They say slow and steady wins the race, but Aesop never saw a Porsche.
This weekend marks the 84th installment of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest active sports car endurance race. True to its name, the race is a 24-hour endurance run on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a roughly 8.5-mile track in Le Mans, France. The winner is the car that travels the greatest distance in those 24 hours. As one of the three events that form the Triple Crown of Motorsport — along with the Indianapolis 500 and Monaco Grand Prix — Le Mans is one of the most prestigious racing competitions in the world.
Unlike many races, however, Le Mans is not merely a test of speed. Because of the grueling hours involved, manufacturers participating in the race must design their cars with an eye for sturdiness and fuel efficiency. Each team fields three drivers, who rotate throughout the race. Le Mans is also a showcase for some of the most aerodynamic cars. The Circuit de la Sarthe has numerous long, straight sections where cars that can maintain a high top speed can quickly rack up miles.
Sporting events are always a dramatic stage, and this year’s running of Le Mans is no exception. The field of cars has been expanded to 60, and the competition among the top teams will be particularly fierce. Last year, Porsche snapped Audi’s five-year winning streak, and this year Porsche’s #2 919 Hybrid occupies the first position in the race. Audi is ravenous for a comeback, and Porsche will be looking to win acquire its 18th victory.
The race begins on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. Here is our guide for how to watch coverage of the race.
While Fox Sports will be broadcasting the event intermittently on the Fox Sports 1 and 2 cable channels, constant coverage will be available via Fox Sports Go. In addition to watching through the website, you can also download the official mobile app if you want to view an up-to-date feed regarding the race or watch it on your smartphone or tablet. The stream will also include in-car cameras, and an eight-person broadcast team.
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As expected, the official Le Mans organization provides some of the best race coverage surrounding the 24-hour event. With extensive pre-race coverage on its Facebook and Twitter pages, you’ll able to keep up with anything and everything Le Mans. You’ll also get access to last year’s results and the 2016 entry list, as well as a noteworthy list of all race regulations. However, you’ll want to check out the organization’s video service, Le Mans TV, for actual race coverage. Here, you’ll be able browse a host of interviews, news pieces, and various Le Mans coverage leading up to the big race. Once the race is underway, the feed will feature nonstop live coverage, in English and French, along with images from each the 14 on-board cameras. Moreover, special reports will routinely summarize updates on the different race classifications, provide a closer look at the Michelin technical rendezvous, and provide historical context regarding the race and endurance cars in general.
If you want to get up-to-the-minute timing and scoring updates, head over to the FIA World Endurance Championship website. Here, you’ll have access to the other endurance races which fall under the FIA World Endurance Championship series. It also features news articles and updates regarding 24 Hours of Le Mans. If you’re looking to get even more information on the endurance racing series, FIA’s website is an excellent resource.
The Le Mans Live website is similar to the official Le Mans website, though it does offer greater variety when it comes to videos. The site also has plenty of articles detailing recent news surrounding the event, last-minute updates, and brief flash information. More importantly, the site offers ranking positions for Le Mans and other FIA races, along with various FIA history and a continuous radio feed with additional commentary during race day.
If you won’t have access to a constant video stream, then Radio Le Mans will help pick up the slack. Renowned sports commentator John Hindhaugh hosts weekly motorsport updates regarding the race, and as expected, he’s poised to be at the helm during the big race as well. Furthermore, the website boasts a slew of podcasts that cover the qualifying races and race highlights — all of which are available in English and Deutsch.