP-OSYcjsjQ”%5DYouTube- 24 Hours of Le Mans 2007 – broadcast intro[/ame]
The other great thing about Le Mans, especially this year’s edition, is that it’s got a little bit of something for everyone.
For folks into the cutting edge of technology, there is Audi and Peugeot revolutionizing diesel technology as they battle for the overall win. These two manufacturers have plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into showing that not only can a diesel engine last 24 hours, but that it can do so while pumping out over 600 horsepower.
Audi’s 2010 challenge for Le Mans
For the red-blooded Americans you’ve got the Corvette team which will battle BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, and Spyker for the win in the GT2 class featuring production based cars.
For the art lovers out there. BMW commissioned renowned artist Jeff Koons to paint a special “art car” that will compete in the race. Koons isn’t the first artist to paint a BMW race car for Le Mans, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Alexander Calder have also created cars that then become priceless pieces of both art and racing history.
Jeff Koons and his new BMW M3 art car.
Here in the US, Speed Channel is televising most of the race starting Saturday morning and going through the night into the Sunday morning finish.
I’ll leave you this. Watch this footage of the cars last year traveling over 200 mph through the night and tell me this isn’t more than just a little bit cool.
[ame=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oPZUCZpdWk”%5DYouTube- Le Mans 2009 porsche curves at night[/ame]
Anyway, if you’re killing time between matches Saturday morning, flip on over to Le Mans for a few minutes.