There is a true other Le Mans at the Le Mans 24 Hours, away from the race and the pit stops. Not many photographers ventured into The Village inside the circuit where throughout the long night during the race spectators find food, amusement and, today, even a hotel. These photographs were taken during the 24 Hours on the night of September 28, 1968.
Usually, the Le Mans race takes place in June, but in 1968 there were protests, riots and wildcat strikes in France in the late Spring which brought the entire country to a halt. As a result, the organizers at the Automobile Club de l’Ouest postponed the race to a new autumn date. But the crowds still turned out to see a battle between Ford and Posche which would decide the world sports car championship .
Even though the Championship was at stake, life in The Village continued all night, as many times before.
After the long night, Ford won the Championship after the John Wyer/Gulf Ford GT40 driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi narrowly defeated the Porsches which took second and third overall.
Photos by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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