Endurance, efficiency and good old preparation. Why Le Mans reflects everything we stand for

24 May 2019

Endurance, efficiency and good old preparation. Why Le Mans reflects everything we stand for

Preparation. It’s something we obsess about here at Evolution Capital. Every deal we have ever worked on can trace its success to the time and effort that goes into preparing our clients for transaction day. We are meticulous to the extreme.

Which is why we felt the Le Mans 24-hour race was the ideal event to showcase what we do. Renowned as the world’s toughest motorsport race, Le Mans is all about being prepared.

The upcoming Evolution Capital Le Mans Grand Tour is an exclusive VIP entrepreneurs’ driving experience and is the highlight of our 2019 events calendar. Our supercar convoy will head to the Circuit de la Sarthe in the Pays de la Loire region, enjoying lavish accommodation and gastronomic experiences along the way. Once there, guests will enjoy the exhilaration of watching the 87th running of this prestigious 24-hour race.

The Le Mans 24-hour race is motorsport’s oldest active endurance racing event, held annually since 1923. Dubbed the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency”, it celebrates cars that are not just fast but reliable too.

At a time when Grand Prix racing was the dominant form of motorsport throughout Europe, Le Mans was created to present a different test. Gone was the obsession with creating speed machines. Instead, this epic endurance event would concentrate on the ability of manufacturers to build vehicles that went the distance. This encouraged innovation in reliability and fuel-efficiency, namely because endurance racing requires cars that last and spend as little time in the pits as possible.

Meanwhile, the layout of the track necessitated cars with better aerodynamics and stability at high speeds. While this was shared with Grand Prix racing, few tracks in Europe have straights as long as the Mulsanne. Since 1990, the straight has been interrupted by two chicanes for safety reasons, but it remains legendary nonetheless. Additionally, because the road is public and therefore not as meticulously maintained as permanent circuits, racing puts more strain on the parts, increasing the importance of reliability.

The oil crisis in the early 1970s led organisers to adopt a fuel economy formula known as Group C that limited the amount of fuel each car was allowed. Although it was later abandoned, fuel economy remains important as new fuel sources reduce time spent during pit stops.

The race is always held in June, leading to very hot conditions for drivers. Over the 24 hours, modern competitors often cover distances of over 5,000 km. The record in 2010 was 5,410 km, six times the length of the Indianapolis 500, or approximately 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix.

Drivers and racing teams strive for speed and avoiding mechanical damage, as well as managing the cars’ consumables; primarily fuel, tyres, and braking materials. It also tests endurance, with drivers frequently racing for over two hours before a relief driver can take over. Current regulations mandate that three drivers share each competing vehicle. It’s a thrilling spectacle, which is why similar events have sprung up all around the globe including at Daytona, Nurburgring and Bathurst.

For us at Evolution Capital, Le Mans exemplifies the paramount importance of good preparation. We see so many companies in the TMT sector make the decision to sell only to be disappointed after a long and arduous sale process in which the final price has been chipped again and again by savvy buyers. As Duncan Gregory, our transaction services director, recently wrote in Comms Business magazine: “Selling your company is arguably the most important event of your business career. It would be foolish not to prepare fully for it.”

But perhaps more importantly, this event is a chance to meet likeminded entrepreneurs and spend a few days really getting to know each other. We are big believers in connecting people through engaging, thought-provoking and inspirational networking events. You can find out more about our packed events programme here.

It’s not long now until we depart for this year’s Le Mans, which kicks off on June 15. It will be the 87th running of race and the final round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship. We are busy making the final preparations for what is certain to be an adrenalin-packed few days. We hope those of you who are joining us are as eager as we are.

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