This weekend, 135 000 spectators flocked to the ninth staging of Le Mans Classic. This event, created in 2002, is jointly organised by Peter Auto and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and it continues to arouse ever-increasing passion and enthusiasm among the public and drivers alike. It is a real boost for the history of the famous endurance race, the Le Mans 24 Hours.
A red-letter day! This weekend Le Mans Classic achieved a new attendance record with 135 000 spectators. The biennial event, staged for the ninth time, arouses ever-growing fervour among the public and entrants alike in the presence of all the cars that have forged the legend of Le Mans since 1923. In 2014, 110 000 spectators attended Le Mans Classic, in 2016 the figure was 123 000, and this year it drew 12 000 additional visitors. Three weeks ago the 86th Le Mans 24 Hours attracted 256 900 spectators who saw Toyota score its first victory in the race. These figures prove the interest of fans in this iconic event, motor sport and the motor car in general.
Over three days this weekend in glorious sunny weather more than 800 cars and around 1000 drivers, including 10 former winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours, paraded or raced on the 24-Hours circuit in cars dating from 1923 to 2014. Thus, spectators were able to visit a veritable open-air museum and see the exhibits in action on the track to the delight of all generations!
Another highlight of the event was the prestigious Concours Le Mans Heritage Club which brought together 24 specially chosen cars that had all taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1923 and the present. The jury comprising several specialists from the world of the motor car awarded the following prizes this afternoon (Sunday):
- Best of Show: Toyota 94 CV (ACO)
- 1st Class 1923-1939: Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine (ADLER Real Estate AG)
- 1st Class 1949-1960: Triumph TRS (Mike Otto)
- 1st Class 1961-1971: Sunbeam Alpine (Justin Harrington)
- 1st Class 1972-1981: Porsche 930 Turbo (Rolf Sigrist)
- 1st Class 1982-1991: WM Peugeot P88 (Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS)
- 1st Class 1992-2018: Toyota 94 CV (ACO)
- F.F.V.E. prize: Tracta Gephi (ACO)
- F.I.V.A prize: Simca 8 (Pierre-Olivier Chazette)
- "Premier Ministre" special prize: WM Peugeot P88 (Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS)
- Restoration special prize: Ford GT40 (Eric de Caumont)
- Jury’s “Coup de cœur” special prize: DB Coach Gignoux (Guillaume Waegemaker)
On the trackside at Mulsanne stood a rather special marshal with his flag gripped firmly in his hand watching intently to see that there were no issues as the races unfolded. The man in question was Eduardo Freitas whose usual role is that of Race Director of the events in the FIA World Endurance Championship - and the Le Mans 24 Hours in particular.
When the flag falls to bring down the curtain on the 2018 Le Mans Classic we can be sure that the 10th staging of the event in 2020 will be the theatre of another top-quality spectacle!
In the weeks to come the Bugatti circuit will host the following meetings:
- 14-15 July: 23 Heures 60 Moto Power 25
- 21-22 July: Coupes de France Promosport
- 27-29 July: Super VW Fest