We are really excited and honored to share this outstanding set of photos from designer, artist and photographer Jochen Paesen. He took a trip to the Le Mans Classic a couple weeks ago and has done a fantastic job of capturing the beauty of these timeless machines, and the intensity of the action. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and look forward to sharing more of Jochen’s work in the future.
As I set off on my 1100km drive from Munich I wonder whether my second trip to Le Mans within a month is going to be worth the journey but this thought vanishes as soon as I arrive, welcomed by the sound and sight of nighttime practice.
Le Mans Classic is a wonderful event with six ‘plateaus’ of cars ranging from the 1920’s through to the late 1970’s. There is something for everyone with elegant swift Bugatti’s gliding over the asphalt in category one right through to Porsches, Ferraris and prototypes tearing up that same asphalt in category six. The sound of 60 valuable collectors pieces thundering past the start finish line in each category is simply unforgettable.
As so often in Le Mans the drivers have to deal with intermittent weather throughout the weekend, where dry spells are continuously interrupted by rain. Being such a long circuit, the weather conditions can vary dramatically from one end of the track to the other and I cannot imagine a harder task than steering these unforgiving machines through a sudden downpour on slicks.
As night falls and the rain intensifies the tension and concentration is clearly visible on the faces of all racing drivers strapped in their cars but as soon as they are let loose none of them seem to know what slow means. Really electrifying stuff for driver as well as spectator!
Le Mans is not easy on photographers without accreditation as the catch fences are high almost wherever you go. Having visited the regular 24 Hours of Le Mans 23 times I know where to find that tree stump to stand on, climbable fence to lean over or ideal ladder position to dodge that fence while photographing. There are not many such places left but making good use of them where possible is all part of the game.
This event takes place every 2 years and July 2016 is marked in my diary already! Be sure to mark it in yours!
Action is not only guaranteed on track. With car clubs and enthusiasts coming in their own classic cars, parking lots and campsites look like open-air museums so be assured to take a stroll through them when you visit.
As the weekend comes to a close the sun comes out and I leave Le Mans behind me under bright blue skies. With my memory cards full of snaps and a huge grin on my face, it is time for the long journey home.
Jochen Pasen is a Creative Director at BMW check out his site www.JochenPaesen.com for more of his personal art and photography.