24 Hours of Daytona
24 Hours of Daytona


Type of Track


Time in Dark


First Race

Sanctioning Body
Daytona Int'l Speedway
Daytona Florida USA

3.56-mile (5.73 km)

Banked oval track, utilizing
an infield road course section

The track is lighted

12 hours

Last weekend of January or
first weekend of February,


IMSA under the jurisdiction of
the ACCUS arm of the FIA
Circuit de la Sarthe
Le Mans, France

8.467-mile (13.626 km)

Comprises public roads and
private race track sections

No track lighting

8 hours



Daytona Track
Le Mans Course
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24 Hours of Le Mans
Comparing The 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona

Both series have several classes of cars that race at the same
time and with several drivers for each car, who take turns driving.

Some teams compete in both races.

Rain is a possibility at either track.

The cars at Le Mans have to rely on their headlights at night but
more hours of night time racing occurs at Daytona.

While the cars are similar, the tracks are not -
Historical Notes about Le Mans:

The race was not ran in 1936 or from 1940-1948.

The worst racing accident in history happened during the 1955 race at Le Mans when a
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR crashed and exploded near a throng of spectators, killing the
driver and 82 spectators. Nearly 180 others were injured.  

That terrible event resulted in Mercedes-Benz withdrawing from all factory-sponsored
motorsport.  Mercedes-Benz returned to sports car racing as a factory team in 1997,
42 years later.  Also, Switzerland banned auto racing after the crash.  They lifted the
ban 67 years later in 2022.

Since the first race in 1923, the cars were lined up along the pit wall in the order they
qualified in. The drivers stood on the opposite side of the track, and would run to their cars
as the race was started.  This starting method ended after 1970 due to safety - as some
drivers would not take the time to buckle themselves into the car at the start.
2021 24 Hours of Le Mans
1969 24 Hours of Le Mans Start
Due to the high-banked turns at Daytona, teams have to
adjust the cars for the transition to banking.

Since the Daytona course is so much shorter, that
translates to more traffic that the drivers have to deal with.

The cars at Le Mans reach higher speeds because the
longer track has a longer straight.