Get ready for Le Mans Classic 2023. It belongs to the most exhilarating automotive spectacles of  2023. The place to be is of course the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe. And just as in the previous editions,  this historic endurance racing event promises to deliver heart-pounding action, nostalgic moments, and an unforgettable celebration of motorsport heritage.

As the sun sets on the picturesque French countryside, the Le Mans Classic will transport spectators and participants alike back in time, revisiting the golden era of endurance racing. From June  29th to July 2nd, the circuit will come alive with the roar of engines and the intoxicating smell of burning rubber, recreating the magic of the 24 Hours of Le Mans races of yesteryears.

Porsche Classic Le Mans Race

Claudio Roddaro - 1968 Porsche 908 LH - Porsche Classic Le Mans Race
Claudio Roddaro – 1968 Porsche 908 LH – Porsche Classic Le Mans Race – Le Mans Classic 2018

One of the key highlights of the Le Mans Classic is the breathtaking collection of vintage Porsches that grace the track. Porsche France and Peter Auto put together an exceptional grid made of more than 70 classic Porsches to compete on the legendary Le Mans circuit where the German manufacturer holds the historic record of 19 outright victories in the 24 Hours. This race will feature models ranging from the first 911s (1965), very close to the production models, to the latest 935 (1981). Thoroughbred race-cars like the Porsche 904 and Porsche 906 will join that party too.

6 Race grids

1953 Porsche 356 pre A and 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder ( 550-046)
1953 Porsche 356 pre A and 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder ( 550-046)

Immerse yourself in automotive history as iconic racing machines from the past take center stage once again. The 500, or so, racing cars are divided up into six grids, each of which corresponds to a particular period.  Priority is given to cars that have actually raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1923 and 1981. For each grid 10 reserve cars take part in the day and night-time practice sessions to be ready to fill a place left by the withdrawal or retirement of another car. A Le Mans-type start as used between 1925 and 1969 will be given for grids 1-2-3-4. From the timeless elegance of the Jaguar E-Type to the raw power of the Ford GT40, spectators will have the rare opportunity to witness these automotive legends in their natural element, battling it out for glory. 

Endurance Racing Legends and Group C

With the arrival of this grid, the event now covers the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours from 1923 to 2010! After a parade run in 2018, Global Endurance Legends is joining up with historic grids for a race with cars that young spectators go wild about GTs and prototypes from the 1990s and 2000s. This year, these two generations of cars will add spice to Le Mans Classic. The Group C regulations, in force between 1982 and 1993, led to the production of legendary cars that wrote some of the most glorious pages in Le Mans 24 Hours and the Sports Car World Endurance Championship history.

Paul - Andrew Higgins - Group C - Porsche 962 - Le Mans Classic 2018
Paul – Andrew Higgins – Group C – Porsche 962 – Le Mans Classic 2018

The heroes from back then

The Le Mans Classic not only pays tribute to the classic cars but also honors the racing legends who once piloted these magnificent machines. Throughout the event, famous drivers, both past and present, will be present, sharing their experiences and stories from the golden era of endurance racing. Get up close and personal with your motorsport heroes, as they reminisce about their epic battles on this historic circuit.

Le Mans Classic 2018 – Derek Bell

For those with a competitive spirit, the Le Mans Classic offers a unique opportunity to participate in the ultimate endurance racing challenge. The event features a range of grids, each representing a different era of Le Mans history, allowing passionate enthusiasts to take to the track and compete against like-minded individuals. From pre-war classics to more recent icons, drivers will push themselves and their machines to the limit, capturing the true essence of Le Mans endurance racing. Jürgen Barth for example will take the wheel of a Porsche 904 to push the pedal to the metal.

Off track atmosphere

Porsche Gulf truck in the village of Le Mans Classic in 2016

Off the track, the Le Mans Classic promises an immersive experience for fans of all ages. Explore the paddocks and witness the dedicated teams preparing these vintage marvels for battle. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as enthusiasts from around the world gather to celebrate their shared passion for motorsport.

Whether you’re a die-hard racing aficionado, a history buff, or simply seeking an unforgettable experience, the 2023 edition of the Le Mans Classic is an event not to be missed. Prepare to be transported back in time, where the spirit of endurance racing and the magic of Le Mans live on, forever etched in the annals of motorsport history.

Pictures courtesy Tim Havermans

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