Andy Blackmore has made the 2015 Le Mans 24h spotter guide available for download well ahead of the event for those of you attending, watching remotely or marshaling the event to get familiarized with.
Andy’s spotter guides are my absolutely favorite, and even though I won’t be attending the event, I can’t help but recommend others to check out his work for themselves:
The level of detail is outstanding as usual, and here’s the breakdown what all that information means:
I don’t think one could truly substitute a race of Le Mans 24h magnitude. But one could certainly try.
Last year I wrote about trying to make a decision as to which European Endurance race I should marshal (click here: Which European endurance race do I pick?) I’m proud to say that the 24h of Nurburgring has materialized and 24h of Spa is within reach just over a month away. But Le Mans 24h, the race that Patrick Dempsey in a recent Jalopnik interview called the best endurance race in the world, has gotten away.
But I won’t despair. I’ve picked a few alternative races with the words: “Le Mans” in their titles a little closer to home. Among them are the Lone Star Le Mans at COTA in Texas and Petit Le Mans in Georgia at Road Atlanta. I also signed up for the Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen which is obviously at Watkins Glen in Upstate New York.
I have worked all of the races before and unlike the original classic in France where we work in shifts with plenty of downtime, I expect to work the entirety of each of the races for all of these events, cumulatively totaling more than the 24 hours of flat out racing. This is pretty exciting. There will be 6 hours of World Endurance Championship (WEC) at COTA supported by about 3 hours of IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSC), and 10 hours for the season finale IMSA TUSC at Road Atlanta. As well as 6 hours of IMSA TUSC at Watkins Glen International. 6+2:45+10+6=24h 45mins.
What do I expect to see at each of the races?
WEC on US soil is always a great sight. I hope the Nissan Nismo GT-R LMP1 car makes an appearance at COTA after it’s debut at Le Mans France. I also hope that Ford brings the latest Ford GT race car to Texas after it’s debut in France. I’m sure the fields of cars will be far smaller in the US as they will be in France, but whatever shows up will be a welcome sight.
What will I miss at Le Mans?
The Aston Martin historics race featuring GT1, GT2, GT3 and GT4 race cars of various vintage that have raced before at Le Mans and apparently some of the Nurburgring 24h specials.
McLaren is also celebrating it’s 25th anniversary and there was talk of McLaren race car parade featuring some rare gems from their illustrious racing history. I wish I could have seen that.
But for the price of doing one event I get to do three, and that makes me quite happy. I have now organized the conclusion to my racing season this year, and I’m proud of what events I have added to my resume as a marshal. The planning for 2016 season is well underway and I’m hoping that both Dubai 24h and Bathurst 12h materialize.
Greetings from the 82nd running of the 24 hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe in the beautiful French countryside two hours drive from Paris.
I mention Paris because we spent a beautiful two hour drive stuck in rush hour traffic trying to get out of the city on our way from Brussels with Pol. My Beligan friend that I met a year earlier at Le Mans was kind enough to offer me a ride from the airport and it was quite an adventure driving down. The trip normally takes about as much as I spent driving from New Jersey to Watkins Glen, just to put things in perspective. So all things considered Europeans are very lucky when it comes to motorsport with all the close proximity of amazing race tracks. Besides Le Mans we also visited Spa-Francochamps, Zolder and the Nordschleife at Nurburgring in Germany, but I will leave that for a follow up story.
This year Le Mans was amazing. Partly because I was much better prepared for it than the previous year. Partly also because I had managed my expectations and things went very smoothly and according to plan. The camping was great, the company was amazing, and we were very lucky again with several incidents taking place at our corner, including the Nissan ZEOD coming to a hault by us giving an opportunity to push something trackside.
One of my favorite moments however was getting some outstanding interviews done for Marshal Cam, where to my surprise quite a few people were willing to participate. And my Marshal Cam patches were quite a hit, so I’ll be sure to do that again in the future.
All in all fantastic trip, and the first stop on my European Road Trip that also included the 24 hours of Nurburgring.
The rebirth of a tradition: group photo. See if you can spot me?
It’s been a long while since I posted one of my exciting “accepted” letters, yet I’m thrilled to say that I have been accepted to volunteer the upcoming 24h of Nürburgring race. My first trip to the “ring”… and to actually volunteer on the Nordschleife I have no words to describe the feeling. I’m overwhelmed. Considering I will be driving there directly from my second stint at the 24 hours of Le Mans in France!
I must thank my dear friend Pol from Belgium for helping me organize this trip as I could not have even began to plan things without him. Truly thankful for his contribution to this dream. And I must also thank my good friend Superbunny for suggesting this event in the first place. I believe he mentioned it as we volunteered for the Petit Le Mans together in 2013 at the Road America circuit… or was it during the V8 Supercars at COTA in Texas. Can’t remember now but he put the bug in my head and I completely committed to it. The Ring or bust!
Thank you Pol, Chris, and to all the others that have contributed to this crazy hobby I have! None of this would be possible without helpful people in this small marshaling community. Danke! Merci!