What: 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans)
Where: Le Mans, France
Who: The Automobile Club de l’Ouest
When: June 14-15, 2014
It was the 82nd running of LeMans, as organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) since 1923. The race was the third round and the premier event of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, with half of the race’s fifty-five entries contesting the championship.
The race was won by the No. 2 Audi driven by Swiss Marcel Fässler, German André Lotterer, and Frenchman Benoît Tréluyer, who previously won Le Mans as a trio in 2011 and 2012. The victory was Audi’s thirteenth since the company debuted at the race in 1999. The Audi team took the lead after the No. 7 Toyota came to a stop after leading half the race distance, but were challenged by Porsche when two Audis required turbocharger replacements. The No. 1 Audi finished in second place, three laps behind the race winners, while the No. 8 Toyota recovered from an accident in the first hour to finish in third. The LMP1-L category was won by the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Rebellion-Toyota of Nick Heidfeld, Mathias Beche, and Nicolas Prost, the sole finisher in the class. The LMP2 class finished with the Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan of Simon Dolan, Oliver Turvey, and Harry Tincknell ahead of the TDS Racing Ligier-Nissan by less than a lap’s distance. The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari won the LMGTE Pro category with drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Toni Vilander, while the LMGTE Am category was won by Aston Martin Racing’s trio of Danish drivers: David Heinemeier Hansson, Kristian Poulsen, and Nicki Thiim. Approximately 263,000 spectators attended the event, the largest crowd since 1989.
Okay, those were the facts as anyone could look up on Wikipedia or just about any other website, just like I did. Why ? United Airlines left me stranded in Washington DC with a broke down 767 and was unable to get me to LeMans before the end of the race. They did put me up in a very nice hotel after I spent hours and hours in the airport and standing in lines to be rebooked. I’ve traveled for a living in the past, so you would think I would learn not to trust an airline, especially United, but no, I took them at their word that I would be there even a day early for the race.
What I spent weeks planning and thousands of dollars investing in; United Airlines was able to dismantle in two short days. There were electrical problems on the plane when we left Houston; we were delayed for mechanical issues and when we were flying to DC no one’s overhead lights worked. So, instead of fixing the problem at their major hub, they moved it to DC and stranded hundreds of passengers.
Anyways, I’ll get over it, but I don’t have any pictures or personal experiences to share with you. Maybe next year I’ll try American Airlines.
Here is a picture of my Audi TT in celebration of Audi’s victory anyways….
Le Mans facts:
Location: Le Mans (France)
Track Length: 13.629 km (8.469 mi)
Race Distance: 24 Hours
Longest Distance Covered: 3315 miles
Closest Train Station: Gare de le Mans (7 KM)
Closest Airport Marce: International Airport (78 km)
Closest Main Road: E502