As I sit here at home typing this while trying to recover from massive sleep deprivation, I’m still in disbelief that just four days ago I was standing less than five feet from the legendary Mulsanne straight. I’m still in disbelief that a hybrid race car not only ran at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but also won the race. Most of all, I’m still in disbelief that I attended the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. No more “Maybe next year.”
By now you probably already know the results of the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans and you may have even kept up with our live news stream here at S:S:L. Rather than rewriting the news that you already know, I present to you the 80th running of the world’s greatest racing event as seen through my eyes and my camera. These photos were taken at various points during the week; some are from qualifying sessions, some from the pre-race pageantry, and others from the race itself. I hope that you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed producing them, and I hope that every one of you gets to experience the amazement and wonder of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in person as I just did. Cheers.
We will be doing real-time flag to flag coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Twitter @SpeedSportLife , or you can follow along here with our Cover It Live widget. Don’t forget to download the 2012 Le Mans Spotters Guide from SimRaceway.com.
In our opinion the best place to listen to the broadcast of the race is RadioLemans which offers a live stream worldwide, flag to flag. These guys are the best motorsport commentators out there and do an incredible job covering the race year after year. Live timing of the race can be found on the Lemans.org website at http://live.lemans-tv.com/en/.
For those of you who are in the U.S., the race will be aired on SPEED. While SPEED is doing flag to flag coverage, they will be alternating between a live TV broadcast and streaming video on their website for the hours they go off-air on TV. Their schedule is as follows:
We like to be social and interactive during the race so please drop us a line in the comments or via twitter. Let us know who you are cheering for and feel free to make jokes at our expense while watching.
The grid is set for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Audi is once again on pole position with their R18 e-tron quattro. Audi claimed spots 1-2-4-6 with Lotterer leading the way with a lap time of 3:23.787 in the #1 R18 e-tron quattro which is nearly two seconds faster than last year’s pole time set by Benoît Tréluyer in an R18 TDI. This marks the first time a hybrid car has been on pole at Le Mans.
Chrysler’s SRT team has the Viper GTS-R on display here at Le Mans, which we hope is foreshadowing to next year’s race. First shown at the 2012 New York Auto Show in April, the Viper GTS-R recently performed its first track test at Carolina Motorsports Park. SRT Motorsports stated that the shake down test was a resounding success and that the car performed better than the team expected.
The SRT Viper GTS-R is scheduled to make its GT class debut during the 2012 American Le Mans season, however the specific race has not been announced. All we can wish for is a return to the grid at Le Mans for the Viper GTS-R program, and the car on display here is a good indication that the SRT team might be thinking along those same lines.