The 2016 Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe will soon be underway with new manufactures fighting it out for the ultimate endurance crown.
Ladies and Gentleman, the 2016 Le Mans is the 84th running of the world famous 24 hour race held at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France. It is the oldest running world endurance race and is the 3rd round of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2016. Make no mistake, the 24 hour Le Mans is the pinnacle of manufacturer rivalries, each trying to prove their technological mastery in this gruelling event.
Where most motorsport forms depend on speed as their top trump card to victory, the Le Mans is a far more complex affair. Race cars must display reliability, longevity and fuel efficiency. These parameters are just as important as speed and acceleration. Manufacturers have to build machines that can take the test of racing cars at the limit for 24 hours over thousands of kilometers. It is truly the ultimate test of man and machine in motorsport.
The Le Mans Endurance race is divided into categories based on the class of the racing cars. The Prototype classes are the LMP1 and LMP2 categories. While the road going machines are classified as GTE Pro and GTE AM specifications. Now the LMP1 are the full works custom race cars designed specifically to tackle the brutish 24 hour race. They feature unreal aero packages and ridiculously small and yet supremely powerful engines designed with both speed and fuel efficiency in mind. The LMP2 category is a slightly less aggressive yet fully custom race cars with mostly individual and private race teams building cars with the help of engine manufacturers. The GTE category is the GT series of the Le Mans and features GT cars that have been designed to race.
Now the 2016 iteration of the Le Mans was cursed with heavy rains and teams were battling it out in unpredictable weather conditions. Pushing through these elements qualifying for the final race was completed. In the LMP1 category Porsche grabbed the first two places locking the front row, with Nissan take 3rd and 4th grid positions and Audi in 5th and 6th. In the LMP2 category, Private race team G-drive racing Oreca starts at pole position. The Alpines line up at 2nd and 3rd place while Le Mans debutant Manor take 4th place. In the GTE Pro category we have Ford clinching 1st and 2nd position in their return to the Le Mans, a reminder of their domination with the GT40. The Ferrari factory 488 GTE made to 3rd grid position while Ford made an astonishing 4th and 5th place as well, the Americans making an absolute dominating show. In the last but definitely not the least GTE AM category, the Ferrari 458 GTE for Clear water racing grabbed the pole grid position followed by the Aston Martin Racing Vantage in second and the Abu Dhabi-Proton Porsche in third place.
The actual race is going to be a thriller. With unpredictable weather and 24 hours of crazy racing, the 2016 Le Mans promises racing at its best especially in the GTE category with Ford and Ferrari rekindling a rivalry so fierce, it still burns strong in their hearts. We hope for an exciting 24 hours and a post race summary shortly afterwards.
Picture Credits: Topgear