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Live motorsport Eurosport, from 1pm THIS is a tragic Saturday for which I've got no money to bet with or to do anything else remotely constructive, so I think I'll broaden my horizons by watching the Le Mans 24 hour race for the first time, writes Steve Palmer.

Motorsport has never really got my juices flowing - when you've driven one car you've driven them all - but I've often been curious as to how the competitors in the 24 hour race manage to keep going for such a long period.

How do they manage to allow for calls of nature, for instance? It's a subject close to my heart because my good friend Keith, who for a few years has been suffering from acute IBS, wages a constant battle against his bowels when he is driving his car and a 24 minute race would not be straightforward for him.

A couple of months ago, Keith got stuck in a heavy traffic jam for over an hour on his way home from work and was left with the horrific choice of abandoning his vehicle to find a restroom or abandoning his dignity inside his Volvo.

He told me how pleased he was to find his fiancee had gone to her pilates class by the time he waddled through his front door..

The Le Mans drivers may not have to worry about a condition like Keith's but they are all human and 24 hours is a long time to be trapped in a car. Maybe they wear nappies under their leather jump suits, relying on a Huggies SuperDry to get them to the finish line.

And how do they eat? Is it like a marathon where the runners are reliant on spectators to help out? Do watching Frenchmen have to throw bananas through the car windows as the Le Mans hopefuls zoom by? I suppose they could keep some bananas in their glove compartment, but then they would weigh the car down (speed is paramount in motorsport) and would no doubt get very bruised by all the humping and bumping along the way.

And what about the body's natural need for sleep? Only crack addicts can stay awake for 24-hour periods, and surely they don't let crack addicts near top-spec, super-powered racing cars.

Fatigue must kick in and I for one am disappointed with the double standards at work here. I was always told I should never drive when tired because it's extremely dangerous to do so.

I presume come the last few laps of the race, the Highways Agency will have put electronic signs up over the roads which read: Tiredness kills. Take a break.

All will be revealed in due course I suppose. Who needs betting?


"Are we nearly there yet? I need a poo!"
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 13, 2009
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