- At a time when Grand Prix motor racing was the dominant form of motorsport throughout Europe, Le Mans was designed to present a different test. Instead of focusing on the ability of a car company to build the fastest machines, the 24 Hours of Le Mans would instead concentrate on the ability of manufacturers to build sporty yet reliable cars. This encouraged innovation in producing reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles, because endurance racing requires cars that last and spend as little time in the pits as possible.
At the same time, the layout of the track necessitated cars with better aerodynamics and stability at high speeds. While this was shared with Grand Prix racing, few tracks in Europe had straights of a length comparable to the Mulsanne. Additionally, because the road is public and thus not as meticulously maintained as permanent racing circuits, racing puts more strain on the parts, increasing the importance of reliability.
Not to be confused with The 24 Hours of LeMons.