Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
A model is a person with a role either to promote, display or advertise commercial products, or to serve as a visual aid for people who are creating works of art or to pose for photography. Modelling is considered to be different from other types of public performance, such as acting or dancing. Although the difference between modelling and performing is not always clear, appearing in a film or a play is not considered to be "modelling". Types of modelling include: fashion, fitness, fine art, body-part and commercial print models. Models are featured in a variety of media formats including: books, films, newspapers and television. Fashion models are sometimes featured in films. Celebrities, including actors, sports personalities and reality TV stars take modelling contracts in addition to their regular work. Modelling as a profession was first established in 1853 by Charles Frederick Worth, the "father of haute couture", when he asked his wife, Marie Vernet Worth, to model the clothes he designed.
The term "house model" was coined to describe this type of work. This became common practice for Parisian fashion houses. There were no standard physical measurement requirements for a model, most designers would use women of varying sizes to demonstrate variety in their designs. With the development of fashion photography, the modelling profession expanded to photo modelling. Models remained anonymous, poorly paid, until the late 1950s. One of the first well-known models was Lisa Fonssagrives, popular in the 1930s. Fonssagrives appeared on over 200 Vogue covers, her name recognition led to the importance of Vogue in shaping the careers of fashion models. In 1946, Ford Models was established by Gerard Ford in New York. One of the most popular models during the 1940s was Jinx Falkenburg, paid $25 per hour, a large sum at the time. During the 1940s and 1950s, Wilhelmina Cooper, Jean Patchett, Dorian Leigh, Suzy Parker, Evelyn Tripp, Carmen Dell'Orefice, Lisa Fonssagrives dominated fashion. Dorothea Church was among the first black models in the industry to gain recognition in Paris.
However, these models were unknown outside the fashion community. Compared to today's models, the models of the 1950s were more voluptuous. Wilhelmina Cooper's measurements were 38"-24"-36" whereas Chanel Iman's measurements are 32"-23"-33". In the 1960s, the modelling world began to establish modelling agencies. Throughout Europe, secretarial services acted as models' agents charging them weekly rates for their messages and bookings. For the most part, models were responsible for their own billing. In Germany, agents were not allowed to work for a percentage of a person's earnings, so referred to themselves as secretaries. With the exception of a few models travelling to Paris or New York, travelling was unheard of for a model. Most models only worked in one market due to different labor laws governing modelling in various countries. In the 1960s, Italy was in dire need of models. Italian agencies would coerce models to return to Italy without work visas by withholding their pay, they would pay their models in cash, which models would have to hide from customs agents.
It was not uncommon for models staying in hotels such as La Louisiana in Paris or the Arena in Milan to have their hotel rooms raided by the police looking for their work visas. It was rumoured; this led many agencies to form worldwide chains. By the late 1960s, London was considered the best market in Europe due to its more organised and innovative approach to modelling, it was during this period. Models such as Jean Shrimpton, Tania Mallet, Celia Hammond, Penelope Tree, dominated the London fashion scene and were well paid, unlike their predecessors. Twiggy became The Face of'66 at the age of 16. At this time, model agencies were not as restrictive about the models they represented, although it was uncommon for them to sign shorter models. Twiggy, who stood at 5 feet 6 inches with a 32" bust and had a boy's haircut, is credited with changing model ideals. At that time, she earned £ 80 an hour. In 1967, seven of the top model agents in London formed the Association of London Model Agents; the formation of this association changed the fashion industry.
With a more professional attitude towards modelling, models were still expected to have their hair and makeup done before they arrived at a shoot. Meanwhile, agencies took responsibility for a model's promotional materials and branding; that same year, former top fashion model Wilhelmina Cooper opened up her own fashion agency with her husband called Wilhelmina Models. By 1968, FM Agency and Models 1 were established and represented models in a similar way that agencies do today. By the late 1960s, models were making better wages. One of the innovators, Ford Models, was the first agency to advance models money they were owed and would allow teen models, who did not live locally, to reside in their house, a precursor to model housing; the innovations of the 1960s flowed into the 1970s fashion scene. As a result of model industry associations and standards, model agencies b
Groupe Renault is a French multinational automobile manufacturer established in 1899. The company produces a range of cars and vans, in the past has manufactured trucks, tanks, buses/coaches and autorail vehicles. According to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, in 2016 Renault was the ninth biggest automaker in the world by production volume. By 2017, the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance had become the world's biggest seller of light vehicles, bumping Volkswagen AG off the top spot. Headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, the Renault group is made up of the namesake Renault marque and subsidiaries, Automobile Dacia from Romania, Renault Samsung Motors from South Korea, AvtoVAZ from Russia. Renault has a 43.4% controlling stake in Nissan of Japan, a 1.55% stake in Daimler AG of Germany. Renault owns subsidiaries RCI Banque, Renault Retail Group and Motrio. Renault has various joint ventures, including Renault Pars; the French government owns a 15% share of Renault.
Renault Trucks known as Renault Véhicules Industriels, has been part of AB Volvo since 2001. Renault Agriculture became 100% owned by German agricultural equipment manufacturer CLAAS in 2008. Together Renault and Nissan invested €4 billion in eight electric vehicles over three to four years beginning in 2011. Renault is known for its role in motor sport rallying, Formula 1 and Formula E, its early work on mathematical curve modeling for car bodies is important in the history of computer graphics. The Renault corporation was founded in 1899 as Société Renault Frères by Louis Renault and his brothers Marcel and Fernand. Louis was a bright, aspiring young engineer who had designed and built several prototypes before teaming up with his brothers, who had honed their business skills working for their father's textile firm. While Louis handled design and production and Fernand managed the business; the first Renault car, the Renault Voiturette 1CV, was sold to a friend of Louis' father after giving him a test ride on 24 December 1898.
In 1903, Renault began to manufacture its own engines. The first major volume sale came in 1905 when Société des Automobiles de Place bought Renault AG1 cars to establish a fleet of taxis; these vehicles were used by the French military to transport troops during World War I which earned them the nickname "Taxi de la Marne." By 1907, a significant percentage of London and Paris taxis had been built by Renault. Renault was the best-selling foreign brand in New York in 1907 and 1908. In 1908 the company produced 3,575 units; the brothers recognised the value of publicity that participation in motor racing could generate for their vehicles. Renault made itself known through succeeding in the first city-to-city races held in Switzerland, producing rapid sales growth. Both Louis and Marcel raced company vehicles, but Marcel was killed in an accident during the 1903 Paris-Madrid race. Although Louis never raced again, his company remained involved, including Ferenc Szisz winning the first Grand Prix motor racing event in a Renault AK 90CV in 1906.
Louis took full control of the company as the only remaining brother in 1906 when Fernand retired for health reasons. Fernand died in 1909 and Louis became the sole owner, renaming the company Société des Automobiles Renault. Renault fostered its reputation for innovation from early on. At the time, cars were luxury items; the price of the smallest Renaults at the time were 3000 francs. In 1905, the company introduced mass production techniques and Taylorism in 1913. Renault manufactured commercial cargo vehicles in the pre-war years; the first real commercial truck from the company was introduced in 1906. During World War I, it branched out into ammunition, military aircraft engines and vehicles such as the revolutionary Renault FT tank; the company's military designs were so successful that Louis was awarded the Legion of Honour for his company's contributions. The company exported engines to American automobile manufacturers for use in such automobiles as the GJG, which used a Renault 26 horsepower or 40 hp four-cylinder engine.
Louis Renault enlarged Renault's scope after 1918, producing industrial machinery. The war led to many new products; the first Renault tractor, the Type GP was produced between 1919 and 1930. It was based on the FT tank. Renault struggled to compete with the popular small, affordable "people's cars," while problems with the stock market and the workforce slowed the company's growth. Renault had to find a way to distribute its vehicles more efficiently. In 1920, Louis signed one of its first distribution contracts with Gustave Gueudet, an entrepreneur from northern France; the pre-First World War cars had a distinctive front shape caused by positioning the radiator behind the engine to give a so-called "coalscuttle" bonnet. This continued through the 1920s. Only in 1930 did all models place the radiator at the front; the bonnet badge changed from circular to the familiar and continuing diamond shape in 1925. Renault introduced new models at the Paris Motor Show, held in September or October of the year.
This led to confusion about model years. For example, a "1927" model was produced in 1928. Renault cars ranged from small to large. For example
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is an automotive charitable event held each year on the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, considered the most prestigious event of its kind. It is the finale of Monterey Car Week held in August every year. A Concours d'Elegance is an event open to both prewar and postwar collector cars in which they are judged for authenticity, function and style. Classes are arranged by type, coachbuilder, country of origin, or time period. Judges select first-, second-, third-place finishers for each class in the event, the judges confer the "Best of Show" award on one car from the group of first-place winners. In addition, a group of honorary judges—individuals who have made significant contributions to the automotive industry or motorsports—award a number of subjective awards to recognize standout vehicles regardless of class ribbons, as well as memorial awards created to honor specific automotive industry personages. 15,000 spectators attend the event. The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was founded in 1950 as an adjunct to the Pebble Beach Road Race, a race event sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America and conducted on a circuit of closed public roads.
The 1950 and 1951 Concours were held on a practice tee and driving range adjacent to the Beach Club, a private club near the Del Monte Lodge. Thirty cars were exhibited on November 4, 1950, a smaller field of 23 on May 27, 1951. In 1952, the event was moved to the 18th green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, between the Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Pacific Ocean, overlooking Carmel Bay; the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has continued since 1950 with one missed year: in 1960, the show was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. In addition, heavy rain at the event in 1963 and 1965 made the lawn area unusable, so the cars were shown at the old start/finish line of the road race, near the horse stables now known as the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center. In 2001, the event saw an introduction of a new category for preservation cars; this category was designed to "bear witness to the passage of time", including the so-called barn find car. The 2006 event saw 175 cars lining the 18th green and hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links with 25 judged classes, with cars brought to Pebble Beach from 27 states and 13 countries.
The event describes itself as "Exhibiting prewar and postwar automobiles along with the latest in concept car designs, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is the premiere concours in the world." 24 of the 175 cars in the field come from outside the U. S, representing Italy, France, Australia, Germany, Czech Republic and the Philippines; the total estimated cost of the vehicles spread across the 18th fairway at the 2006 event was US$200 million. From 227 cars in 2005, the 2006 event had a field reduced to 175 cars. Organizers said. In 2009, the Pebble Beach Concours included classic motorcycles for the first time under the theme of pre-1959 British Motorcycles; the Concours received the 2011 Motoring Event of the Year award by the International Historic Motoring Awards. Each year's Pebble Beach Concours honors coachbuilder, or type. Prospective entrants must submit an application for each car, the Concours field is selected from each year's pool of applicants. Many collectors spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing and restoring a car in hopes of being chosen.
Once a car is accepted to the Concours, it cannot again be entered in the event for ten years, with three exceptions. Many of the competing cars are valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, more into the millions of dollars. For this reason, along with its remarkable setting and amenities, the Pebble Beach Concours is considered the premier concours in the world, is the centerpiece of over 50 related events spanning over a week, including vintage racing cars running at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion conducted at nearby WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, as well as classic car auctions. Due to the extreme cost of purchasing and maintaining fine classic cars, the Pebble Beach Concours is sometimes perceived to be the realm of the wealthy, or dedicated enthusiasts and those individuals and businesses that cater to their interests. To the repeat participants, their guests, thousands of attendees, the Pebble Beach Concours is as much a social gathering as a special interest event. From postwar Ferraris to historic Bentleys, the Concours assembles a stylish mix of historic automobiles alongside new vehicle presentations from car manufacturers, art exhibitions and charity raffles.
The proceeds of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance have supported the United Way of Monterey County and the Pebble Beach Company Foundation for a combination of 56 years. It supports a number of other local and national organizations; the 2016 event raised over $1.75 million, the Concours has given more than $23 million to charities through the years. List of Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show winners The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance official website Pebble Beach Concours in Perspective — one view of why Pebble Beach is the most important Concours d'Ele
An aircraft is a machine, able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines. Common examples of aircraft include airplanes, airships and hot air balloons; the human activity that surrounds aircraft is called aviation. The science of aviation, including designing and building aircraft, is called aeronautics. Crewed aircraft are flown by an onboard pilot, but unmanned aerial vehicles may be remotely controlled or self-controlled by onboard computers. Aircraft may be classified by different criteria, such as lift type, aircraft propulsion and others. Flying model craft and stories of manned flight go back many centuries, however the first manned ascent – and safe descent – in modern times took place by larger hot-air balloons developed in the 18th century; each of the two World Wars led to great technical advances. The history of aircraft can be divided into five eras: Pioneers of flight, from the earliest experiments to 1914.
First World War, 1914 to 1918. Aviation between the World Wars, 1918 to 1939. Second World War, 1939 to 1945. Postwar era called the jet age, 1945 to the present day. Aerostats use buoyancy to float in the air in much the same way, they are characterized by one or more large gasbags or canopies, filled with a low-density gas such as helium, hydrogen, or hot air, less dense than the surrounding air. When the weight of this is added to the weight of the aircraft structure, it adds up to the same weight as the air that the craft displaces. Small hot-air balloons called sky lanterns were first invented in ancient China prior to the 3rd century BC and used in cultural celebrations, were only the second type of aircraft to fly, the first being kites which were first invented in ancient China over two thousand years ago. A balloon was any aerostat, while the term airship was used for large, powered aircraft designs – fixed-wing. In 1919 Frederick Handley Page was reported as referring to "ships of the air," with smaller passenger types as "Air yachts."
In the 1930s, large intercontinental flying boats were sometimes referred to as "ships of the air" or "flying-ships". – though none had yet been built. The advent of powered balloons, called dirigible balloons, of rigid hulls allowing a great increase in size, began to change the way these words were used. Huge powered aerostats, characterized by a rigid outer framework and separate aerodynamic skin surrounding the gas bags, were produced, the Zeppelins being the largest and most famous. There were still no fixed-wing aircraft or non-rigid balloons large enough to be called airships, so "airship" came to be synonymous with these aircraft. Several accidents, such as the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, led to the demise of these airships. Nowadays a "balloon" is an unpowered aerostat and an "airship" is a powered one. A powered, steerable aerostat is called a dirigible. Sometimes this term is applied only to non-rigid balloons, sometimes dirigible balloon is regarded as the definition of an airship.
Non-rigid dirigibles are characterized by a moderately aerodynamic gasbag with stabilizing fins at the back. These soon became known as blimps. During the Second World War, this shape was adopted for tethered balloons; the nickname blimp was adopted along with the shape. In modern times, any small dirigible or airship is called a blimp, though a blimp may be unpowered as well as powered. Heavier-than-air aircraft, such as airplanes, must find some way to push air or gas downwards, so that a reaction occurs to push the aircraft upwards; this dynamic movement through the air is the origin of the term aerodyne. There are two ways to produce dynamic upthrust: aerodynamic lift, powered lift in the form of engine thrust. Aerodynamic lift involving wings is the most common, with fixed-wing aircraft being kept in the air by the forward movement of wings, rotorcraft by spinning wing-shaped rotors sometimes called rotary wings. A wing is a flat, horizontal surface shaped in cross-section as an aerofoil. To fly, air must generate lift.
A flexible wing is a wing made of fabric or thin sheet material stretched over a rigid frame. A kite is tethered to the ground and relies on the speed of the wind over its wings, which may be flexible or rigid, fixed, or rotary. With powered lift, the aircraft directs its engine thrust vertically downward. V/STOL aircraft, such as the Harrier Jump Jet and F-35B take off and land vertically using powered lift and transfer to aerodynamic lift in steady flight. A pure rocket is not regarded as an aerodyne, because it does not depend on the air for its lift. Rocket-powered missiles that obtain aerodynamic lift at high speed due to airflow over their bodies are a marginal case; the forerunner of the fixed-wing aircraft is the kite. Whereas a fixed-wing aircraft relies on its forward speed to create airflow over the wings, a kite is tethered to the ground and relies on the wind blowing over its wings to provide lift. Kites were the first kind of aircraft to fly, were invented in China around 500 BC.
Much aerodynamic research was done with kites before test aircraft, wind tunnels, computer modelling programs became available. The first heavier-than-air craft capable of controlled free-flight were gliders. A glider designed by Geo
Endurance racing (motorsport)
Endurance racing is a form of motorsport racing, meant to test the durability of equipment and endurance of participants. Teams of multiple drivers attempt to cover a large distance in a single event, with participants given a break with the ability to change during the race. Endurance races can be run either to cover a set distance in laps as as possible, or to cover as much distance as possible over a preset amount of time. One of the more common lengths of endurance races has been running for 1,000 kilometres, or six hours. Longer races can run for 1,000 miles, 12 hours, or 24 hours. Teams can consist of anywhere from two to four drivers per event, dependent on the driver's endurance abilities, length of the race, or the rules for each event. Coppa Florio was an Italian car race started in 1900, renamed in 1905 when Vincenzo Florio offered the initial 50 000 Lira and a cup designed by Polak of Paris; the Brescia race visited the route Brescia-Cremona-Mantova-Brescia. In 1908, the race used the Circuito di Bologna: Bologna-Castelfranco Emilia-Sant'Agata Bolognese-San Giovanni in Persiceto-Bologna.
Since 1914 most of the Coppa Florio was co-organized with the Targa Florio near Palermo, running four or five laps, 108 km each. The Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race founded in 1906- the track length of the last decades was limited to the 72 kilometres of the Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie, lapped 11 times; the Mille Miglia was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy 24 times from 1927 to 1957. The world's first organized 24-hour automobile race event was held on a 1-mile oval track at Driving Park, Ohio on July 3–4, 1905. Beginning on the afternoon of July 3, four cars from Frayer-Miller, Pope-Toledo and White Steamer raced for a $500 silver trophy; the winning Pope-Toledo car covered 828.5 miles. A protest was filed by the Frayer-Miller and Peerless teams, alleging the Pope-Toledo was not owned by the driver, instead sent from the factory with an engine built for racing; the first 24-hour race to take place at a dedicated motorsport venue was at Brooklands, eleven days after its opening in 1907.
This would lead to the Double Twelve race. This format meant the race took place for 12 hours each between 8am to 8pm and between it, the cars were locked up overnight to prevent maintenance work from being performed on them; the 2001 Dakar Rally saw competitors cover a distance of 10,739 kilometres with a winning time of 70 hours over 20 days with three classes of cars and trucks. The 1992 Paris–Cape Town Rally covered a distance of 12,427 km; the 1994 edition saw competitors return for a distance of 13,379 km. The Expedition Trophy, first held in 2005, runs from Murmansk to Vladivostok, for a total distance of 12,500 km; the 1908 New York to Paris Race covered a distance of over 16,000 km, taking 169 days from February 12 to July 30. In the beginning of formalised endurance racing, the races tended to be for sports cars while the Grand Prix cars of the era began to evolve into the open wheel racing cars of today and ran over shorter distances. Over time sports cars began to evolve away from their roots as a production based alternative to pure-bred racing machines of Grand Prix cars, which led to the creation of GT and touring car racing classes, these classes continued to embrace the endurance format.
Multiple drivers per car was an early adaptation as the rigors of endurance racing overcome the abilities of most racing drivers to compete solo, although solo attempts on 24 hour races like Le Mans would continue into the 1950s. The various endurance formats were appealing to manufacturers, not only as alternatives to the expense of Grand Prix racing, but because of its increased relevance to road going models. In automobile endurance racing, three events have come to form a Triple Crown, they are considered three of the most challenging endurance races over the decades: the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans. Phil Hill was the first in 1964 to win the three races, Timo Bernhard the most recent. No driver has won the three events in the same year. Bold on year indicate. Strong spectator figures, media interest and television coverage of endurance racing's Triple Crown events has led to the establishment of several endurance racing series — thereby giving teams the opportunity of running their cars in Championship events throughout the year.
The FIA World Endurance Championship is an international sports car racing series organized by both the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. It supersedes the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup run in 2010 and 2011, uses similar rules to the ALMS/USCC and ELMS below; the series features both Le Mans GT cars. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is included as a feature race; the other races are 6 hours long and take place in countries all over the world such as Bahrain, Brazil and the United States. The WEC is considered a revival of the defunct World Sportscar Championship which ended in 1992. An early championship was the Australian Endurance Championship, held since 1981; the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is a US sports car racing series organized by the International Motor Sports Association. The season begins with
The term lacquer is used for a number of hard and shiny finishes applied to materials such as wood. These fall into a number of different groups; the term lacquer originates from the Sanskrit word lākshā representing the number 100,000, used for both the lac insect and the scarlet resinous secretion, rich in shellac, that it produces, used as wood finish in ancient India and neighbouring areas. Asian lacquerware, which may be called "true lacquer", are objects coated with the treated and dried sap of Toxicodendron vernicifluum or related trees, applied in several coats to a base, wood; this dries to a hard and smooth surface layer, durable and attractive to feel and look at. Asian lacquer is sometimes painted with pictures, inlaid with shell and other materials, or carved, as well as dusted with gold and given other further decorative treatments. In modern techniques, lacquer means a range of clear or coloured wood finishes that dry by solvent evaporation or a curing process that produces a hard, durable finish.
The finish can be of any sheen level from ultra matte to high gloss, it can be further polished as required. It is used for "lacquer paint", a paint that dries better on a hard and smooth surface. In terms of modern products for coating finishes, lac-based finishes are to be referred to as shellac, while lacquer refers to other polymers dissolved in volatile organic compounds, such as nitrocellulose, acrylic compounds dissolved in lacquer thinner, a mixture of several solvents containing butyl acetate and xylene or toluene. Lacquer is more durable than shellac; the English lacquer is from the archaic French word lacre "a kind of sealing wax", from Portuguese lacre, itself an unexplained variant of Medieval Latin lacca "resinous substance" from Arabic lakk, from Persian lak, from Hindi lakh. These derive from Sanskrit lākshā, used for both the Lac insect and the scarlet resinous secretion it produces, used as wood finish. Lac resin was once imported in sizeable quantity into Europe from India along with Eastern woods.
Lacquer sheen is a measurement of the shine for a given lacquer. Different manufacturers have their own standards for their sheen; the most common names from least shiny to most shiny are: flat, egg shell, semi-gloss, gloss. In India the insect lac, or shellac was used since ancient times. Shellac is the secretion of the lac bug, it is used for the production of a red dye and pigment, for the production of different grades of shellac, used in surface coating. Urushiol-based lacquers differ from most others, being slow-drying, set by oxidation and polymerization, rather than by evaporation alone. In order for it to set properly it requires a warm environment; the phenols oxidize and polymerize under the action of an enzyme laccase, yielding a substrate that, upon proper evaporation of its water content, is hard. These lacquers produce hard, durable finishes that are both beautiful and resistant to damage by water, alkali or abrasion; the active ingredient of the resin is urushiol, a mixture of various phenols suspended in water, plus a few proteins.
The resin is derived from trees indigenous to East Asia, like lacquer tree Toxicodendron vernicifluum, wax tree Toxicodendron succedaneum. The fresh resin from the T. vernicifluum trees causes urushiol-induced contact dermatitis and great care is required in its use. The Chinese treated the allergic reaction with crushed shellfish, which prevents lacquer from drying properly. Lacquer skills became highly developed in Asia, many decorated pieces were produced. During the Shang Dynasty, the sophisticated techniques used in the lacquer process were first developed and it became a artistic craft, although various prehistoric lacquerwares have been unearthed in China dating back to the Neolithic period and objects with lacquer coating in Japan from the late Jōmon period; the earliest extant lacquer object, a red wooden bowl, was unearthed at a Hemudu culture site in China. By the Han Dynasty, many centres of lacquer production became established; the knowledge of the Chinese methods of the lacquer process spread from China during the Han and Song dynasties.
It was introduced to Korea, Japan and South Asia. Trade of lacquer objects travelled through various routes to the Middle East. Known applications of lacquer in China included coffins, music instruments and various household items. Lacquer mixed with powdered cinnabar is used to produce the traditional red lacquerware from China; the trees must be at least ten years old before cutting to bleed the resin. It sets by a process called absorbing oxygen to set. Lacquer-yielding trees in Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan, called Thitsi, are different; the end result is similar but softer than the Japanese lacquer. Burmese lacquer sets slower, is painted by craftsmen's hands without using brushes. Raw lacquer can be "coloured" by the addition of small amounts of iron oxides, giving red or black depending on the oxide. There is some evidence that its use is older than 8,000 years from archaeological digs in China. Pigments were added to make colours, it is used not only as a finish, but mixed with ground fired and unfired clays applied to a mould