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The Circuit de la Sarthe, near Le Mans, France

April 27th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

The Circuit de la Sarthe, located near Le Mans, France, is a non-permanent race course most famous as the venue for the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. The track uses local roads that remain open to the public most of the year. The circuit, in its present configuration, is 13.629 km (8.469 mi) long, making it one of the longest circuits in the world. Over the years, several purpose built sections have replaced the normal roads, especially in 1972, when the Porsche Curves section bypassed the dangerous former Maison Blanche section between buildings. Since 1965, a smaller but permanent Bugatti Circuit was added which shares the pit lane facilities and the first corner (including the famous Dunlop bridge) with the longer version.

Drivers frequently refer to Le Mans as a race where up to 85% of the time is spent on full throttle, meaning immense stress on engine and drivetrain components. However, the times spent reaching maximum speed also mean tremendous wear on the brakes and suspension as cars must slow from over 200 mph (322 km/h) to around 65 mph (105 km/h) for the end of Mulsanne in a short distance. Downforce in the era of Group C cars helped braking to some degree but presently cars are tending towards low downforce to seek higher speeds in the face of power limiting regulations.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Arek Mucha

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