24 Hours of Le Mans: Petersen Viewing Party | NBC Southern California

24 Hours of Le Mans: Petersen Viewing Party

Make for the prestigious auto enclave for dinner and live images from the famed race.

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    Eager to see the action of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but not headed for France? The Petersen is hosting an evening watch-it-live bash. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

    There are long-running sportscar events, and world-famous sportscar events, and sportscar showdowns that are all about some serious, push-it-to-the-max endurance.

    The 24 Hours of Le Mans ably wins the top spot in every category mentioned, and probably a few others, too. Founded in 1923, the race involves a full day of driving -- the "24 Hours" is in the name for a reason -- with each competing car being helmed by a trio of drivers (oui, turns are taken at the wheel).

    A mid-June tradition in Le Mans, France, the endurance race shall put le pedal to le metal again on Saturday, June 18, with a finish exactly a day later on Sunday, June 19 (3 p.m. is the local start time).

    If you can't jet off to the continent, but you'd still like to see a slice of the streak-by action, you can do so at the Petersen Automotive Museum, which is throwing a Michelin 24 Hours viewing party, complete with an open bar and complimentary bites.

    Space, like the space to compete in the fabled race, is limited, so make your reservations as fast as it takes a primo machine to do a lap. (Which is incredibly fast.)

    Don't be daunted by the notion that you'll be at the car museum for a full 24-hour span: The party is on from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery. The time means you'll be watching the nighttime driving portion of the race, or at least part of it. 

    It can be heart-racing stuff, especially since the cars regularly push past 200 mph.

    A ticket? It's a bit less than getting to Le Mans at $25 for a non-member.

    Cheering on the drivers among other sportscar buffs? There's a definite verve to it, and that verve is only upped by the presence of dream machines that fill the Miracle Mile location.

    It's almost as if you're at the racetrack, in spirit, with so many shiny vehicles close by. But no plane ride home is required.

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