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The 24 Hours of Le Mans !!! What a wonderful event which I can see !!!

Follow me, I will show you one of the most amazing events in the race car world !

 

Some history

Before that, some history. The event of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is an endurance car race.

There are several variants of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Cars/Motorcycles/Trucks/etc…) but here, we will talk about the version with cars.

It runs on the Circuit du Mans in Sarthe and it happens each year during June (the 24th week of the year to be exact).

It was create in 1923 by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (A.C.O) with the goal of contributing to the evolution of the progress of the technologies in the automobile sector.

Over years, race evolved and regulations too. Safety of the pilots and the public is better than before.

And since then, this race became a world-famous endurance car race. In 2017, it was the 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Program

What I like about the 24 Hours of Le Mans is, of course, the race but not only.

There are plenty of events which take place before this wonderful race. A crazy week which pleases experts and fans but also curious  of all ages.

For exemple, this year, book signings were organized for the last « Michel Vaillant » (Rebellion). There is also the traditional winners’ handprints in the city center of Le Mans. There are a lot of animations/expositions which take place on several cities of Sarthe (Neuville sur Sarthe/Arnage/Saint-Saturnin/…)

Two other races take place before the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year, it was the Porche Carrera Cup and the Road To Le Mans race (I will come back on it in the next article 😉 ).

So, I think you understood, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is not just a race. It is a festival of activities where boredom does not exist. 😉

Many activities then, but with a story line and main elements : 

  • Test day

And it begins with a test day which take place 2 weeks before the main race. These two seance of 4 hours each are the occasion for the teams and their drivers to take back their cars in hand and to test the circuit but also to see the progress of their opponents.

This is a mandatory step for pilots who have never participated of the 24 Hours of Le Mans before.

  • Pesage

The administrative checking & scrutineering or also known in French as « le pesage » is a show which attracts a lot of people and in particular a lot of fans. Pilots don’t hesitate to sign autographs or to take selfies with their fans who came for this occasion. It’s also a great time for journalist to take photos of pilots and their team.

It take place for 2 days (Sunday afternoon and Monday) on Place de la République in Le Mans.

These administrative checking involve to examine cars (size, power, elements of safety,…) but also pilots (helmets, driving cloths, license,…)

(You can click on photos to see them on full screen)

  • Practice Session

After that, come free and qualifying practice session. These take place on Wednesday and Thursday with, each time, a day session and a night session.

If free practice sessions are usually a time which the team dedicate to improve cars and to test it on track, qualifying practice sessions are an intense moment where competition is the main word. The first purpose is to have the best place on the starting grid for Saturday. It gives a foretaste of what we will see next weekend. 🙂

  • Drivers parade

On the eve of the race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on Friday’s afternoon, the public has a rendezvous in the streets of the city of Le Mans for the Drivers parade.

Pilots parades aboard historical vehicles distributing goodies to those who will shout most hardly or who will hold out most hands.

It is also the moment for all the fans to try to have a last autograph or a selfie with their favorite pilot. 😉

(You can click on photos to see them on full screen)

  • Warm Up

The D-Day is finally here ! The teams and their pilots have the right for a last trial session called « Warm-up ». Lap time do not matter, this session being generally used to adjust last details of cars and adapt them to the weather conditions of the day for the great departure at 3 pm.

  • And finally, the race !!!

The long-awaited moment came! After the broadcasting of the various national hymns of all the pilots committed in the race, the start of the race is launched !

We finally get to the heart of the subject, the 24 Hours of Le Mans are launched, 24 hours of mechanical show with a lot of ups and downs.

Then ? What do you think of this ? The program pleases you ? 🙂

In the next article, I will detail more in depth the race and its functioning. A part party will be also dedicated to present to you the two other races that I mentionned higher.

Stay tuned on AddictionPhoto.com ! 😉

Justin, 26/06/2017

Sources : 

  1. My friend wiki : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_Hours_of_Le_Mans
  2. ACO website : http://www.lemans.org/en/24-hours-of-le-mans

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