24 Hours of Le Mans

virginie24jb

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Well, well... This was my first time attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans after having attended the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps several times. My brother had warned me: Le Mans is far from being the best track at which to shoot. There are less viewpoints and fences, fences, fences... :icon_neutral:
Overall I had a good time. The end of the race was a little difficult though: the thing is I won tickets for this race from a game organized by Toyota for their GT86 owners. I was watching the finish on the big screen from their fan zone in the Village. We were a group of friends there, supporting them obviously. I can tell you we were all astounded to say the least...

Positive: Nothing like watching the race at night. The mood and atmosphere is so different. We went to Arnage and Indianapolis corners in the late evening. To see the light on the rail before the car actually appears out of the forest is an incredible sight. Loved it!
We went to sleep (in the car seat) at 2am and got up again at 4 in the morning to see the sunrise. Unfortunately no sun, but this was probably my favorite part of the race. The track was almost empty. We got to go up on the Audi terrace that oversee the corners before the Dunlop bridge. No one was watching the access to it. It's indeed a great view from up there. Fans were sleeping right next to the fence in their sleeping bag. Unbelievable... One guy was even sleeping sat at a table with his head in his fries basket. :biggrin-93:

Negative: Access and organisation. Of course there are way more people than at the Spa-Francorchamps race... And you can see that the infrastructure is not optimal for that amount of people. The mud and sand compared to the nice asphalt ways around the track in Spa...
I left with a sort of frustration: missing most of the race. When you go from one viewpoint to another you're often far from the track, using shuttles or walking (man, that walk from the Porsche Curves to Arnage is damn long when you don't want to wait for the shuttle....). So in the end, you can't see the race or know what's happening. Again, contrary to Spa where you can walk around almost the entire track without leaving sight of the track itself.

But anyway, it's a race to attend at least once if you love motorsport. Not my favorite track where to take photos. I definitely want to go see the Total 24 Hours of Spa now. I don't know if I'll be able to attend this July or if I'll wait until next year. But I'll definitely go.

As for the gear, I rented the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II to use on my 6D. I was told that it would be short so I rented the Canon 2x Extender as well. I was happy to have it indeed!

Now time for some photos.

#1 - Porsche Curves
24 Heures du Mans 2016 by Virginie Bitterlin, on Flickr

#2 - Porsche Curves
24 Heures du Mans 2016 by Virginie Bitterlin, on Flickr

#3 - Before the Dunlop bridge
24 Heures du Mans 2016 by Virginie Bitterlin, on Flickr

#4 - Before the Dunlop bridge
24 Heures du Mans 2016 by Virginie Bitterlin, on Flickr

#5 - Before the Dunlop bridge / from Audi fan zone terrace
24 Heures du Mans 2016 by Virginie Bitterlin, on Flickr

#6 - Before the Dunlop bridge
24 Heures du Mans 2016 by Virginie Bitterlin, on Flickr

#7 - Before the Dunlop bridge / from Audi fan zone terrace
24 Heures du Mans 2016 by Virginie Bitterlin, on Flickr
 

ChaseH

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Nice shots! I was there too for the first time this year. Came home last Saturday and haven't had the energy to go through them yet. I hope some of the shots in the rain will be interesting. What an outstanding event! I must have been standing nearby, as I too ended up on that Audi terrace Sunday morning. It was nice that they left it unattended. It was amazing to see folks sleeping/passed out up against the wall on Sunday despite the noise.
 

beagle100

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looks like you had a fun time - nice pics
 

Rick50

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Yes, these came out well. Check out the road debris in #4. Glad I wasn't driving!
 

PropilotBW

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Wow, impressed with your night shots. Just curious what your ISO settings were for that?
 

Wozza

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Love the last two!

Great panning, colours, focus and sharpness! Bet you had a blast.
 

sniper x

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Some great shots there and sounds like a great experience. Reminds me of the usgp motorcycle races at Laguna secca I attended for years..... Same frustrations till I got a press pass!
 

FITBMX

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I used to drive one of those, but I kept getting stuck on our dirt roads. :801: :biglaugh:

Great set! :)
 

gckless

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I'm late, but great shots. That's one race I would love to get to one day. I'll be seeing the WEC guys here next month, racing into the night during Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas. I'm trying to work a media pass, but not counting on it. At the very least I'm going as a fan. I flag marshaled for it last year, and 16 hour days aren't the best, but it was awesome to flag for. I just want some photos this year.

Anyway, good stuff!
 
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TamingRoman

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Really good stuff. Great job. I can see the movement. Wonderful
 

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