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Photographer's Note

This photo is part of my theme: The 24, dedicated to the 24 hours of Le Mans. In this series I want to show my love for this event by means of photos and notes. This is part II: The Cars.

LMPs & GTs
In this endurance race, two type of race cars participate. First, the low and wide ultra streamlined cars called the Le Mans Prototypes (LMPs) like the Audi's and the Peugeots with 600, 700bhp and a top speed well over 330km/h. Second, the race cars that you can buy in the showroom. You cannot actually buy these because these are especially prepared for the race: better brakes, better suspension, big spoilers, diffusers, etc. These cars are called Grand Tourers (GTs) like the Porsches, Ferraris and Spykers which can reach 300km/h.

How does heaven sound?
The first thing you'll notice coming to the circuit is the sound. There is no silencer in the exhaust like in normal cars because that only restricts the flow from the engine. Some cars have a very low sound that you feel in your bones, other a very high pitched sound. The fastest cars do not make the most sound, these a relatively quiet. The yellow Corvette has an awesome sound! You can hear the sound of accelerating cars all the way from downtown Le Mans! The best moment of the weekend for me is the moment you're outside buying tickets and you hear the cars screaming. There is nothing better in life than *that* because you're just moments away from entering heaven.

Handling & braking
Second thing is the handling of the car. If you see the cars going thru the chicane for the first time, your mouth falls open. How is it possible to have that much grip? Where can you get those tires? The cars stay flat and it is unbelievable at first but that magic disappears after an hour or so. You get used to it. The next thing is the braking. The acceleration(sound) is cool but the braking is even more amazing. It looks like they have like 3x the braking capacity of normal cars. I love the shift back with those loud bangs *BOP*...*BOP*..........*POP*....*POPPAUUWW*. The speed is killed by the brakes and you see the burning brake disc thru the rims, it looks like it's on fire! Crazy stuff!

Outside Ninja's
The fans bring their own cars to the circuit. Walking thru the parking lot you'll see NSXs, 300ZXs, Skylines, Evolutions, Ferrari's, TVRs, MGs, Lambo's, Maserati's. Your dream cars will be there. It's all there. Everything. There is also a parking lot with all Kawa's. All green, lined up next to each other. Le Mans 24 hours is an amazing car showroom.


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Additional Photos by Gilbert Sopakuwa (startacked) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 422 W: 146 N: 344] (1341)
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