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Every Little Boy's Scalextric: Japanese Grand Prix

Suzuka Circuit, 2011 (image courtesy of Mercedes GP)

Tradition has it that Japan was always the last country visited on the annual Formula One calendar and it was invariably a Championship ‘decider’…that was until a raft of new circuits and new markets for the premier racing series opened up. Of course, in motor racing terms, Japan is still fairly ‘youthful’, having held its first GP as recently as 1976. Fuji Speedway (owned by Toyota) was the initial venue but Suzuka Circuit (owned by Honda) has superseded it, a factor that would have pleased the late, great Soichiro Honda no end.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans: The Legend of Automobile Sports

// The following is a guest post by Sabrina Beaudoin, a french journalist and administrator of  Thank you Sabrina for sharing your work with the American F1 audience!

// Le Mans

Every year there are more than 50 competitors coming from different parts of the globe, whom have diverse backgrounds in their sporting careers and are brought together for a face to face challenge through the famous 24 hours of Le Mans. For the 80th edition, Le Mans circuit is ever more welcoming and attractive. This challenge is not just a simple run as it counts for the FIA championship. The 24 hours of Le Mans is also something that we all share and connect with. Despite the brand, prototype, team sponsorship or pilot that one supports, all fans gather in a reunion where spirits are lifted by the adrenaline. Again, this year brought over 200,000 people to cheer on this festivity.

Coming from 4 corners of the world, avid fans enjoy this moment as well as the social and unified team spirit brought by this event. Without such enthusiasm, Le Mans would not be the same…and would not open its doors for almost 2 full weeks to welcome such a crowd. We start with a qualifier day that allows certain people to get ready for the Mans day, others only participate at this session and stand aside the more experienced crowd…embracing and learning. The following week is a measure of skills and performance. To help boost local attendance, the promoter of the race encouraged the town to participate. Certain activities will always be unique to the town, such as the famous parade of pilots that enable the public to experience a closer connection with them.