Somehow I completely managed to forget to blog about my visit to the Le Mans 24 Hour race event.
I was invited to join a group of people who attend Le Mans every 2 years and do the full experience.
The full experience meaning driving to Le Mans, camping for 5 days, consuming alcohol for all those 5 days and eating BBQ food.
We all met up nice and early to commence the journey towards Dover to catch the ferry to Calais then on to Le Mans. It was a nice day so along the way I got some nice rolling shots of everyone.
This would be my ride for the journey, my best friends Honda S2000 in Monte Carlo Blue.
One of the many pluses of being a passenger in an S2000 are the angles you can achieve whilst the roof is down shooting rolling shots.
Upon arrival, we got all the gear set up, tents, BBQ and of course, the most important thing, the generator and full size fridge. The next mission was to hit the hypermarché and stock up the fridge with meat and beer.
Once we had got settled and figured out our bearings, we headed off towards the main straight and pit area where you have access at certain times during the practice sessions.
As well as the main show of cars on track, the infield was full of booths and tents with all sorts going on. All the major manufacturers had their latest models on display as well as places to buy official merchandise and other automotive goodies.
After walking around the previous day I had spotted a few good locations to try and get some actions shots from the practice sessions. Only having a 200mm lens did make it difficult to get super close but I think I fared well.
The Friday Night
24 hours of Le Mans has been on my bucket list of events for a while now. I think this way was probably the best way to get the full experience of it. Camping amongst the die hard fans, listening to the noise of the cars on track just loud enough to help you get to sleep. I would definitely recommend doing the whole camping experience for those of who are interested in going in the future.
The day before race day is also a big event, all of the cars gather in the centre of Le Mans for a demonstrations, people can walk right up to them and get a close look. As well as this, it is a big night out for the fans, never have I seen a town centre so packed full of motorsport fans.
Not being a person big on nights out, I went along with the crew as it’s a done thing. I have to say though, it was one of the best nights out I’ve experienced, such a great laugh with the crew, the people of Le Mans were all very friendly and the bars and clubs were spot on.
My friend and I got a bit lost and separated from the crew towards the end of the night. We ended up trying to speak French to some teenagers in the street, luckily the were really helpful and spoke some English, they pointed us to where the taxis are and we made it back to the campsite, eventually.
Now it was time for the big day, we set ourselves the challenge of trying to stay up the full 24 hours to watch the race, but having alcohol really doesn’t go well with staying awake. I think I managed to stay awake for about 18 hours before I needed a rest, despite feeling pretty rough from the previous night.
I can say this, it’s great to wake up to the sound of a thundering V8 and high revving hybrid vehicles flying around the circuit.
The Journey Home
After all the excitement it was inevitably time to pack up and head back. Even though it was all over (Porsche won by the way) the journey home was just as much fun, we bumped into some fellow petrol heads going in the same direction and I managed to grab some nice shots of a machine.
Overall I can say that it was an unforgettable experience and I loved every bit of it. I’m not sure if I’d go back again, perhaps in another 10 years when things might have changed significantly. There are so many other events I’d like to visit first as well as heading to Japan to check out some race events there.
You can view the full set of my photos from the event here – 24 Hours of Le Mans 2015 album