On Parade: 60 Ferraris Lap Le Mans
Spectating at the Le Mans 24 Hours is a tremendously atmospheric experience but driving the circuit for yourself, in your own car, puts it into another league entirely. Once the roads are closed to traffic, it’s an emotional journey to accelerate down the glorious Mulsanne Straight, tackle the fast, sweeping Porsche Curves and cruise along the pit-straight past the towering grandstands.
Each year, Motor Racing Legends takes an invited group of cars for several parade laps of the full, 8.5-mile circuit, early on the Saturday morning of the Le Mans 24 Hours. For 2008, the Ferrari Owners’ Club put together a ‘grid’ of its members’ cars: more than 60 F40s and 355 Spiders, F430s and Challenge Stradales, 328 GTBs, 550 Maranellos and Enzos – a vast range of models from the Prancing Horse.
“There are very few people who get to drive the full circuit, with all the public roads closed, unless they’re actually racing there,” said Peter Everingham of the Ferrari Owners’ Club. “It’s a fantastic experience and a great privilege.”
Among the other Parade participants was none other than the great racing driver Jack Sears, at the wheel of his own Ferrari 328 GTS, which he bought new in 1989. “We had a wonderful few laps,” said Sears after the Parade, “a really flowing journey round the circuit.”
Next year, Motor Racing Legends will be throwing open the Heritage Parade to a much wider range of marques with a traditional link to Le Mans: Ferrari, Lagonda, Jaguar, Bentley, Austin-Healey, Riley, Morgan, Aston Martin and so on. It could be the perfect opportunity for your cherished classic to stretch its legs…
Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - Motor Racing Legends / Jeff Bloxham
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