What the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps circuits have in common
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What the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps circuits have in common

The 24 Hours of Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps circuits are considered hallowed ground in motorsport and endurance racing. This Saturday, 37 competitors set to participate in the upcoming edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will compete at the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, opening round of the 2018-2019 World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) Super Season.

In endurance as in other disciplines, a race weekend always starts off with recon of the circuit: veteran drivers get their bearings again while rookies familiarize themselves with its layout. To that end, yesterday several drivers did a lap - on foot - of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the site of the first round of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) 2018-2019 Super Season to take place this Saturday.

"There are portions of the circuit than can begin to look alike at Le Mans, like the chicanes or areas that are very fast."
Pierre Thiriet

This recon mission was an opportunity for the drivers to notice there are several common traits shared by the Spa-Francorchamps and 24 Hours of Le Mans circuits. "Each circuit is very unique, especially this one with an area like Tertre Rouge, the only one of its kind in the world. There are portions of the circuit than can begin to look alike at Le Mans, like the chicanes or areas that are very fast which are interesting to deal with at the 24 Hours. There are also fast sections like the Porsche curves," explains Pierre Thiriet, driver of Signatech Alpine Matmut's #36 Alpine A470-Gibson.

The Spa-Francorchamps and 24 Hours of Le Mans circuits share common traits. They are both legendary arenas in the history of motorsport and endurance racing, sharing emblematic turns and portions like the Raidillon de l'Eau Rouge at Spa and the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans.

They are also real aerodynamic and mechanical challenges for competitors. An indication the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (the start will be given this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time, 12:30 p.m. in the U.K.) serves as a final rehearsal ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is that many teams will utilize the same aerodynamic kit at both races.

Check out this video of the recon of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit done by World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) drivers, along with comments provided by Pierre Thiriet (Signatech Alpine Matmut), David Cheng (Jackie Chan DC Racing), Julien Andlauer (Dempsey-Proton Competition) and Andy Priaulx (Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK).