Le Mans Hypercar: The Hype Around Racing’s Biggest Event

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Alec Hoskins, Staff Writer

Every year people all around the world look forward to The 24 hours of Le Mans, a massive endurance race that takes place in France.This race brings out the best in the biggest and fastest car companies around the world. Some of the biggest names in racing have won here. Porsche, Ferrari, and even Ford have all raced and won on the circuit. Now, a whole new class of cars are being given their own race to commemorate just how fast race cars are getting. This new class of cars will consist entirely of hypercars, the next best thing in racing. While supercars used to be a popular choice, due to their ability to travel ten times faster than your average sports car, hyper cars are rising in popularity. These hypercars are decked out with bigger engines, bigger turbos, and even use electric motors to make themselves as fast as possible. While there are street legal supercars which are incredibly fast, these cars are meant to race. These street safe cars are far different than those that are used in races. The race vehicles weigh less, accelerate faster, and use different fuel all of which makes them go faster than the already incredibly fast hypercars for street use.

Not only are these cars fast, but tough too. They have to run at over 200 miles an hour for 24 hours straight! Often only just over half the cars make it to the finish line, since many break down or crash throughout the race. The fame awaiting the driver to first cross the finish line seems to be enough incentive to race in spite of these risks. Quite an amount of history has been made at Le Mans. Ford made its debut against Ferrari, Porsche has held the title for most amount of wins at the competition, and now newer competitors like Toyota with their Gazoo racing team have won the past three years in a row. The race itself is 98 years old making it the oldest endurance race in the world. It is incredibly difficult to enter, as the approval process is hefty due to the very prestigious manner of the race.

Despite these dangerous aspects, there are many regulations driver’s must follow. Engine size, maximum horsepower, and amount of cars brought are all regulated thoroughly. Driver’s also have to make two hundred road going versions of their race cars to prove that you have enough resources to win the race. Although seemingly extreme, that qualification is common in other kinds of races around the world to ensure the driver’s are serious about racing and have the capability to win. New cars like the Peugeot LMH car for 2023 all follow the same rules, but with vast differences. Whether it be the size of their wheels or the size of their electric motors, each car is somewhat mechanically different from another. The car is powered by a 2.6 liter twin-turbo V-6 gas powered motor. It also has a 200kW electric motor in the front to fill in the speed gaps where the gas motor isn’t running at peak performance. They call this their HYBRID4 system. All of the LMH cars have systems like these to make their cars the fastest cars on the track. With historic new advances in technology being introduced, fans will certainly not want to miss the new LMH race this Summer.