2018 Le Mans Classic

July 06, 2018
group c silk cut jaguars

For me the 2018 season has been a ‘classic’ year in every sense of the word. In May I was shooting at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix,  now I find myself at the 2018 Le Mans Classic. Having been there last year for the modern 24 Hour Le Mans race, I was really looking forward to seeing the difference.

The traditional Le Mans 24 hour race is as it says ‘on the tin’…a race lasting 24 hours. The Le Mans Classic is slightly different in that there are a series of races over a 24 hour period. The races were over differing durations for 6 different ‘Grids’ of cars. These ‘grids’ have cars from different years competing against others from their period. Each car would compete in daylight and night races over the 24 hours of racing.

Bugatti - 19 AEE 49 at 2018 Le Mans Classic
Carrying speed onto Start / Finish straight
le mans classic sign with race car

As the grids progress through the year periods, the cars become more modern in appearance. The sleek aerodynamic lines look a little more like the cars we see today in the 24 Hrs of Le Mans.

porsche 962c at 2108 Le Mans Classic
The Leyton House Porsche Group C car at 2018 Le Mans Classic
Group C cars through bends

Walking around the paddock area there are amazing cars everywhere to look at. Great to be so close watching the mechanics working on the cars to get them ready to race. There is a fun atmosphere in the circuit paddocks too! Drivers getting into the Old-Timers spirit, while stars of WRC and F1 pose for photos on the grid.

driver in costume spirit of 2018 Le Mans Classic
Getting into the spirit…
celebrities at 2018 Le Mans Classic
Sebastien Loeb and Felipe Massa

The Le Mans Classic shares a special event with the Goodwood Revival Setterington Cup. Little Big Mans is a race for youngsters in some glorious miniature classic race cars. It’s a great sight as they do they traditional ‘Le Mans Start’ before heading off up the track.

running start in little big mans

Just like the modern Le Mans 24 Hour race, the action continues through the night. Night time racing brings its own unique feel. I remember from my time as a rally driver really enjoying the night stages in the forests. The Pit Lane is still alive in the dead of night…

Porsche 911 at sunset
911 heads down to The Esses at sunset
Pit Lane 2018 Le Mans Classic
The Pit Lane seems even more alive at night
race driver checks mirror in Pit Lane

The noise & smell of these fantastic machines just takes you back to a golden age of motor racing. It is going to feel a long wait before the 2 years is up for this fantastic event to come around again in 2020!!

By Skelly

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