(Le Mans, guide touristique par l'Office du Tourisme: tel: 43 28 17 22, fax: 43 23 37 19 )

From 1906, the principal city of the Maine region started to become world-widely renouned as the scene of the first Grand Prix of the A.C.F. organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, considered as the ancestor of all the F1 Grand Prix.

Encouraged by the immense popular success of this race, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest worked on the realisation of a competetion which would encourage the technical progress & dynamisize the evolution of the automobile.

A race of endurance responding to the outlined goals was needed. In this spirit the "24 heures du Mans" was born. The first race, on the 26th May 1923, started with 33 competitors...

Since 1923, the 62 "24 heures du Mans" races to date, have increased the popularity of the event year by year. Without question, the "24 heures du Mans" represents, for the prestige of a driver & for the aura of an automobile firm, a race which has to be won.

Advanced technology: better construction, increased comfort, fuel economy, alot of these technical innovations were first of all tested at the "24 heures du Mans" & then applied, with success, to the commercial car market.

That is why the "24 heures du Mans" has always been an incomparable bench-mark where the reputed constructors forge a spirited & positive image, through the quality label of the "24 heures du Mans".

* Return to the 24 hour home page