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24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 24 Heures du Mans) is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency". The event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport; other events being the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.
The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which contains a mix of closed public roads and dedicated sections of racing track, in which racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure. Of the 60 cars which qualified for the 2018 race, 41 cars ran the full duration.
Since 2012, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Because of the decision to run a World Endurance Championship super-season in the period May 2018 to June 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run twice in the same season: it will be both the second and the last round of the season. In 2011 it was a part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and it frequently formed a part of the World Sportscar Championship from 1953 until that series' final season in 1992.
Over time, Le Mans has influenced events that have sprung up all around the globe, popularizing the 24-hour format at locations such as Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Bathurst. The American Le Mans Series and Europe's Le Mans Series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Other races include the Le Mans Classic, a race for historic Le Mans race cars from years' past held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a motorcycle version of the racewhich is held on the shortened Bugatti version of the same circuit, a kart race (24 Heures Karting), a truck race (24 Heures Camions), and a parody race 24 Hours of LeMons.