2021 Le Mans: FIA World Endurance Championship
Are you ready? Today we announce that the world's biggest motorsport event, 24 Hours of Le Mans, will take place on August 21-22. Be in the front row for the 89th edition of the greatest race, which marks the fourth round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship. Follow the final endurance race on television, on social media or on the FIA WEC app, and enjoy every minute of it. Befor we explain in more detail how yu can watch this event, we decided to share with you the most famous historical moment of this race, which led to a new rece procedure, up to the present day! Learn more here.
Photo by Henri Béroul, at maville
1969 24 Hours of Le Mans
Fifty years ago, a new procedure was introuced at 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is still in effect today. But that was not the only interesting aspect of the 39th race. On June 14, 1969, Jacky Ickx, also known as "Monsieur Le Mans", was the only driver who did not run for his car at the starting signal. Drivers ran wildly to their cars like children in the playground, but that year more than 400,000 people watched the star of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and when the starting bell sounded, Jacky Icky, unlike the other drivers, calmly walked to his Ford GT40. This was the only way he could protest against that kind of start. In fact, this type of start was not safe, because to save a few seconds, drivers would even start without properly buckling up. It was in these circumstances that Willy Mairesse, Jacky Ickx's compatriot, was seriously injured in the previous edition of Le Mans 24 Hours. The after-effects of this accident led the Belgian driver to commit suicide, as he was unable to vote for the races. Due to this protest walk, Jacky Icky was the last to start. And in one of those sad coincidences, still during the first round of the race, this kind of start claimed yet another life in an accident. The injuries suffered by driver John Woolfe (Porsche 917) were fatal. Injuries that could have possibly been avoided if Woolfe had put on the safety belt.
Photo by Massimo Campi, at Motor Emotion
Although he finished last at the start of the race, Jacky Ickx would eventually win the 24 Hours of Le Mans together with Jackie Oliver at the wheel of a Ford GT40. It was one of the most closely fought victories in the istory of this race. His victory in 1969 was only the first of many (a total of six victories) in this mythical endurance race. Another vitory of this driver, no less important, was the end of the race start. His protest and the obvious safety failures dictated the end of this type of start in motorsports. Until today. Two-time Endurance World Champion, two-time Formula 1 Vice World Champion, and Dakar winner, Jacky Icky is a true living legend of motosports. A gentleman on and off the track. If you are interested, watch the movie "Ford V Ferrari", where the main mission is to build the famous Ford GT40, a new race car with the potencial to finally defeat the ever-dominant Ferrari team in the 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours race in France.
Photo at 24H Le Mans
How to watch the race
In France, the race will be available on the French TV channel La Chaîne L'Equipe, now the new open French broadcoaster of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race will be broadcast live from 1:30 pm on Saturday, August 21, until 6:45 pm, and again from 9:10 pm to 2 am. Coverage will continue on Sunday from 6 a.m, to 5:30 p.m. This race, will be, entirely, broadcast live on Eurosport France. You still have the opportunity to watch this event via the official FIA WEC application, available for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Everything on this app is available in English and French. The menu is in French, English, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic.
Here are the social networks for this race:
Facebook: 24 Heures du Mans
Twitter: @24hoursoflemans and @24heuresdumans
Youtube: 24 Heures du Mans
Don't forget to ue the official race hashtag: #LEMANS24
Enjoy and make the most of this legendary race. We will do the same! 😉