Circuit de la Sarthe

47.9498540.207523Koordinaten: 47 ° 56 ' 59 " N, 0 ° 12' 27" E

The Circuit des 24 Heures is over 13 km long semi-permanent motor racing circuit on which the 24 -hour Le Mans race is held. After the river Sarthe and the course was also called the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The circuit consists for the most part ( 9.207 km ) from ( enclosed in racing ) public roads at Le Mans, and is supplemented with 4.422 km of permanent race track and the pit facilities, which are also used for the short circular course Bugatti circuit. The high-speed line has a full gas share of over 85% and shall be recognized as a challenge for the drivers and race cars and their motors, drive components, brakes and chassis.

Route History

The route originally joined the places Le Mans, Mulsanne Arnage in the south and the southwest. At the first race in 1923 and in the 1920s led the route of the former pit area in the Rue de Laigné directly in the city center of Le Mans, and left after a sharp right curve in the vicinity of the bridge Pontlieu, on a long straight back the city, the road is now called Avenue Georges Durand, named after Georges Durand, one of the founders of the race.

In 1929, 17.262 km long and then unpaved route was shortened within downtown to 922 m. In 1932 the city was even avoided completely. The route took over the then new road across the now famous Dunlop Bridge, over the curves combination Esses to Tertre Rouge. This track layout was 13.492 kilometers long and was so unchanged traveled to the disaster of Le Mans in 1955.

For 300 million old French Francs 1956, the pit facilities have been modernized, but the road and pits were not another two decades - as is now common - isolated. The central traffic lights and the tower for the flag character was moved to the end of the Mulsanne corner.

With the accelerating vehicles in the 1960s it was particularly during the tests in April many deaths and the track came increasingly under fire. In 1965, the modern, smaller permanent circuit Bugatti circuit was opened. Both routes share the pit lane, pit lane facility and the first corner with the famous Dunlop Bridge. From 1968 an additional chicane is frequented (Ford chicane ), thus the vehicles are slowed down just before the pit lane. In 1969, the line was equipped with guardrails. 1972 was circumvented by the construction of the Porsche curves of the fast and dangerous section Maison Blanche.

The track is famous for its 6 km long line that runs along the public road Ligne Droite of the Mulsanne, a part of the route Departmental D338 ( 1973-2006 Route nationale N138 / N158 1824-1973 ). This line leads directly to the village of Mulsanne, and is therefore often referred to in English Mulsanne Straight, although the Route du Mulsanne actually leads to Arnage. In the late 1980s, here a maximum speed of over 400 km / h have been achieved, but, in combination with the increasing pressure to increased tire damage. The official record held by the Frenchman Roger Dorchy, the WM P87 with a 2.8 -liter turbo engine Peugeot and Michelin tires special 1988 reached a top speed of 405 km / h. 1990, two chicanes were installed to reduce the attainable speed for safety on this line. In the same year, the FIA ​​announced that racetracks will not get any more distance license with straight longer than 2 km.

The average speed in qualifying was 1993 from 249 to 243 km / h, and then increased by 2008 to 247 km / h but never again reached the reached without baffles with the Porsche 956 251 km / h

A poster with the route overview.

The run-off areas before the Dunlop Bridge.

The Ford Chicane.

A large part of the route runs over the Sarthe Route Departmental D338.

Track records

Bugatti circuit

The permanent, to be traversed clockwise additional price of 13.650 km long tradition Circuit de la Sarthe was opened in 1965 with a length of 4.422 km, also serves as the venue for the Grand Prix of France as part of the motorcycle world championship and was to hosting the 2008 DTM.

Originally named by the car designer Ettore Bugatti Bugatti circuit was designed by chief engineer Charles German, who worked full-time at the French Road Administration and by the way was part owner of a company for the construction of racing cars. German took the finish line and adjacent road sections of the route on which the 24 - hour race at Le Mans was held for its design. Behind the shared pit facilities and the paddock, he designed a new section with six slow to medium- fast corners and a hairpin bend before returning to the traditional Le Mans track.