Fifty-five of the world's top racing drivers roared off, June 10, at the start of the 24-hour Le Mans sports car race in France.
Fifty-five of the world's top racing drivers roared off, June 10, at the start of the 24-hour Le Mans sports car race in France. Drizzling rain made the track treacherously greasy in parts, and also reduced the crowds.
However, a fast Le Mans race was still predicted. It was the 29th time the event had been held. Soon after the start, "Ferraris" (favourites to win for the second year in succession) want into the lead. Late on June 10, they held the first five places.
There are, in fact, three separate contests in the race: general classification, index thermal efficiency,and index of performance, The winner of the first is the outright victor, while the other two categories are based on a complicated formula related to fuel consumption, weight, engine capacity and distance covered.
In 1955, the race was almost scrapped when a collision sent an exploding car hurtling like a flaming scythe into a tightly-packed crowd. Eighty-four people were killed in the worst disaster in racing history. Precautions have since been taken to safeguard spectators. This year, there were a few not-too-serious mishaps in the early stages.