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STARTING LINE OF THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS 1939

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About the artwork

This black-and-white photograph documents the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a car race lasting 24 hours on an on-road circuit located in the south of the city of Le Mans in France. This contest, existing since 1923, is one of the three most prestigious courses in the world, along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500. During its creation by the Automobile Club de l?Ouest, it aimed to encourage the development of the automotive industry and was designed to contribute to technical progress. This photograph represents the starting line of the race in 1939, when the contestants run onto the track into their vehicles. That year, it was Jean-Pierre Wimille and his teammate Pierre Veyron who won the race on the Sarthe circuit with their Bugatti Type 57C Tank. It was the final race before the outbreak of World War II. The competitions were suspended between 1940 and 1948 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans was only held again once the country was rebuilt, in 1949.

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