2017 24 Heures Motos  – Fun on the side

The 40th 24 Hours of Le Mans for motorcycles will be held on 15–16 April at the Bugatti track in Le Mans. As usual, the weekend includes several support races. This year marks the return of the Women’s Cup, a women-only race that met with great success when introduced last year. The first of the six rounds of the FIM Sidecar World Championship and the Sportwin Cup also promise plenty of trackside excitement. Read on for details.

Women’s Cup

Motorcycle racing is attracting a growing number of female competitors. Last year, to celebrate this change, the women’s committee of the French motorcycling federation (FFM) introduced the Women’s Cup as a support race to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The line-up embraces both novice and seasoned competitors, with 600 cc or 1,000 cc roadsters or sportbikes.

Once again, the event is part of the 24 Hours Moto weekend schedule. In all, 88 riders will be competing, with Final A on Friday 14 April, 17:20–17:50 and Final B on Saturday 15, 12:05–12:35. Two 25-minute preliminary heats will be held on the Thursday and Friday.

The race is proving popular with few places on the grid still up for grabs at time of writing.

Don’t miss your chance to enter!

FIM Sidecar World Championship

The popularity of the FIM Sidecar World Championship has not dwindled and Le Mans is hosting the season opener this year, the first of six rounds.

The spectacular race always attracts a crowd. Sidecar racing involves a two-person crew, a driver and a passenger, often known as a “monkey” whose acrobatic role is to transfer weight to gain traction.

Sidecars have a purpose-built rigid chassis and a 600 cc engine.

The 30-minute qualifying sessions are scheduled at 14:35 and 16:35 on Friday 14 April, with the race itself on Saturday at 11:05 (45 minutes).

Thirty sidecars will line up for the practice sessions but only 26 can qualify for the race. Friday’s sessions are therefore all-important!

Sportwin Cup

The 2017 Sportwin Cup starts at Le Mans. This is the first time crowds at the Le Mans 24 Hours Moto will be treated to a round of this event.

The series is for twin-engine (two-cylinder) motorcycles, often prototypes. Machines range from 600 to 1,250 cc (with 2 or 3 valves over 700 cc).

Practice and qualifying sessions accommodate 48 riders, with 44 qualified for the two races. Two 25-minute preliminary heats will be held on the Thursday and Friday. The 12-lap races are scheduled at 15:55 on Friday and 09:00 on Saturday.
Riders will be thrilled to be the first Sportwin Cup competitors to race on the world-famous Bugatti track.

The final entry list will be published soon.
All in all, there’s plenty of excitement in store at Le Mans, even before the big race gets under way.

Schedule:

Thursday 13 April 2017

13:30–13:55       25 mins.               Sportwin Cup, 1st timed practice session

14:05–14:30       25 mins.               Women’s Cup Group 1, 1st timed practice session

14:40–15:05       25 mins.               Women’s Cup Group 2, 1st timed practice session

17:40–18:00       20 mins.              FIM Sidecar free practice session

 

Friday 14 April 2017

09:30–09:55       25 mins.               Sportwin Cup, 2nd timed practice session

14:00–14:25       25 mins.               Women’s Cup Group 1, 2nd timed practice session

14:35–15:05       30 mins.               FIM Sidecar, 1st timed practice session

15:20–15:45       25 mins.               Women’s Cup Group 2, 2nd timed practice session

15:55–16:25       25 mins.               Sportwin Cup Race 1 (12 laps)

16:35–17:05       30 mins.               FIM Sidecar, 2nd timed practice session

17:20–17:50       30 mins.               Women’s Cup Final B (12 laps)

 

Saturday 15 April 2017

09:00–09:30       30 mins.               Sportwin Cup Race 2 (12 laps)

11:05–11:50       45 mins.               FIM Sidecar Race (18 laps)

12:05–12:35       30 mins.               Women’s Cup Final A (12 laps)