First of all let me start off with telling you that picture above is not my car, in fact, it's actually a Mazda Prototype that didn't have a good time during the Rolex 24 hour back in the beginning of 2016. Much like the prototype, my car was in the shop and I suppose going to the Rolex 24 hour was a good way to get my mind off of it.
Now I could go on about how I miss the car but there were many bright colors and loud noises ready to distract my senses with. When you get to the event and you walk in, hopefully with a backpack full of beers, there's a beautiful sight to behold. What your eyes feast on is a line up of the race car selection of the gods awaiting on the pit lane and access to the track and pits themselves. This line up features Prototype cars, GT cars, and some weird shaped thing called a Delta Wing.
A view of the Pin Lane before the the tacky yellow rope falls and let's us feed on their goodness.
Once the teams get set up enough to allow us commoners to come in and drool all over these exotic raw racing machines that's when the yellow rope comes down. Can you believe they let you get this close to these Carbon Fiber beast from makers such as Aston Martin, Lamborghini, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, and the very new Ford GT?
In addition to the amazing up close experience with these cars you can also shake hands and take pictures with their drivers. I was able to come across Rubens Barrichello whom you may have heard of from maybe a small thing called Formula one. R Barrichello raced for Wayne Taylor Racing in the Prototype class and their team scored 2nd.
Oh man, then race stars in a generous roar of angry engines and stressed rubber spinning on the tarmac. The very special thing about the Rolex 24 hours is...well simply said....it's a 24 hour race.
I think I had a car problem...was my car in the shop or something? I seem to have forgotten by now.
A good moment after watching the beginnings of the race, the natural tendency to wander about takes place. By taking a tunnel passage that makes you feel like you're going into some kind of select military base you quickly find yourself at the in-field. The in-field is celebration full of camp grounds, car displays, beer, liquor, food, and freebies. Did I mention Beer?
The in-field car culture is at full steam, with the symphony of V8, V12, and Flat 6 engines humming about as it's soundtrack. Live bands perform as well and car manufacturers show off their latest and greatest.
Once you get your fill of test driving cars, piloting simulators, and snagging up freebies the next best step is to step over to the pits and find yourself face to face with the race worn cars that are in need or repair.
After 30 minutes of watching a victory hungry team of mechanics work out the issues that brought in this Huracan is was ready to roll out. The Lamborghini cut through the curious crowd as if it was eating it's way through and just as hungry for that victory it's self.
Im jealous to see someone's car got fixed...well I guess I almost forgot about mine
By the time I returned to the grand stand, night racing as come to full effect. I believe night racing is where 24 hour races are truly won. The now tired cars and tired drivers battle it out in exciting overtakes that fury into the night. Brake rotors glow like a black smiths freshly smelted ore and the vibrant head lights seem like a blur as cars pass at triple digit speeds. The dramatic event is well worth staying up into twilight hours of the cool winter night.
Finally after breaking myself and turning in for a night's rest, the race still continues. Returning in the morning is such a culture shock to see all that happened the day and night before is still on going. As mentioned before this is truly a 24 hour race. What sporting event can you say that about? What is as intense and raw? I believe that the Rolex 24 hour race, or Le mans or any other kind of endurance race you can go to...just get to it and go! It's a perfect way to forget your worries and enjoy a festival that is purely raw in every way.