This is my contribution to the Tuesday Photo Challenge – Number and in this case the number is 59 during the first weekend of April 1982.
That was the race number for Team Bike in their first World Endurance Championship race, a 24 hour motorcycle race at the historic Le Mans race track in France.
Number 59 makes a pit stop in the middle of the night. The bike is refueled and the oil level in the motor is checked while the riders discuss something and a French official uses a torch to watch the pit crew.
Number 59 enters the start/finish straight at around midnight. 9 hours into the race, 15 to go.
Number 59 makes a dawn pit stop. Tyres are being checked to decide if either will need to be changed on the next pit stop while being watched by multiple French officials.
This is my day four post for Becky’s January Squares: Light photo challenge.
A rider enters the start/finish straight at around midnight during the Le Mans 24 hour motorcycle race in 1982. Even in those days most endurance race bikes ran twin headlights but this machine is competing in the silhouette class where the race bike has to have the same silhouette as the production machine it’s based on. So a single headlight and only minor modifications allowed.
Nine hours down, fifteen to go.
This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is ‘The need for speed!!!’
Having shot a variety of motorsports for a couple of magazines in the 1980s I had a range of options in the archives.
However, once I started going through the archives there was an obvious pick. Motorcycle endurance racing was my favourite form of racing. So the pick is a long exposure of a bike entering the start/finish straight at night. Taken in 1982 at the Le Mans 24 hour race at around midnight if I recall correctly. Which meant that the rider, motorcycle and photographer were 9 hours in with 15 hours to go.
36 years ago this weekend I was in France for the 24 hour motorcycle endurance race. I was there to document a new British Endurance Racing team in their first race. I also helped out behind the scenes knowing both the riders and some of the pit crew.
This is Team Bike entering the start /finish straight at around 11 o’clock at night, 8 hours into the race. Or looking at it another way, only 16 more hours to go.
The bike leaves the pits after a night time pit stop.