Radiant sunshine, 135,000 spectators, 200 automobile clubs, 8,500 cars from 60 different brands, over 700 classic cars in competition, 1,000 drivers representing 30 different nations and including 10 winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, celebrations for the 70th anniversary of Porsche and the 40th anniversary of Alpine’s victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Artcurial Motorcars auction, as well as, the Le Mans Heritage Concours, which showcased 24 models that made history on this legendary track – The 2018 edition of the bi-annual Le Mans Classic, supported by Richard Mille, was an unquestionable success that has once again shattered previous records in terms of participation and attendance. It is an event that has not stopped growing since its creation in 2002.
In addition to the traditional grids representing Le Mans racing cars from 1923 to 1993, this year saw the introduction of the new demonstration grid Global Endurance Legends, showcasing the GT1s and LMP1s of the 1990s and 2000s. As a result, the event now showcases cars that participated up to 2016, legends such as the famous Audi R8, Bentley Speed 8, Peugeot 908 HDI, the McLaren F1 and Maserati MC12. The cars took to the track on Saturday at 4:00 pm and were flagged off jointly by Sébastien Loeb and Felipe Massa.
Automobiles were the stars of the show not only on the track but also in the paddocks, and in the Le Mans village. The hammer of Artcurial Motorcars fell to close bidding on a Mercedes Roadster 300 SL at €3.1 million, a record price. At the DPPI boutique, the public was invited to preview a new book, Car Racing 1965 – volume 1, which brings together a selection of photographs, captured on the road and track, from the renowned DPPI agency’s unpublished archives.
The Richard Mille pavilion featured a new watch, the highly sporty RM 11-03 Le Mans Classic. This limited edition of 150 pieces in white ceramic is equipped with the RMAC3 automatic calibre with a flyback chronograph.
Richard Mille also took this opportunity to invite a number of his friends and partners, such as Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, the future Formula E driver, Felipe Massa, WRX driver Sébastien Loeb and football player Didier Drogba, who gave the start for Little Big Mans; the race for children driving a hundred or so miniature replica cars.
The next ‘spirit of Le Mans’ is in two years, the 2020 edition, which will be the 10th for one of the world’s largest historic automobile events!