Registering the Speed of Le Mans
The 24 hour endurance race in Le Mans is one of the most famous, celebrated and oldest motorsports events in the world. First held in 1923, the event is organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and runs on the Circuit de la Sarthe. The weekend is a spectacle of skill, endurance and guile, with the aim of not only being the fastest but managing your motorcar around the circuit to last the full 24 hours.
Each team has 3 drivers, with Nico Hulkenberg (Germany), Earl Bamber (Australia) and Nick Tandy (UK) sharing the winning drive for the Porsche team in 2015 with a Porsche 919 Hybrid. They covered 395 laps and their odometer registered 3345.13 miles (5383.46 km).
Generally, the gauges will show that the drivers will cover around 3,110 miles (5,000 km) in the 24 hours and the Speedometers will register top speeds of around 205 mph (330km/hr).
In 2016, 50 years after the Ford GT40's original Le Mans win, Ford motorcars are once again leading the charge with the two fastest cars in the LM GTE Pro class and SMITHS gauges have been used in the GT40 for decades.
Porsche will be competitive again in 2016 and presently hold the record for the most wins with 17. They are followed by Audi with 13, Ferrari with 9 an Jaguar with 7. The Audi R8 is the most successful car with 5 wins, followed by the Alfa Romero 8C 2300, Ford GT40, Porsche 956 and Audi R18 all with 4 wins each.
The fastest recorded lap in any race is 3:17.475 recorded in 2015 by Andre Lotterer with the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, although the fastest lap for pole position was recorded by Pedro Rodriguez in a Porsche 917 in 1971, when he completed the circuit in 3:31.90. The highest recorded speed reached was 253 mph (407km/hr) by Roger Dorchy in a WM P88-Peugeot in 1988.
Since the first race in 1923, many of the motorsports cars involved have used SMITHS Instruments gauges and classic designs are still manufactured and supplied today from the plant in Abercrave, South Wales.
For more information on gauges for motorsports or the GT40, please contact us on:
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Posted by Paul Fears on
16 June 2016 at 3:20 PM
Gauges, GT40, Le Mans, Motorsports, SMITHS
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