16 Jul 2014

Le Mans Classic-2014 Part 1

The Le Mans Classic is run every two years .This year's was two weekend ago on the first weekend of July.It uses the full Le Mans circuit and takes place 4 weeks after the 24 hour race.The historic cars do not run for 24 hours.They run in grids-actually age classes- and have a series of 45 minute races over a 24 hour period which means that all the competitors see some day and night driving.
I have been to the last four Classics and despite difficult weather -it was hot and sunny on the Friday practice day and then wet and dry on Saturday and Sunday with a massive downpour on the Sunday morning- this year's was by far the best.It was much bigger than previously with an enormous number of spectators and many more car clubs participating in the displays .There were plenty of trade stalls selling automobilia particularly model cars which I have never collected or even really understood.There seemed to be bigger fields racing and it was much better organised and resourced.The hoteliers and restauranters of Le Mans and the surrounding towns must have loved it.They had two really big events within four weeks.
There were huge numbers of spectators from the UK- many arriving in classic cars.They obviously felt that a long weekend in France watching classic cars racing was much more exciting -and probably much cheaper-than watching the British Grand Prix at Silverstone which was held on the Sunday.
There are already plenty of LMC photos up on the web.Mine are dominantly static shots as the catch fencing really works against taking action shots from the spectator areas.The only good action shots I did get were taken from up on the spectator embankment at Tetra Rouge at the start of the Mulsanne straight where you can look down on the cars.The final shot  of the Porsche 917 was taken from this location.As usual I used my Leica X1-except for the action shot  where I used a new camera-more later- and the photos are straight from the camera jpegs.There are quite a few "arty" manipulated LMC photos out there and to my mind most/all of these are good photos ruined.In one case great photos ruined.
It was worth sitting in that little seat on that plane for 44 hours just to hear a Porsche 917 accelerating in the moist early morning air onto the Mulasnne Straight.Roll on 2016.

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