France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Le Mans Prototype
A Le Mans Prototype is the type of sports prototype race car used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series. Le Mans Prototypes were created by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest; the technical requirements for an LMP include bodywork covering all mechanical elements of the car. While not as fast as open-wheel Formula One cars, LMPs are the fastest closed-wheel racing cars used in circuit racing. Le Mans Prototypes are considered a class above production-based grand tourer cars, which compete alongside them in sports car racing. Modern LMP designs include hybrid cars. Le Mans Prototypes have used various names depending on the series; the FIA's equivalent cars were referred to as Sports Racing Prototypes. The American IMSA GT Championship termed their cars World Sports Cars', while the short-lived United States Road Racing Championship used the classic Can-Am name for their prototypes. Since 2004, most series have switched to referring to these cars as Le Mans Prototypes.
The American Le Mans Series, the successor to the IMSA GT Championship and the predecessor of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship referred to the cars as Prototypes. An LMP is referred to as a Le Mans car in the media; the first use of what would become Le Mans Prototypes was at the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans. In an attempt to increase the number of entrants beyond the small field of Group C competitors that the World Sportscar Championship had to offer, older Porsche 962s were allowed entry in Category 3. To further increase the size of the field, small open-cockpit race cars using production road car engines which were raced in small national championships, were allowed in Category 4. Only three cars were entered, with all failing to run more than a few hours; however at the end of 1992, the World Sportscar Championship as well as the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship collapsed, leaving the expensive Group C prototypes little competition outside Le Mans. With Group C being phased out, the ACO chose to allow production-based race cars to enter for the first time in many years, while at the same time creating the Le Mans Prototype class.
The cars continued to use the same formula as they had in 1992. ACO announced their intentions to replace the Group C cars with Le Mans Prototypes in 1994. However, LMP1 cars this year were just ex-GroupC cars Two classes were created, with LMP1s running large displacement custom-built engines that were turbocharged, LMP2s using the smaller displacement production-based engines. Both classes were required to have open cockpits. At the same time, the IMSA GT Championship announced the end of their closed cockpit GTP and Lights classes, deciding as well to replace them with a single open-cockpit class of World Sports Cars equivalent to LMP1; this formula continued up to 1996, with many manufacturers embracing the LMP and WSC classes, including Ferrari and Mazda. In 1997, the first European series based around Le Mans Prototypes was launched, known as the "International Sports Racing Series". Using classes similar to LMP1/WSC and LMP2, these cars were known as "SR1" and "SR2" by the FIA. 1998 saw the creation of another series of Le Mans Prototypes, with the new United States Road Racing Championship attempting to break away from the IMSA GT Championship.
To differ from IMSA'S WSC class, the USRRC named their open-cockpit prototypes "Can-Am" in an attempt to resurrect the sportscar championship of the 1970s. However the USRRC collapsed before the end of 1999, with the series becoming the Rolex Sports Car Series who chose to use the FIA's SR1 and SR2 formula instead. 1998 saw a great expansion for the ACO's LMP classes. Following the cancellation of the IMSA GT Championship at the end of 1998, the ACO allowed for the creation of the American Le Mans Series; this series used the same class structure as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, meaning it was the first championship to use the LMP name. At the same time, the ACO altered their LMP classes; the smaller LMP2 class were eliminated, while a new class of closed-cockpit prototypes were allowed in, known as "LMGTP". These cars were evolutions of production-based road cars that the ACO considered too advanced and too fast to fall under the GT class regulations, forcing the ACO to promote them to prototypes.
In 2000, changes were made to the LMP regulations, as the ACO once again split the open-cockpit LMP class. The two new classes became known as "LMP900" and "LMP675", with the numbers denoting the minimum weight requirements for each class; the LMP900s were to be more powerful and faster in top speed, but heavier and more cumbersome. The LMP675s were to lack the top speed of the larger class. Both classes were intended to be able to compete for overall wins. Audi, Chrysler and Panoz opted to use the LMP900 formula, while MG were the only major manufacturer to attempt the LMP675 class; the LMGTP class continued, with Bentley being the only manufacturer to build a closed-cockpit prototype after the regulation changes in 2000. Outside Le Mans, the FIA's SR classes suffered from these rule changes; the SR2 class no longer aligned with the new LMP675 class, with the more powerful and durable racing engines that were allowed there. The SR1 and LMP900 classes did not use the same rules, although engines were similar.
This meant that teams competing in the newly re
Saint-Calais is a commune in the Sarthe department in the region of Pays-de-la-Loire in north-western France. Prior to the French Revolution it was known for its Benedictine abbey named after the Anisola stream. Saint-Calais is a name coming from one of the local saints of the Perche area. William of St. Calais, a product of this monastery, was a post-conquest bishop of Durham. There are no remains of the Abbey, a principal land-owner in the vicinity; the existing parish church has a fine Renaissance facade. The Aniole was dammed by the monks. Reaction against monastic landowners and the relative proximity to Paris conditioned the nineteenth century politics of the town; the coming of the railways and more of the motorway favoured neighbouring La Ferté-Bernard which has grown at the expense of Saint-Calais, which has a population under 4000 and which lost its sous-préfecture status in 1926. The town however retains certain services appropriate to e.g. hospital facilities. Saint-Calais was involved in the 1906 Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France, the world's first motoring Grand Prix.
The D357 towards Le Mans and the D1 towards Vibraye and La Ferté-Bernard formed two sides of the triangular course. Famous persons from the town include Cardinal Louis-Ernest Dubois, archbishop of Rouen and subsequently archbishop of Paris in the early twentieth century. Communes of the Sarthe department INSEE Paul Bois, Paysans de l'ouest The Le Mans Charters
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
A car club or automotive enthusiast community is a group of people who share a common interest in motor vehicles. Car clubs are organized by enthusiasts around the type of vehicle, brand, or similar interest. Traditional car clubs were off-line organizations, but automotive on-line communities have flourished on the internet. Car clubs have been a form of gathering car aficionados for many years that focus a passion for a certain type of car or driving activity. Car clubs refer to off-line entities organized as non-profits and run by volunteers; some clubs were large enough to be run as a paid business with salaried employees. Many car clubs charge membership fees in exchange such as publications and events; the publications contain photographs, messages from other members and parts advice and vehicles wanted and/or for sale, historical material of interest to the membership. Car clubs host gatherings which also welcome interested non-members. Car clubs may engage in other activities of various types, including races, shows, "mod" days when garage equipment and service tools are available for members to perform and assist each other with DIY work, or community service activities.
Meets are a time for the club to hang out with one another and to talk about cars and do normal stuff, such as bowling, movies, etc. Additionally, some car clubs have a "prospecting" status, where prospective members of the club meet with established club members, to assess their suitability within the club. During this time, prospective members will help work on club cars, attend events, sometimes perform tasks. Upon the completion of their prospect status, members will be "patched in," whereupon they are considered full members of the club. In traditional car clubs in the US, this is signified by the awarding of a jacket or T-shirt with the club's name and logo on the back, the awarding of a bronze/aluminium "drag plate," to be hung on the member's car, displaying their membership status and club name. Many traditional car clubs have now added online presences, although most of the content resides in a walled garden for members only. Most clubs have an online presence through their car forums relevant to their car of interest.
Some clubs have their own website. They use the forums or their site to organize their meets and gatherings. For instance, before a big event, they would organize to see how many people are going, where to meet up, how to caravan to their destination. Many car club members consider what they do, more than just a hobby, it is a lifestyle; the Internet accelerated the growth of participation as online communities attracted large numbers of members. The Internet encouraged and fostered the development of many clubs centered on specific vehicles, including niche makes and models. Unlike traditional clubs, the content of most online communities are open to all for free; this has facilitated their growth, made them a resource for potential owners or newbies. Larger online communities report registered members in the hundreds of thousands; the tinternet communities provide features such as forums, content databases, Instant messaging services, photo-sharing, commercial services. Most automotive communities were founded by individual enthusiasts/entrepreneurs.
But some have een qcquired by various internet and communication companies.. As with traditional car clubs, some Internet automotive communities sponsor or operate off-line meets. Many of the leading Internet communities feature active directories of regional meets. Communities have begun to form around digital media outlets such as YouTube channels and podcasts. Car enthusiasts are able to comment and share opinions with one another, allowing for an element of connection not found with other media variants; these platforms are being used by smaller studios and individuals to distribute content to a mass audience without the need of a large budget. Production value is high given the technology available to amateurs in the forms of software, cameras and other producing equipment. In some countries, notably in Japan, some car clubs are run as a way of regulating street races and to race against people they know, therefore reducing the possibility of an accident. Clubs are used to enter team drifting contests.
Canadian car clubs have been known to host indoor car meets to avoid harsh weather, to make up for short summer seasons. These events are hosted in a heated parkade, with the car clubs facilitating a deal with the operators of the facility. Car modding Lowrider club Motorcycle club http://carclubdirectory.com/ One Stop Nationwide Information Source For Car Clubs & Shows In The US Nancy Marshall and John McWilliams, "Low Country Travelers: An African American Car Club of Charleston County, South Carolina", Southern Spaces, 21 October 2010.http://www.justiceroadrallies.com
Ferenc Szisz, was a Hungarian race car driver and the winner of the first Grand Prix motor racing event on a Renault Grand Prix 90CV on 26 June, 1906. Szisz was born in the small town of Szeghalom in Békés county of the Hungarian part the former Austro-Hungarian Empire on September 20, 1873, he was trained to be a locksmith and a coppersmith but in his early twenties the growing proliferation of automobiles fascinated Szisz and he studied engineering along with car design. After time spent in several Austrian and German cities, in the spring of 1900 he ended up in Paris, France where he found work at the new Renault automobile company. At Renault, Szisz's engineering talent made him an integral part of the testing department, when the company became involved in racing in 1902 he was chosen as the riding mechanic for Louis Renault. Following the death of Marcel Renault in the 1903 Paris-Madrid race, Szisz took over as a driver. In 1905, he finished fifth in the Gordon Bennett Cup elimination race on the Circuit d'Auvergne at Clermont-Ferrand.
In October of that same year, along with other French and Italian automobile manufacturers, Renault sent a team to the United States to compete in the Vanderbilt Cup on Long Island, New York. In a field that included Felice Nazzaro and Louis Chevrolet driving for Fiat, Szisz finished fifth behind the winner, fellow Frenchman Victor Hémery driving a Darracq. Szisz's primary duties as the head of testing at Renault limited the number of races he could compete in. However, in 1906 he achieved a permanent place in the annals of auto racing when he and his riding mechanic M. Marteau drove a Renault AK 90CV to victory in the first Grand Prix race in Le Mans, he averaged 101.2 kilometres per hour. His victory in the French Grand Prix and the commercial success of the race soon led to the establishing of other Grand Prix races throughout Europe; the following year, Italy's Felice Nazzaro, who had finished second behind Szisz, captured the second French Grand Prix. Szisz competed in the 1908 race but did not finish and suffered a similar fate following mechanical problems in Savannah, Georgia at an American Grand Prize race organized by the Automobile Club of America.
In early 1909, Szisz left Renault to open his own garage in Neuilly-sur-Seine. In July 1914, Fernand Charron lured him out of retirement to drive an Alda in the French Grand Prix at Lyon. In a race won by Christian Lautenschlager in a Mercedes, Szisz was honored with the number 1 for his car, but an injury forced him out just past half distance. European automobile racing ended in September with the onset of World War I and Szisz joined the French army, serving as head of the transport troops in Algeria until being hospitalized with typhoid fever. At war's end, he went to work for an aircraft company until his retirement to a cottage in the country at Auffargis not far from Paris, where he died in 1944. Ferenc Szisz and his wife are buried in the churchyard cemetery in Auffargis; the Szisz Museum is part of the Renault Museum located near the Le Mans racetrack. Ferenc Szisz at Find a Grave
Christian Pineau was a noted French Resistance fighter, who served an important term as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the late 1950s. Pineau was born in 1904 in Haute-Marne, France, his stepfather was the writer Jean Giraudoux, married to Pineau's mother. Christian Pineau would say that it was Giraudoux who gave him his love of writing. A World War II French Resistance leader and a close ally of Charles de Gaulle, Pineau was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and survived Buchenwald concentration camp. Pineau represented the Sarthe department as a Socialist in the French National Assembly from 1946 to 1958. After the war, he served as a minister in French governments, 1945–1958, he was minister of supply in Charles de Gaulle's government and minister of public works in various governments. He was finance minister for a short time in 1948. Pineau was designated as prime minister of France by President René Coty after the February 1955 resignation of Pierre Mendès-France, but the National Assembly refused to ratify his cabinet by 312 votes against 268.
As foreign minister, Pineau was responsible for handling the Suez crisis and for signing the Treaty of Rome on behalf of France. With Guy Mollet, he visited Moscow. In October 1956, he signed the Protocol of Sèvres with Great Israel on behalf of France. Pineau was a lifelong advocate of European integration. Pineau is buried in Paris. Pineau wrote several political books and memoirs: La simple vérité, regard sur la période 1940–1945, Editions Julliard Khrouchtchev Perrin, 1964 Suez, Robert Laffont, 1976 Mon cher député, Julliard, 1959 Le grand pari, l'aventure du Traité de Rome He wrote children's books: Plume et le saumon L'ourse aux pattons verts Histoire de la forêt de Bercé La planète aux enfants perdus