The 2014 edition of Le Mans Classic was a wonderful display of reuniting many historic race cars with the tracks that made the famous. One of the top vintage car racing events worldwide, this year’s event hosted 450 historic cars and more than 1000 drivers at the venue of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
The biennial Le Mans Classic is much more than a simple historic race, as the more than 110,000 spectators that flocked to the circuit also enjoyed the village and its numerous sideshows and exhibitions. These included the many clubs (180 car clubs representing around 80 makes with 8000 cars), and later on in the evening the new Drive-In cinema whose theme was the motor car with classic films like Un Homme et Une Femme, Bullitt, Le Mans and Weekend of a Champion. Another highlight was the Concours Le Mans Heritage Club that included 30 cars that had taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1923 and today. The jury, made up of numerous specialists from the motorcar world, awarded the Special Prize to the 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa of Michael Malone.
The Little Big Mans parade provided the opportunity for these budding drivers aged between 7 and 12 to reward the fair-play and team spirit of the youngsters taking part. Once the miniature racers (almost 100) set off on their parade lap their life-size counterparts in grid 1 (pre-war cars 1923-1939) were getting ready for the official start of the 7th Le Mans Classic. At 17h00, Sébastien Loeb lowered the French flag unleashing men and machines to tackle the 13,629 km Le Mans 24-Hours long circuit. The race for the six grids covering the periods from 1923 to 1979 got under way and continued until the next day. The parties in the paddock took on another dimension, and the crowd was invited to plunge into the heart of this retrospective of the greatest endurance race in the world.
Photographer Julien Mahiels documented the 2014 Le Mans Classic with the following selection of images that offer great insight into the look and feel of the ‘Behind the Scenes’ activities at the historic races held on Circuit de la Sarthe. We split up Julien’s 287 pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs. To see more from Julien, visit julienmahiels.net.
Le Mans Classic 2014 – Behind the Scenes Featured Photo Gallery
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