Endurance racing is growing in popularity across the globe, and for good reason. Made popular by the 24 hour Le Mans and 24 hours of Daytona showdowns. Audiences and drivers alike are captivated by the prospect of continual race action over the course of an entire day and night. This requires a great deal of endurance, patience, and skill.
You also need a great team working behind the scenes to keep everything functioning, both from the perspective of the car and the driver.
Since publishing this news item 20th Century Fox have released a film titled "Le Mans 66" about the great rivalry between Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans back in 1966. In the film Carroll Shelby played by Matt Damon, an automotive designer, and Ken Miles, played by Christian Bale, a race car driver, join hands to build a trailblazing vehicle and compete against the Ferrari race cars. The film is a fantastic insight into Le Mans, one of the greatest endurance races in the world an truly a film not to be missed. Update 20 Nov 2020
The 24 hours of Daytona Race differs from Le Mans being a proper race track. So it is possible to floodlight the whole arena. Making it much easier for both drivers and spectators to see. With Le Mans taking place along a 13km road track it is much more difficult to provide lighting.
Hence one of the practical needs that teams encounter during an overnight endurance race is that of lighting. You need a way to see and to be seen.
The importance of lighting is actually spelled out in the rules for the 24 hr Le Mans Race, which means it is pretty standard for any such endurance race. In essence, article 188.8.131.52 makes illumination on the car mandatory.
Race car lighting is extremely important from the perspective that racing numbers can be easily seen at all times during the race. This is important from a judging point of view, and it is also critical in that it allows the fans to be able to follow along with the race as well.
From the spectator's point of view and for them to know which car is in the lead. Each car has three diodes placed on each side. This is known as the Leader Light System. If a single light is showing, it means the car is the race leader. With two lights showing the car is in second place, and with three it’s the third-place car. If no lights are showing, the car is further down the race field. This system is invaluable for spectators during the night sections of the race.
Night racing requires a different skill set for such lighting, which is why it is important to choose a company that specialises in vehicle lighting for endurance racing.
The cars need to be equipped with high-performance lights to allow the driver to actually see where they’re going. In this regard, most use a powerful LED headlight system. These headlights not only give a high down road range in the night but also light up the whole width of the racetrack as well.
Another important factor is being able to see the race number panel. For this, the teams use an electroluminescent panel. They are constructed by using a multi-layer material consisting of a series of fluorescent dyes.
These are then dispersed in such a way that it results in a high degree of electrical constant. When an alternating current is added to the mix, the panel will emit light. Thus making the racing number visible at all times during the night. It also adds a unique perspective that endurance racing is well known for.
In conclusion Lighting plays a major part in making endurance vehicle racing both safe for all those taking part and of course a great spectacle for those who go along to watch. If you ever lucky enough to get the chance to participate or even if its just a chance to watch we truly recommend you do so.