At 18:30 on Saturday evening the Le Mans 24-Hours looked over for the
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The Circuit de la Sarthe is one of the world's oldest and most historic race tracks. With 38 curves and at 13.629 kilometres per lap, it is the longest track in the FIA WEC race calendar. The circuit mainly consists of public country roads that seamlessly merge into the race track. As the road is driven all year, it gains a special feature to consider: the tarmac is deeply rutted. And in Le Mans we drive more than 5000 kilometres during one race. Or a more striking comparison: Formula 1 needs a whole season to cover the Le Mans distance. Bearing up here means bearing up against any track of the world.
This corner isn't as easy as it looks. It's an aggressive track section that provides a lot of grip. But it also has bumps. The kerbing on the outside of the bend isn't flat, but instead hangs outwards. It is very easy to lose control of the vehicle if you drive over this section too quickly. You then have to pick up speed for the long straight.
The Hunaudières straight is almost 5 kilometres long with two chicanes, on which our prototypes reach up to 340km/h. Drivers say that it feels like it is never-ending, especially at night. At this speed, extreme concentration is required. In the early years, there was no chicane to slow down drivers from the top speed, which at the time was 400 km/h (248 mph).
The drivers approach at top speed and brake slightly, as the bumps can quickly destabilise the vehicle. Drivers can open up a lead in these curves if they are brave enough to take a bit of a risk. In the