The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's most prestigious endurance racing series. Since 1923, it has been the greatest challenge of driving skill and racecar engineering. And the next one starts tomorrow...
While we wait for 2013's most memorable moments, here are ten from earlier races:
With a massive fireball, all the hard work of Peugeot went up in flames in 2010. Meanwhile, Audi was having a blast. Peugeot decided to quit Le Mans two year later, leaving newcomer Toyota to deal with the Germans.
Suggested By: Sennafan88
Have you ever seen how stable a Bugatti Veyron is at very high speeds? Well, keeping a Porsche 956 on the road with its 635 horsepower turbocharged Flat-6 at full rage in the original Mulsanne straight was a very different story. Bell is clocking something around 246 miles an hour here.
Suggested By: Patrick Frawley
The 1999 CLR-GT1 had serious problems in the aerodynamic department that even a McLaren F1 couldn't fix. They flipped in practice, then flipped again in the race. Instead of dealing with the issue, Mercedes-Benz left Le Mans to continue in DTM, a slightly slower series.
Suggested By: teampenske3
Audi spent millions and countless hours on developing the R18. It's a crushingly sophisticated machine. Still, after a minor crash at the Forza Chicane, it needed Romain Dumas' magic touch in order to continue.
Suggested By: NoahthePorscheGuy
While the Ford GT's 1-2-3 win of 1966 was equally amazing, America's biggest moment came a year later, when the team of Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt threw an apple pie into Enzo Ferrari's face with an American-built, American-designed 7.0-litre MkIV Ford GT tuned by Carroll Shelby.
Suggested By: $kaycog
Satoshi Motoyama tried everything to get back out there:
The aftermath of that crash. A race car driver trying, futilely, for hours to fix his car, while engineers pass him tools and instructions through a fence. He just needs to get it going enough to get it back to the pits...but can't...and due to rules he can't leave the side of the car, and the engineers can't come help. He works for hours to try to fix the car that didn't survive the crash that he walked away from...but in the end, can't. Absolutely heart-breaking, and in the end, what motor-racing and Le Mans is about: give your blood, sweat, tears, and soul to try to finish the race...and often have your heart broken.
Suggested By: TheCrudMan and Dwhite - Powered by Caffeine, Daft Punk, and Corgis
The worst crash in Le Mans history (and perhaps in all of motorsports) killed 84 people. This tragedy changed the game forever and took Mercedes-Benz out of motorsport for half a century.
Suggested By: TheCrudMan
The Mazda 787B beat the Jaguars and everybody else in 1991. It was the first and only Japanese win, the first and only rotary win, mostly because the rules have changed and this brilliant car was out of the game soon after.
Suggested By: daender
Suggested By: teampenske3
It was the greatest race in Le Mans with the best cars and the right attitude. Ford versus Ferrari versus Porsche. You just had to pick a side...
Suggested By: DrivesaCorolla, Photo credit: Ford Motor Company
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Top Photo Credit: Peter Dumbreck's airborne acrobatics