Travis and I are on our way to Le Mans, and here's a bit of why it's worth the flight from anywhere on this earth.
The number of people I talked to who have no idea about the 24 Hours of Le Mans is shocking, but understandable. While it might be a historic race that happens to be ludicrously fast and dangerous, the day-long battle of experienced drivers and the most advanced cars on the planet is something that's much harder to broadcast than let's say Formula 1. It's definitely dirtier and longer than a few laps around the harbor of Monaco.
The guys at Evo went on Youtube to sum up why Le Mans is special, and their six videos provide the perfect introduction indeed. So, let's start with a Corvette in the dark...
A C6 ZR1 during the night shift. And yes, you might argue that the human eye is a sharper tool than the onboard camera. Certainly better in low light. But at that speed, being surrounded by even faster prototypes, this still qualifies as magic. And the track's layout burnt into their brains permanently.
The Group C Sauber-Mercedes C11 is one of my favorite Le Mans cars ever, so seeing this example's tire blow at 192 mph two years ago was worrying to say the least. Luckily, Le Mans drivers are only part human, so there was no drama at all...
Would you like to see why they built those chicanes into the Mulsanne straight after all those years? Here's a Porsche 956 to demonstrate. What Veyron SuperSport?
The Mazda 787B is one of the loudest and best sounding Le Mans winners of all time. It's also a technology we'll most likely never see again at such speeds. Rotary fans, this is your anthem!
An 1,100 horsepower car without electronic aids at full speed for 24 hours. Meet the Nissan R90CK with British wizard Mark Blundell behind the wheel.
Although also exciting, don't expect anything like this from this year's Nissan.
Finally, I really wish all the best to the Toyota team this year. With the French gone, they are the only ones who can challenge the Germans, and that continuous challenge and pressure is what keeps Le Mans the best race in the world.
This weekend, they have a 1,000 horsepower V8 hybrid to play with. Back in 1999, they had exploding Michelins on a glorious prototype...
One thing is for sure: We'll remember this weekend for a long time.
Photo Credit: Getty Images