The 24 Hours of le Mans. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans. It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which contains a mix of closed public roads and dedicated sections of racing track, in which racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure. Since 2012, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2011 it was a part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and it frequently formed a part of the World Sportscar Championship from 1953 until that series' final season in 1992.