Speed Renews with 24 Hours of Le Mans

Speed Channel has renewed its deal to present the Michelin 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The network’s contract with the race was set to expire with this year’s competition, but it now runs through 2008.

This year, Speed will showcase 21.5 hours of coverage June 12, up four hours from the 2003 competition. Speed hits the course at 8:30 a.m. (EST) with taped recaps of test day and qualifying, before coming out of the gate with 20.5 hours of live coverage at 9:30 a.m.

"As always in June, Speed Channel is extremely energized by the 24 Hours of Le Mans," senior vice president of programming and production and executive producer Rick Miner said in a prepared statement.

"Once again, we will send an extensive team of experienced talent to France and, in addition to the outstanding host broadcast, we will provide Speed-only in-car and pit-lane cameras,” he added.

In the past, the race has aired in its entirety. The spokesman said the network now breaks away from Le Mans to honor other live-event obligations.