GENEVA -- The 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race has been run annually since 1923. Taking place on a road course around the French town of Le Mans, it is an extraordinary challenge for drivers and cars. Although speed and handling are important, fuel efficiency and durability also play a huge part in giving cars a competitive edge.
The 2014 Geneva auto show included an exhibit of the actual cars that competed, and in most cases won, this legendary race.
With its 6.5-liter straight-six engine making 84 horsepower, the Bentley Speed Six finished second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1930, hitting a top speed of 84 mph. It was cars such as this that made the racing reputation of the Bentley Boys.
The Jaguar D-type dominated Le Mans in 1955, 1956, and 1957, although the car shown here was to come in second, behind its teammate, in each of these races. Making 250 horsepower from its six-cylinder engine, it could hit 162 mph and showed an evolution in aerodynamics.
Last year, this R18 E-tron Quattro model finished first at Le Mans. The car showed the superiority of a hybrid diesel-electric drivetrain and all-wheel-drive to race for 24 hours on the legendary Le Mans circuit.