Watch A Porsche GT1 Take Flight
Petit Le Mans turns 20 this weekend but before we take a look forward we look back at one of its scarier incidents.
There is a ton of buzz surrounding IMSA right now. Their Daytona Prototype International (DPi) formula is getting big time interest from all over the world. So much so that it has manufacturers like McLaren and Ford pushing for a global set of rules based off the DPi formula. In its first season DPi saw the likes of Cadillac, Nissan and Mazda embrace the formula. Mazda will be back next season as the newly reformed Mazda Team Joest which adds one of the worlds heaviest sportscar racing hitters to IMSA. If that wasn't enough Penske is joining the fray with two Acura prototypes. The series is booming which makes not looking to 2018 extremely difficult.
This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of Petit Le Mans. The ten hour endurance classic that has become a bucket list race for many drivers and teams. It also marks the end of the season which means championships will be decided. Excitement is usually at a fever pitch among the teams and drivers. Throw in a special appearance by Rebellion Racing and Penske's DPi debut and you can dial that excitement right up to eleven.
It is difficult to remember that this race is only 20 years old. It carries the weight of a premiere sportscar event across the world. For that to happen in only 20 years is hugely impressive. Back in 1998 when the race was in its infancy one of the scariest accidents in the race's history occurred. We are all hugely familiar with the issues Mercedes had at Le Mans with their cars taking flight but they were not alone in that problem. During the 1998 race a Porsche GT1 lost air on the front nose while going over a crest creating the perfect storm and sending the car flipping end over end. Luckily nobody was seriously injured.
Ruling bodies and teams have since learned how to keep cars planted on the ground so the likelyhood of seeing another accident like this is minimal. Either way tune in this weekend to see one of the world's premiere endurance races.