Race start Saturday - the No. 50 Ferrari heads its stablemate along the start/finish straight on the first lap
After one hundred years of providing some of the finest motor racing on the planet, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest(ACO) has presented the motorsport world with a spectacle par excellence. This year is not the 100th race, its actually the 91st race as the Le Mans 24 Hours was not held in 1936 (due to labour unrest) and for the nine years from 1940 to 1948 inclusive, there was no racing. The first race post-war was held in 1949, and it was as though the floodwaters of accumulated frustration from the absence of any serious international competition, was unleashed in one race.
As with most things in life, they tend to come and go in phases, and in motorsport this has much to do with the set of regulations governing the top tiers of racing at the time. For example, GT cars ruled in the 1950s, but in the 1960s and 1970s it was sports prototypes, and then Group C ruled the waves for a decade in the 1980s. But in the ‘90s, there was little guidance from the racing authorities until a private organisation created a colourful and exciting GT class of racing. In the 2000s and the first part of the teens it was all about prototypes again, until the manufacturers withdrew and the race organisers had to come up with a new plan. They called it Hypercars, and suddenly the manufacturers were back.
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