Le Mans 2011: how it works
Don’t know your LMP1s from your GTE Pros? TopGear.com decodes the world’s greatest motor race…
Posted: 10 Jun 2011
Welcome, everyone, to the greatest and, some say, cruellest motor race... in the world. The 79th 24 hours of Le Mans, which kicks off this weekend at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe. That's in France.
An eight-and-a-half mile circuit will host around 50 cars clocking up more than 3,000 miles from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. Straight.
For the uninitiated, there are four classes to this gruelling, accident-prone and rather fabulous endurance race taking part, and they are thus: LMP1, LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am. If you don't know what they mean, click through for a brief rundown. If you do know what they mean, what are you doing reading this? Get on the Euro Tunnel and down to Le Mans, now!
Which is what we'll all be doing in less than 12 hours, by the way, in some rather nice metal. Look out for TopGear.com's live blog of all things Le Mans in the coming days...