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Speed to provide 25 hours of 24 Hrs of LeMans coverage
Race fans won’t miss a minute of the action at this year’s 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours from France’s famous Circuit de la Sarthe, starting Sat., June 16 at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT. Including a half hour of pre- and post-race activity, SPEED (23 hours) and SPEED.com (2 hours) are set to provide 25 total hours of continuous broadcast coverage.

SPEED is also presenting an hour-long special, Toyota’s Road to Le Mans, which premieres Friday, June 15 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, chronicling the manufacturer’s whirlwind development of its newly minted hybrid-powered LMP1 race car.

In addition to the fully produced, two hours of live streaming race coverage on SPEED.com, two live Corvette Racing in-car cameras are also available throughout the weekend, along with a camera placed in the General Motors pit lane. To enjoy the two-screen experience, log onto speedtv.com/corvette.

“Le Mans was recently named the top sporting event in the world, and that’s ahead of The Olympics, the Super Bowl and World Cup soccer.” said SPEED VP of Production, Frank Wilson, referring to National Geographic’s book, The 10 Best of Everything. “It’s the world’s greatest endurance race, and SPEED is covering every aspect of it through our many delivery channels. Every year, new storylines are added to what might be racing’s most romanticized historical platform.”

“As I have said for years, just as the Kentucky Derby is not just a horserace and Wimbledon is not just another tennis match, Le Mans is more than a car race,” said Bobby Akin, SPEED VP of Advertising Sales, whose father Bob Akin competed at Le Mans six times, highlighted by a fourth-place finish in 1984.” It’s a happening. This race has been a huge part of our network since we launched in 1996 and this continues today.

“This year it’s made even more special because once again, Le Mans is at the very forefront of motorsport by allowing hybrid-powered cars,” Akin added. “When Toyota announced they would race a hybrid-powered car in 2012, a full year ahead of schedule, we knew there was going to be a great story, but what they have put together even blew away our expectations.”

SPEED sports car racing voice Leigh Diffey and Bob Varsha, Voice of Formula One on SPEED and a veteran Le Mans announcer, are anchoring the on-air team. Once again, the on-air analysts are a who’s who of sports car racing with Hall of Famer David Hobbs, 1989 Trans-Am Series champion Dorsey Schroeder, defending and five-time (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 & 2011) Grand-Am Rolex Series champion Scott Pruett and 1990 Rolex 24 at Daytona GTO category winner Calvin Fish rotating throughout. Sports car racers Justin Bell and Brian Till, along with Jamie Howe, Greg Creamer and Andrew Marriott are stationed along pit road and throughout the garage to provide the latest news, notes and emerging storylines.

“There is nothing like the energy of Le Mans,” said A.J. Baime, author of Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed, who is also going to be a special guest during the broadcast. “The fans, the beauty of the cars, the song of the engines at night and of course the elusive checkered flag.

“For the fans, which get to watch the most cutting edge engineering in the world compete against each other on this beautiful track in France, there is no cooler race on earth,” Baime added.

Toyota’s Road to Le Mans documents the five-month development process the manufacturer’s engineers and race team has undertaken to compete with its brand new TS030 LMP1 hybrid race car. Throughout the process, film crews followed the team as they globe-trotted to places like Germany, France, Spain and the home base of Japan, developing what could be Audi’s stiffest competition in 2012.

“Hybrid technology is at the very core of our brand and to have the opportunity to race that technology in the world’s most difficult race is probably the most relevant thing we could do in motorsport,” said Ed Laukes, Toyota’s Vice President - Marketing Communications & Motorsports.

Once the race is over, confetti swept up and champagne washed away, SPEED presents Audi Truth in 24 II, premiering June 23 at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT, highlighting the brand’s racing prowess and more specifically, its continued recent dominance of Le Mans.

Full Le Mans coverage is also set for SPEED.com with Marshall Pruett and John Dagys including a watch module, race blogs, video updates, photos and social media. A feed is also going to be streamed to SPEED’s Facebook page, iPads and iPhones (United States & Canada only).

Le Mans 24 Hours 2012 Live Coverage Schedule
(All Times Eastern; Schedule Subject To Change)

Friday, June 15

Time Comment
Toyota’s Road to Le Mans 10 p.m. – 11 p.m. -
Saturday, June 16 Time Comment
Toyota’s Road to Le Mans 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. (Replay)
Le Mans 24 Hours (The Start) 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Live)
Le Mans 24 Hours 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Live; SPEED.com)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qual. 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Live; SPEED)
Le Mans 24 Hours 2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. (Live)
Le Mans 24 Hours 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Live; SPEED.com)
SPEED Center 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Live; SPEED)
Le Mans 24 Hours 7:30 p.m. – Midnight (Live)
Sunday, June 17 Time Comment
Le Mans 24 Hours (The Finish) Midnight – 9:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday, June 23 Time Comment
Audi Truth in 24 II 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Feature)

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