Le Mans, live on your laptop

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At 3pm on Saturday the 22nd of June, 2013, the 90th running 81st running – and 90th anniversary – of the 24 hours of Le Mans, the world’s foremost endurance race. Given its length – right there in the name – it’s an event that presents broadcasters with an extraordinary obstacle. Giving motorsport fans 24 hours of uninterrupted coverage is no mean feat, even with six or seven dedicated sport channels to take the load. Those who’ve watched coverage of the race in the past will know that there are hours where no commentary takes place – even those motormouths have to take a break at 2am.

Even if you do have a DSTV subscription, 24 hours is a long time to be hogging the TV. Thankfully, for both you and those who have to share the TV, the internet is here to make the things easier. Following this weekend’s race is as easy as stream, tweet, and refresh, with the links below.

1) Watch it online
Le Mans TV is a good start. This is the ACO’s official stream, where you can also find other footage and clips from race teams participating this year.
Speed TV, in the US, will have on-board video from Corvette Racing. This online feed will only be available during times when Speed TV isn’t broadcasting.
Audi has dominated Le Mans to such an extent that it’s now jokingly known as the Audi Invitational. So obviously there’s an online stream to follow all things Audi.
Nissan has huge presence at Le Mans, as an engine supplier for two thirds of the LMP2 teams. So the Nismo racing feed lets you track progress for those teams.
Finally, if you have some time to set up a proxy to Australia, you can follow the entire race using Ten Sport’s stream.

2) Listen live
The best way to listen to Le Mans is through Radio Le Mans, as it has been since its first broadcast in 1987. The English-speaking station now broadcasts live, online, and there is 24-hour programming thanks to a dedicated team of experts that know more about endurance racing than is comfortable.

3) Keep track of stats
Both the ACO and FIA have live online scoreboards for keeping track of progress during the race. If that’s not enough, Thomas Baekdal takes things to the extreme with his Le Mans Live Tracker, which has live timing, Twitter feeds, and even the weather (because it always rains at Le Mans).

4) Get an app
Let’s say you have to go to the shop for some more snacks and refreshments and have to drag yourself away from the TV or computer. Don’t worry, there are some apps to keep you in the loop. Radio Le Mans can still be streamed on your mobile. If you have an iPhone the ACO timing app will be handy. Android users also have the option of an unofficial timing app.

5) Post about it
Got questions or comments about events during the race? The hashtags to use are #LM24, #LeMans, #24hr, and #WEC.
There are also official accounts for the Le Mans 24 Hours on Twitter and Facebook.

6) Get an education
Want something to pass the time until the race kicks off? Audi had two documentaries produced, both detailing its hard-fought victories in the 2008 and 2011 races. Fittingly titled Truth in 24, and Truth in 24 II, both can be downloaded for free on iTunes (American account needed), or you can find the full versions on YouTube here and here.

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Christo van Gemert

Christo van Gemert

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.