So if there is anything to be said about attending what is one of the world’s most storied races in the 24 Heures Du Mans it is simply that endurance is truly the name of the game. After an incredibly long flight, several train rides, a taxi ride, and a great deal of walking, you finally arrive at Circuit de la Sarthe a bit thirsty, a bit off, and wondering just who the hell speaks enough English to tell you where exactly you are supposed to pickup your credentials and photo vest. After figuring all of this out you have to prepare yourself both mentally and physically for what is one of the toughest assignments in all of motorsports. To that end there was also the small amount of gear to lug around, namely the five thousand pound Canon EF 400 2.8L IS with a tiny 1-series body hanging off the end.
But enough bitching and complaining – the images to come away with are perhaps some of my favorite of all time, and it is an experience I will never forget. For all those fans who are currently watching the race on the tele, I encourage you to somehow someway get your ass all the way to France, ride the ferris wheel, enjoy the race, and stay up for the entire duration too. The Le Mans experience is truly one of a kind.
The pit stops at Lemans are carried out to a fine degree of perfection. The sheer energy and buzz before, during, and after the car arrives is something you cannot feel on television.
As the race went into the night most of the available light had diminished to the point where you almost felt bad about flashing the drivers as they sped past the start/finish line.
As the sun gave just a touch of morning glow to the latter hours of the race, clouds moved in and the light rain really mixed things up. Luckily the 1D Mark II and 400 2.8L IS are completely weather sealed and I continued shooting through the rain. By the time I had finished shooting both the body and the lens were completely soaked, but still in 100% working condition. On the other hand, I was dripping wet, exhausted, and still had to try to lug the gear back to the paddock area to shoot the end of the race and the podium finish. As a tip for any potential Le Mans shooters out there – buy, borrow, beg, or steal a golf cart. Your body will thank you later!