July 16, 2013
Matt Downs knows speed. He recently earned a spot in France's 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance auto race event. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the oldest and most well-known races in the world, and being selected is no easy feat.
After 17 years of speeding up the auto ranks, Downs finally won a spot in the French race. Participating on a three-man team, Downs and his teammates, Thomas Dagoneau and Rodin Younessi, shared two-hour shifts behind the wheel, competeing for a total of 24 hours. Speeding at the swift pace of 175 miles per hour, the team completed as many laps as possible on a winding course of public roads intended to test the durability of the car and the driver's acute knowledge of the sport.
The Mankato, Minn., optometrist's team placed 32nd out of 56 starters overall. In their class, the team took 11th place out of 22. Downs looks to continue racing competitively with sights set on the Daytona 24-hour race, and if the opportunity arises, another round at the 24 Hours of Le Mans event.