Motor cycling, and the French team, Jean-Claude Chemarin and Christian Leon ridding a 1000cc Hondahave won the 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans.
GV: Start of race with riders mounting bikes and zooming off past camera.
GV: Bikes speeding past on straight.
Bikes coming around corner.
GV: Bikes coming over hill.
GV: Bikes going around bend.
GV PAN: Bikes going through S-bends and up hill (TWO SHOTS)
GV: Track official holding yellow flag behind him looking at bikes passing.
SV: Pits at night
GV: Bikes going
GV: Spectators in early morning sun resting on ground.
SV: French policeman at edge of track looking at race.
GV PAN: Bikes going around track.
GV: Bikes coming down hill straight and than through tight U-bend.
GV: Official trying to clear people from finishing line.
SV PAN: Winners escorted through crowd by police to winners rostrum.
SV PAN: Crowd cheering as winner appears on rostrum.
SV: Two winners shaking hands and spraying champagne on crowd.
PLACING: First - Chemarin/Leon
Second - Michel Frutschiof Switzerland and Jean-Franco is B?lde off France; 750 laps, 3,180.33 kilometres (1,987.7 miles) at 132.26 kilometres (82.66 miles) per hour.
Third - Chairman Hugust of France and Bandy Korohonen of Finland; 744 laps, 3,154.81 kilometres (1.971.756) miles) at 131.26 kilometres (82.037 miles) per hour.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Motor cycling, and the French team, Jean-Claude Chemarin and Christian Leon ridding a 1000cc Hondahave won the 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans. They completed the 736 laps,on Sunday (18th September) at an average of over 136 kilometres (nearly 85 miles) per hour.
Sixty-five riders made the traditional Le Mans start, in the world's most taxing endurance race for motor bikes. By the end of the 24 hours, 41 of the contestants had dropped out almost two thirds of the field.
After only forty minutes, a Honda entered by British team Stan Woods and Roger Marshall caught fire and was out of the race. Hand built, it had cost around forty thousand pounds (about seventy thousand dollars). British Honda's other works machine, shared by phil Read and Tony Rutter, was going well until it blew a cylinder head stud,when lying third. Although the pit crew worked feverishly to rebuild the engine, the riders had lost too much time.
The Honda France team were pressed in the early stages of the race by Yamaha, and later by Godier Kawasaki The response from Christian Leon was to chip a full eight seconds off his previous lap records. By the early hours of the morning the French pair had notched up a considerable lead. Then Leon fell, breaking his machine's frame. But drilled, bolted and braced, the Honda was fit to race on. A measure of the race's excitement was the one hundred and sixty thousand spectators who were watching in the early hours of the race's excitement was the one hundred and sixty thousand spectators who were watching in the early hours of the morning.
Although the French pair were several laps clear of their nearest rivals, the excitement grew. To see a French rider first across the finishing line was what most of the crowd had come for.
And almost before Jean-Claud? Chemarin did cross the line, the crowd had surrounded him. Some riders were unable to finish their last lap because of the fans on the track. But it was an impressive victory. On their 977cc Honda Chemarin and Leon completed 3,235.46 kilometres (2.022.16 miles) at an average sped of 136.61 kilometre (84.69 miles) per hour. Chemarin now tops the championship table with 39 points - so it was a double celebration for him and his team Leon.