The historic support race at the Le Mans 24 Hours has become one of the most prestigious and sought-after entries on the international historic racing calendar. As such, and in celebration of the Centenary of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Motor Racing Legends has announced that this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours weekend (June 17–18, 2006) will see not one, but two historic support races.
The first ACO Centenary Race will accept entries from Le Mans racecars of the pre-war era (1923–1939), while the second race will select from post-war Le Mans racers up to 1954.
Both ACO Centenary Races will take place on the morning of Saturday, June 17th, and are exclusively for actual cars which ran at Le Mans in their day, and genuine sister cars of the same specification. The races, taking place a few hours before the start of the modern 24 Hours, will each be 40 minutes long and for one driver. Both will start with the traditional Le Mans formation, in which drivers run across the track to their cars.
The ACO Centenary Races are run by Motor Racing Legends, in partnership with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. Duncan Wiltshire, Chairman of Motor Racing Legends, explains how this exciting opportunity has arisen: “Running two historic races on the morning of the Le Mans 24 Hours, as opposed to the single Le Mans Legend race we are best known for organizing, is a break with tradition in celebration of the Centenary year of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. While 2006 is not the Centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours (2006 will be the 74th time the modern race has been run), it is 100 years since the formation of the ACO, the Club behind the greatest endurance race in the world.
“The historic support race is always tremendously popular with the 230,000 spectators who flock to the 24 Hour race weekend. This year, they will enjoy an even more exciting spectacle as 100 drivers race on the full 8.5-mile circuit at the wheel of some of the greatest pre- and post-war sports racing cars of all time.” Further information can be found at www.motorracinglegends.com.