Sport on the Internet

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ENDURANCE WILL be the key word for everyone - competitors, support staff,spectators and officials - at the Le Mans 24 hour race this weekend.

Endurance is also being used by Infogrames as a selling points for its PCand PlayStation official tie-in race simulator which is due to be released this month. Using technical data supplied by car manufacturers, Infogrames promise a "real-time 24-hours racing mode with actual time reduction, reproducing the energy-draining, muscle-wrenching race." Those with the stamina to contemplate trying the virtual marathon should check the gamesite for details, availability and price.

Back in the real world, the official Le Mans site has enough information to keep any statistic freak surfing for hours. Detailed race results going back to 1923 are online and organised by a variety of categories: formula one world champions who have also won Le Mans, including Britain's Mike Hawthorn in 1955 and Graham Hill in 1972; drivers who have won on their debut; constructor records; as well as speed and performance statistics.

Details of this year's circuit, and how the entrants fared in qualifying are available. Photo galleries, streaming video, reports and audio interviews (such as one with Audi Sport UK about practice sessions) provide some meat to flesh out the bare statistics. The inevitable Webcam is up and running as is a news service, which reveals that General Motors will be returning to the event next year, but that this year their presence is limited to providing safety cars.

It's an impressively dense site, but its size does mean that it is relatively easy to get lost in the deeper levels of its frames structure.

An alternative is the independent Club Arnage Le Mans 24 Hours Guide. It has the race details and first-hand reports from previous years, but it also offers accessible and useful information for those who want to travel to see the event. Details for travellers from the UK regarding tickets, hotels, campsites, and driving to the event are covered. So too are issues such as the best places for spectators to head for and the essential items to bring as well as passports, money and tickets - an Automobile Club de l'Ouest T-shirt, at least five years old to show you're not a newbie, is recommended.

Live Web radio coverage of the event will be provided by Autosport Radio with links also available from Radio Le Mans Web. A studio based commentary team of four, plus spotters around the course will provide the running Webcast. Coverage starts around noon on Wednesday with a mix of news, music and live reports, building up to the 24-hour reporting marathon starting on Saturday afternoon.

Site Addresses

Le Mans 24 Hours Game Site

Official Le Mans Site

Club Arnage Le Mans 24 Hours Guide

Radio Le Mans Web

Autosport Radio