The 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 39th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 12 and 13 June 1971. It was the ninth round of the 1971 International Championship for Makes.
Despite the extremely high speeds of the long tail versions, the 1971 Le Mans race was again won by a short tail car but with a magnesium chassis. The white No. 22 Martini Porsche of Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep completed 397 laps, which set a new distance record of 5,335.313 km (3,315.210 mi). That record, which many believed it would be unbreakable because of the lack of chicanes, would however be broken in 2010 when three Audi R15 TDI plus cars ran by Joest Racing ran in excess of that distance, despite the chicanes put since 1990 and other changes to the Circuit de la Sarthe course throughout the years (392 laps would be the amount of laps that would exceed the distance record in the 13.629 km (8.469 mi) configuration that was in use in 2010); all three ran at least 394 laps, with the winning car, the #9 of Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller, also ran 397 laps but ran a distance of 5,410.7 km (3,362.1 mi); the 1971 race was run in a 13.469 km (8.369 mi) configuration, which was the last race under that configuration; the 1972 race (up until 1978) ran in a modified 13.64 km (8.48 mi) configuration; since then, eight more modifications were made up to today’s Circuit de la Sarthe, which stands at 13.629 km (8.469 mi) as of 2010 (the configuration was first run in 2007).
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