Obviously, a 24-hour race is never over until the chequered flag has fallen - and indeed, following the exclusion of class winners at Le Mans in each of the past two years, until technical inspections have been cleared - but very rarely is there anything of importance left on the table to fight for in the final hour.
Yes, it's true that reliability is better now than ever before, and drivers often do race flatout. But attrition resulting from mechanical issues and fatigue-driven mistakes has a knack of thinning out the fight at the front and leaving those who have survived at healthy intervals behind.
That's why covering endurance racing requires patience. There's always something to watch somewhere in the field, but often it counts for very little in the grand scheme of things. A car running in 16th place and is 30 laps down after repairs is turning fastest laps? Good for the driver, but academic. A nip-and-tuck battle for eighth place in class will barely get a mention in a post-race report.