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Motorsport Weekends - 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans - Saturday

Friday at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was quite a memorable one as we enjoyed meeting a host of drivers at the city parade, but what made it even more special was to meet F1 team personnel from past & present who had congregated to the town of Le Mans to enjoy their bit of endurance racing!

We met personnel from Cosworth, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, Ford and so many others in the trams, in the cafes and even in the bars! To rub shoulders with these heroes & hear their stories, no holds barred, made the trip worth it.

Eventually, we headed to bed to prepare ourselves for the marathon that beckoned us on Saturday.

Saturday morning arrived sooner than we expected and our day began at 7 am. After some coffee and croissants for breakfast, we headed out to the circuit, prepped and ready for the 24 hours of endurance!

Leaving for the circuit and taking the tram, which turned out to be a convenient conveyance :

Welcome to Circuit de la Sarthe! It was a 30-minute walk to the paddock from this entrance but it was well worth it!

Walking towards the paddock, also getting a chance to walk on the track tarmac ( which wasn't being used for the weekend of course) :

En route, we got to explore various fan experiences and stations erected by the organizers for the weekend!

The Manufacturers Village, an area consisting of makeshift pavilions created by the manufacturers competing in the WEC Championship :

NASCAR, Garage 56 featuring the winning team Hendrick Motorsports had a special entry at the Centenary Race of Le Mans, and was the star attraction in the Village :

The list of winners and our walk to the Paddock continued :

Finally, we reached where we needed to be!

The Ferrari Hospitality in the Paddock is quite a big area!

Lunch was almost ready and famished as we were, we went full send!

Post-lunch, I couldn't stop myself from running over and meeting some Ferrari superstars!

A moment with Pole Sitter Antonio Fuoco, Ferrari AF-Corse, Hypercar :

Exploring the vicinity of the Ferrari Hospitality and taking selfies too!

As the race start time neared, we had the opportunity to get onto the Grid! It would be my first grid walk ever and I wanted to enjoy every minute of it. We made our way to the grid through the garage and then the pit lane.

Helmets and gear are ready for the big race ahead!

Ferrari had a special guest for the weekend, Charles Leclerc! It was such an amazing feeling to see him up close and in a relaxed mood, not having to race but enjoying one as a spectator instead!

Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :

Walking through the pit lane as we make our way to the grid!

Moments on the actual tarmac, oh what a feeling!

Selfies on the Grid!

The grid walk is a busy place to be, and navigating through the crowd was an issue :

Cars from the grid walk, shot with the Sony RX10 IV :

Shots of the cars from the grid walk, taken with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra :

Some stills of the Ferrari Hypercars on the grid! The Ferraris secured a front-row lockout!

We made our way back to the Paddock and then decided to rush over to Casa Ferrari, the team hospitality at the penultimate turn to witness the race start.

The stands and balconies of various hospitality buildings were full as the fans waited for the Centenary Race to begin!

The Centenary Race is a go & we already got a Safety Car on the Opening Lap!

Video Link to the Race Start :

Video Link to the Safety Car Deployed :

Race Restart ( Shot with the Sony RX10 IV ) ( Video Link ) :

Video with the Samsung S23 Ultra :

Shots of the cars navigating the Ford Chicane while a Cadillac Hypercar has front body damage and enters the pits :

The Ferraris navigating the last corner of the circuit :

Video Link of the cars battling it out!

Some of the Shots of Casa Ferrari :

Pizza and Ice cream anyone?

A couple of hours into the race, we decided to walk back to the Paddock and relax in the Hospitality building.

We entered the building and I met a close friend of Kimi Raikkonen!

Le Mans winner and a close ally of Ferrari, Toni Vilander :

Enjoying some evening snacks on offer inside the Ferrari Paddock Hospitality :

Nice to see the signatures of all the personnel on some of the bodywork of the Ferrari Hypercar!

The hospitality was abuzz with activity as the drivers of the cars were either returning from their stint or getting ready for one. I had the privilege of meeting Nicklas after his opening stint in Car No. 50

WEC Champion and Driver for Car No. 50 for Ferrari - AF Corse, Nicklas Nielsen!

The sun hadn't set yet ( European Summers ) but it was time for dinner already!

Time for some dinner, healthy again!

Post dinner, we decided to head back to Casa Ferrari to enjoy the racing at night and also capture some memories of these beautiful racing cars.

Shots of the Paddock at night, as we make our way to Casa Ferrari :

A fireworks display to celebrate the Centenary Race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans :

The Fireworks Display ( Video Link ) :

Shots from Casa Ferrari, the cars and the drivers epitomizing endurance racing, as they battle all odds to race to supremacy, through the night!

The Ferrari 499P Hypercar relentlessly competing in the darkness :

The Safety Cars being put through their paces throughout the night :

Racing through the night ( Video Link ) :

Enjoying some Pasta, a midnight binge indeed!

We then walked back to the Paddock to spend some time and relax in the Ferrari Hospitality. 

More than half the distance and still going strong!

It had been a hectic Saturday which began early morning and tested the endurance and resolve of both our body and mind. Despite the inclement weather and the walking from the Paddock to Casa Ferrari and back, we were still feeling fresh and soldiered on into Sunday.

I also did a two-part Vlog Series about our Saturday Experience at the Circuit!

Part 1 :

Part 2 :

The Sunday Experience follows soon, but first, a big thank you to Ferrari for their Hospitality on Saturday and for giving us all-access to experience the Centenary Edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A truly special weekend was going to become even more special!

More to follow, so watch this space!