Only a handful of weeks remain until the start of the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours. Sadly, the legendary endurance race takes place just a week before the Festival of Speed when GRR staff are more than a little busy preparing for our own little annual bash, which means that it’s a tricky one to attend. Not so the bi-annual Le Mans classic, which took place the weekend following the Festival of Speed and which we were delighted to be at last year.
Discussing the various rare and exotic machinery we witnessed hammering along the Mulsanne Straight led us to the subject of the fine piece of footage you see here; the Ferrari 512M. We’ve been honoured at FoS with the presence of these wonderful cars before, but of course weren’t able to see one being driven at Le Mans speeds. This footage, from the 2012 Le Mans Classic puts that right in fine style.
The 512M was of course the car immortalised on the silver screen as the key rival to Steve McQueen‘s John Wyer Automotive (Gulf Oil) Porsche 917 in the 1971 film Le Mans. In the actual 1971 race, reality reflected the outcome of the movie with Porsche taking the win, although the winning 917 bore Martini colours and the Ferraris finished many laps behind.
Back to 2012 and it looks like we’re taking part in a practice/qualifying session. There’s the odd tricky gear change, a yellow flag and some slower traffic (which is just about everything else out there) which temporarily halts the rapid progress of the Ferrari. Aside from that though, this is pure V12 music, and if the on-screen speedo’ is correct we’re in the 185mph/300kph region on a few occasions.
Either turn your speakers up, or get headphones …then turn those up, too!