As the weekend of the original 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours approaches, 13-14 June, we take a look back at some of the events that took place during the race week in 2019. Had things been running normally in 2020, we would have been on the ground at Le Mans this week, firmly ensconced in the Media Centre and capturing all the pre-race action, practice, qualifying and all the other events leading up to race day.
But because there are so many racing enthusiasts around the world disappointed at the lack of racing at present, we thought we would bring you a look behind the scenes and some of our memories from the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. You can visit our website for a full report on last year’s race here.
So, let’s reminisce a little about the 2019 Le Mans race week…
2020 Le Mans 24 Hours
Although we have been given a revised date of 19-20 September for the running of this year’s 24-hour race, it is not a simple case of just shifting the date. In September, the cars will run for longer in the dark than they would do in June, and the weather will be decidedly different. It might also be a possibility that the race will take place without spectators, or will it take place at all?
This year’s race will be different, that much we know for sure. The Covid-19 pandemic will have affected many of the usual racegoers in more ways than one as the race will now take place at a time outside of the traditional summer holiday time. Added to this is the fact that many folk will be furloughed and perhaps with income down, Le Mans may be beyond their reach right now.
Added to this situation is the fact that drivers have had no time behind the wheel of a race car for the duration of the lockdown. Racing drivers rely on quick reflexes and a full racing programme during the season, and that means regular time in the car. If racing resumes just before the big one in September, there will be precious little time in which to sharpen their skills to be ready for the final race of the 2019/2020 season. However, the #LeMans24Virtual might go some of the way to help drivers prepare for the race.
Porsche Road & Race can confirm, after discussions with the motorsport press department, that Porsche will be fielding just two 911 RSRs at this year’s Le Mans race. The two factory cars #91 and #92 will be starting at Le Mans, while the two CORE Autosport #93 and #94 cars will not be participating as originally planned as they will be racing in the IMSA series in the USA.
What the fans really enjoy about an event like Le Mans, is that they can get up close to the drivers and the cars but this will possibly be something that could be missing at this year’s race. There is a lot that is unknown this year, and we expect that the ACO will make an announcement in the middle of July about crowd attendance, but we can only hope that this great race will return to some form of normality in future years.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale