Pay to Play at Auto Racing's Two Most Enduring Events

The two most famous endurance races on four wheels are the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, named for the Florida and French towns that host them. Professional reputations have been made and lives lost during these two historic races. However, as Bloomberg Pursuits in its Spring 2014 issue, the money required to compete has more lately favored deep-pocketed amateurs who pay to play, often financing entire teams. (Multiple drivers are mandatory, so hobbyists typically join up with pros.) As America’s winningest professional endurance driver, Hurley Haywood, puts it: “Many of these so-called gentlemen racers are every bit as fast as the pro guys. They just happen to bring the money to the table.” So ... Florida or France? See the highlights and hazards of each below.

Clockwise from top left: Dan Rinc; Laurent Nivalle; James Andanson/Sygma/Corbis; Dave Friedman

Clockwise from top left: Dan Rinc; Laurent Nivalle; James Andanson/Sygma/Corbis; Dave Friedman

To contact the writer: Jason H. Harper at Jason@JasonHharper.com or follow on Twitter @JasonHarperSpin

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ted Moncreiff at +1-212-617-5230 or tmoncreiff@bloomberg.net

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