Les Ving Quatre Heures du Mans is the oldest and most famous sportscar race in the world. First Le Mans was held in 1923 as an endurance test for touring cars. From that times year after year many manufacturers try to win the race because it is the best advertising for the mark..
It became a sportscar race especially after second world war when a new prototype category was introduced. First post-war race was in 1949 and brought first victory of Ferrari - the most successful make during fifties and sixties, when Ferrari scored together nine victories. So Ford gave much effort to beat Ferrari and won four times (1966-69). Ford's last victory in 1969 was the first for Jacky Ickx who is with six wins the most successful driver, and also the shortest margin of victory ahead of second Porsche. Then Porsche took a baton after Ferrari and became the most successful mark with twelve victories during seventies and eighties. Three last victory for Porsche were done by Dauer (1994) and TWR (1996-97) which were Porsche powered.
But among the winners we can find many other big manufacturers such as Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Renault, Mazda or Peugeot. Although Le Mans was one of impulses to form World Endurance Championship during the years it wasn't always a part of WEC and also now it is organised only as an international race, it is still the most important race of the year.