The race traditionally began with the so-called Le Mans start, in which the cars were lined up along the length of the pits. Until 1962, cars lined up by displacement. From 1963, the qualifying periods determine the line-up. The starting drivers were on the opposite side of the front straight. When the French flag fell to indicate the start, the drivers ran across the track, climbed in, started their cars unaided, and drove off. This became a safety issue in the late 1960s when some drivers ignored their seat belts, a new invention at the time. This caused drivers not to dress properly during the first few laps because they were trying to do so while driving, or sometimes not wearing seat belts at all, resulting in several fatalities when cars were involved in accidents due to the concentration of the peloton at the start. In 2011, the race became the first round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and attempted to win a World Endurance Championship again. In 2012, the race became the centrepiece of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the successor to the ILMC. In the 2012 edition, a hybrid electric vehicle, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, won for the first time. Over the years, many manufacturers have managed to achieve the final victory, while achieving even more class victories.

The most successful brand in the history of the race is Porsche, which has taken nineteen overall victories, including seven consecutive from 1981 to 1987 and 107 class victories. Audi followed with thirteen victories[45][46] and Ferrari followed with nine, including six in a row from 1960 to 1965. Audi has dominated the event since 2000 and has won 13 entries in 15 years. [47] Audi and the Joest team have scored two hat-tricks, the first in 2000, 2001 and 2002. In contrast, Bentley, Alfa Romeo and Ford have won all four consecutive races, with Bentley scoring two more victories in other years. In 2018, Toyota became the second Japanese brand to win, after Mazda in 1991. Mazda is also the only company to win with a rotary engine. After Porsche`s total of 107 class wins, Ferrari has 37 and Aston Martin, Audi and Chevrolet 14 each. Porsche won the race in 2015, 2016 and 2017 with its 919 hybrid and remains the most successful manufacturer at Le Mans with 19 overall victories, including seven consecutive from 1981 to 1987. Chenard & Walker Sport was the first to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923. From that year on, it`s fun to see open-top racing cars rolling out until 1952, when Mercedes won with the 300SL. In addition, the race was held almost every year, except in 1936, when there was a labor strike due to the Great Depression, and from 1940 to 1948 due to World War II.

The public sections of the track are different from the permanent circuit, especially compared to the Bugatti circuit, located on the Sarthe circuit. Due to heavy traffic, public roads are not as smooth or well maintained. They also offer less grip due to the lack of soft rubber in race cars, although this only affects the first few laps of the race. The roads are closed just hours after practice sessions and the race, before reopening almost immediately after the race. Workers must install and dismantle safety barriers for public spaces each year. In 2020, Frédéric Sausset attempted to return to Garage 56 under the SRT41 banner by fielding a specially modified Oreca 07 LMP2 car with a team of three disabled drivers. However, the trial was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [19] [21] The SRT41 program has been postponed to 2021, successfully returning Garage 56 for the first time in five years.

Two of the drivers were paralyzed from the waist down. This strong influence of the manufacturer led the ACO to give the name Le Mans in 1999 to a series of sports cars in the United States known as the American Le Mans Series, which operated until the end of the 2013 season, after which it merged with Grand-Am to form the United SportsCar Championship.[22] Kristensen`s winning streak at the world`s most famous endurance race continued the following season despite a move to Bentley. He then triumphed with Audi Sport Japan in 2004 and with ADT Champion Racing in 2005, celebrating six consecutive Le Mans victories. A truly incredible achievement. After returning to the Audi factory, he had to wait another two years before being on the top step of the podium again at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 2008. After all, the car manufacturer with the most wins is at Le Mans. Porsche! Yes, the German brand has won the gruelling 24-hour race 19 times. Porsche won it twice in a row from 1970 to 1971 and from 1976 to 1977. The next victory was in 1979 before dominating for seven years from 1981 to 1987. Porsche was again on the top step of the podium in 1994, 1996 to 1998 and more recently from 2015 to 2017. In the 1980s, anti-lock braking systems became standard on most Group C cars as a safety precaution, making it less likely that cars would lose control at high speeds.

In the late 1990s, reinforced carbon-carbon brakes were introduced for better braking power. While its design philosophy was brutally simple, the British development of the GT40 was incredibly high-tech and involved engine test benches running engines through non-stop simulations, which was something straight out of science fiction at the time. The competing teams had a variety of organizations, from competitive divisions of road vehicle manufacturers (who wanted to prove the superiority of their products) to professional motorsport teams (representing their commercial backers, some of which are also car manufacturers who want to win without paying for their own teams) to amateur teams (who participate in the famous race and claim victory for their trading partners). Kiwis Hartley and Bamber joined Bernhard to take advantage of more Toyota problems during Porsche`s last win in 2017 Initially, there were no rules on how many motorists or how long they were allowed to drive. Although almost every team fielded two drivers in the first few decades, some Le Mans drivers such as Pierre Levegh and Eddie Hall tried to drive the race alone, hoping to buy time by not having to change drivers. This practice was later banned. Until the 1980s, there were teams in which only two drivers competed, but at the end of the decade, the rules were changed to require at least three drivers to drive each car. Gartner`s fatal crash remained the most recent death of the race until Allan Simonsen`s crash in 2013. However, in 1997, there was a death during a training session (Sébastien Enjolras). [51] When the 24 Hours of Le Mans returned in 1949, Ferrari celebrated its first victory with the 166 MM.

If the Prancing Horse dominated the race from this year, it was not the brand that won the most victories. In fact, he only had 9 wins in his 16-year-old dominance, which Ford finished in 1966. The 1972 312 P (often referred to as the 312 PB) won everything that came before it in the World Sportscar Championship, but did not go to Le Mans, dominated by Matra. The two titans met in 1973 and after a tough battle, the French company won, both in the title race and at Le Mans. The 2011 and 2012 races were overshadowed by a series of accidents. In 2011, the Audi driven by Allan McNish crashed heavily in the first hour and hit a wall of tires shortly after the Dunlop Bridge. During the night, Mike Rockenfeller`s defending champion Audi crashed in the same way between the Mulsanne and Indianapolis corners.