2004 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 72nd Grand Prix of Endurance, took place on 12 and 13 June 2004. With the end of the Bentley project, there were no official factory teams from major manufacturers in LMP at this year's race, theoretically leaving it open to anyone. However, the Audi R8s proved their abilities in privateer hands, by taking a 1-2-3 victory over the competition. Once again, Tom Kristensen was in the winning car, an Audi entered by the Japanese Team Goh, setting a record fifth straight victory and tying Jacky Ickx with 6 overall wins; the GTS-class Corvettes avenged their loss to Ferrari the previous year by winning the class following mechanical difficulties for the Ferraris late in the race. GT-class went to an American squad, White Lightning Racing, which featured three Porsche factory drivers. LMP2 was again a test of survival as only two cars finishing, with Intersport Racing completing the American trifecta. Dodge ended its participation this year. Class winners marked in bold.
Cars not completing 70% of the winner's distance are listed as Not Classified. Pole Position - #88 Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx - 3:32.838 Fastest Lap - #88 Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx - 3:34.264 Distance - 5169.9 km Average Speed - 215.415 km/h Highest Trap Speed — Nasamax DM139 - 330 km/h, Dome Judd S101 - 335 km/h
Tom Kristensen (racing driver)
Tom Kristensen is a Danish former racing driver. He holds the record for the most wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with nine, six of which were consecutive. In 1997, he won the race with the Joest Racing team, driving a Tom Walkinshaw Racing-designed and Porsche-powered WSC95, after being a late inclusion in the team following Davy Jones' accident that ruled him out of the race. All of his wins since have come driving an Audi prototype, except in 2003, when he drove a Bentley prototype. In both 1999 and 2007 Kristensen's team crashed out of comfortable leads in the closing hours of the race, he is considered by many to be the greatest driver to have raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, earning the nickname "Mr Le Mans". Elsewhere Kristensen holds the record for most wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring with a total of six. In August 2014, Kristensen was appointed Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by the Queen of Denmark. In January 2018 he was inducted into the Danish Sports Hall of Fame. Kristensen was born in Hobro.
His career began in 1984. He raced in Japan in the early 1990s, concurrently in Touring Cars, he was German Formula 3 Champion in 1991, Japanese Formula 3 champion in 1993, runner-up in the Japanese Touring Car Championship in 1992 and 1994. He was 6th in Formula 3000 in both 1996 and 1997, test driver for Tyrrell in their final Formula One season in 1998, for Michelin as they prepared their F1 tyres using an older Williams car in 2000, he was 3rd in the STW Cup in Germany in 1999, 7th in the British Touring Car Championship in 2000, winner of the 12 Hours of Sebring in both those years. On 22 April 2007, Kristensen was involved in an accident while racing on the Hockenheimring race course in Hockenheim, Germany; the crash resulted in a long break from training for Kristensen, his participation in the 2007 Le Mans race was in jeopardy. However, Kristensen recuperated and was cleared by the Le Mans doctors to start the race, it was reported that a new type of collar may have prevented him suffering a broken neck in the crash.
In 2000, 2001, 2002, he won the 24 Hours at Le Mans race with the Audi R8 along with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro, becoming the first three drivers since Jacky Ickx in 1977 to win the race on three straight occasions. In 2003, he won the race with Bentley. In 2004, he equalled Ickx's record of six Le Mans victories in Team Goh's Audi R8. 2005 saw Kristensen win a seventh time with an American R8 entry, making him the most successful driver at the Le Mans 24-hour race. The 2006 race saw Kristensen finishing in third place in the new diesel-powered Audi R10. Kristensen did not finish the 2007 race following Rinaldo Capello's crash while the car was leading the race by four laps. Kristensen returned in 2008 to extend the record for most wins. In 2013, he took his ninth victory at the event, extending his record and legendary status further, he has received nickname "Mr Le Mans" because of the record of winning Le Mans 9 times total. On 19 November 2014, Kristensen announced at a press conference in Copenhagen that he was retiring from motorsport at the end of the current World Endurance Championship season.
1 -- A non-championship one-off race was held in 2004 at the streets of China. † — Retired, but was classified as he completed 90 per cent of the winner's race distance. Official website
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Michelin is a French tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is the second largest tyre manufacturer in the world after Bridgestone and larger than both Goodyear and Continental. In addition to the Michelin brand, it owns the BFGoodrich, Tigar, Riken and Uniroyal tyre brands. Michelin is notable for its Red and Green travel guides, its roadmaps, the Michelin stars that the Red Guide awards to restaurants for their cooking, for its company mascot Bibendum, colloquially known as the Michelin Man. Michelin's numerous inventions include the pneurail and the radial tyre. Michelin manufactures tyres for space shuttles, automobiles, heavy equipment and bicycles. In 2012, the Group produced 166 million tyres at 69 facilities located in 18 countries. In 1889 two brothers, Édouard Michelin and André Michelin, ran a rubber factory in Clermont-Ferrand, France. One day, a cyclist turned up at the factory; the tyre was glued to the rim, it took over three hours to remove and repair the tyre, which needed to be left overnight to dry.
The next day, Édouard Michelin took the repaired bicycle into the factory yard to test. After only a few hundred metres, the tyre failed. Despite the setback, Édouard was enthusiastic about the pneumatic tyre, he and his brother worked on creating their own version, one that did not need to be glued to the rim. Michelin was incorporated on 28 May 1889. In 1891 Michelin took out its first patent for a removable pneumatic tyre, used by Charles Terront to win the world's first long distance cycle race, the 1891 Paris–Brest–Paris. In the 1920s and 1930s, Michelin operated large rubber plantations in Vietnam. Conditions at these plantations led to the famous labour movement Phu Rieng Do. In 1934, Michelin introduced a tyre which, if punctured, would run on a special foam lining, a design now known as a run-flat tyre. Michelin developed and patented a key innovation in tyre history, the 1946 radial tyre, exploited this technological innovation to become one of the worlds leading tyre manufacturers; the radial was marketed as the "X" tyre.
It was developed with Citroën 2CV in mind. Michelin had bought the then-bankrupt Citroën in the 1930s; because of its superiority in handling and fuel economy, use of this tyre spread throughout Europe and Asia. In the U. S. the outdated bias-ply tyre persisted, with market share of 87% in 1967. In 1966, Michelin partnered with Sears to produce radial tyres under the Allstate brand and was selling 1 million units annually by 1970. In 1968, Michelin opened its first North American sales office, was able to grow that market for its products rapidly. In 1968, Consumer Reports, an influential American magazine, acknowledged the superiority of the radial construction, setting off a rapid decline in Michelin's competitor technology. In the U. S. the radial tyre now has a market share of 100%. In addition to the private label and replacement tyre market, Michelin scored an early OEM tyre win in North America, when it received the contract for the 1970 Continental Mark III, the first American car with radial tyres fitted as standard.
In 1989, Michelin acquired the merged tyre and rubber manufacturing divisions of the American firms B. F. Goodrich Company and Uniroyal, Inc. from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Uniroyal Australia had been bought by Bridgestone in 1980; this purchase included the Norwood, North Carolina manufacturing plant which supplied tyres to the U. S. Space Shuttle Program. Michelin controls 90% of Taurus Tyre in Hungary, as well as Kormoran, a Polish brand; as of 1 September 2008, Michelin is again the world's largest tyre manufacturer after spending two years as number two behind Bridgestone. Michelin produces tyres in France, Spain, the USA, the UK, Brazil, Japan and several other countries. On 15 January 2010, Michelin announced the closing of its Ota, Japan plant, which employs 380 workers and makes the Michelin X-Ice tyre. Production of the X-Ice will be moved to Europe, North America, elsewhere in Asia. Michelin participated in MotoGP from 1972 to 2008, they introduced radial construction to MotoGP in 1984, multi-compound tyres in 1994.
They achieved 360 victories in 36 years, from 1993 to 2006, the world championship had gone to a rider on Michelins. In 2007, Casey Stoner on Bridgestone tyres won the world championship in dominating fashion, Valentino Rossi and other top riders complained that Michelins were inferior. Rossi wanted Bridgestones for the 2008 season. In 2008, Michelin committed errors of judgment in allocating adequate tyres for some of the race weekends. Dani Pedrosa's team switched to Bridgestones in the midst of the season, a unusual move that caused friction between Honda Racing Corporation and their sponsor Repsol YPF. Other riders expressed concerns and it seemed that Michelin might not have any factory riders for the 2009 season, leading to rumours that Michelin would withdraw from the series altogether. Dorna and the FIM announced that a control tyre would be imposed on MotoGP for the 2009 season and Michelin did not enter a bid ending its participation in the series at the end of 2008. Mi
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Seiji Ara is a race car driver. He was the winner of the 24-hour Le Mans race in 2004, driving an Audi R8. In the same year he raced in the Le Mans Endurance Series and Japanese GT Championship. In earlier years he had competed in Formula Nippon, Japanese Formula 3 and the Barber Dodge Pro Series, he made his World Touring Car Championship debut with Wiechers-Sport at the 2009 FIA WTCC Race of Japan. * Season still in progress
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency"; the event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport. The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which contains a mix of closed public roads and dedicated sections of racing track, in which racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure. Of the 60 cars which qualified for the 2018 race, 41 cars ran the full duration. Since 2012, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship; because of the decision to run a World Endurance Championship super-season in the period May 2018 to June 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run twice in the same season: it will be both the second and the last round of the season.
In 2011 it was a part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, it formed a part of the World Sportscar Championship from 1953 until that series' final season in 1992. Over time, Le Mans has influenced events that have sprung up all around the globe, popularizing the 24-hour format at locations such as Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Bathurst; the American Le Mans Series and Europe's Le Mans Series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Other races include the Le Mans Classic, a race for historic Le Mans race cars from years' past held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a motorcycle version of the race, held on the shortened Bugatti version of the same circuit, a kart race, a truck race, a parody race 24 Hours of LeMons; the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held on June 15–16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. 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; the oil crisis in the early 1970s led organizers to adopt a fuel economy formula known as Group C that limited the amount of fuel each car was allowed. Although it was abandoned, fuel economy remains important as new fuel sources reduce time spent during pit stops.
Such technological innovations have had a trickle-down effect and can be incorporated into consumer cars. This has led to faster and more exotic supercars as manufacturers seek to develop faster road cars in order to develop them into faster GT cars. Additionally, in recent years hybrid systems have been championed in the LMP category as rules have been changed to their benefit and to further push efficiency; the race is held in June, leading at times to hot conditions for drivers in closed vehicles with poor ventilation. The race begins in mid-afternoon and finishes the following day at the same hour the race started the previous day. Over the 24 hours, modern competitors cover distances well over 5,000 km; the record is 2010's 5,410 km, six times the length of the Indianapolis 500, or 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix. Drivers and racing teams strive for speed and avoiding mechanical damage, as well as managing the cars' consumables fuel and braking materials, it tests endurance, with drivers racing for over two hours before a relief driver can take over during a pit stop while they eat and rest.
Current regulations mandate. Competing teams race in groups called "classes", or cars of similar specification, while competing for outright placing amongst all classes; the race showcased cars as they were sold to the general public called "Sports Cars", in contrast with the specialised racing cars used in Grand Prix motor racing. Over time, the competing vehicles evolved away from their publicly available road car roots, today the race is made of two overall classes: prototypes, Grand Touring cars; these are further broken down into 2 sub-classes each, constructors' prototypes, privateer prototypes and 2 subclasses of GT cars. Competing teams have had a wide variety of organization, ranging from competition departments of road car manufacturers to professional motor racing teams to amateur teams; the race has spent long periods as a round of the World S