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Press Release CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Great to See Everyone Again!


Well-known member
Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition

Fan activities such as open pit walk, autograph sessions, drivers’ parade

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Great to See Everyone Again!
Fan activities such as open pit walk, autograph sessions, drivers’ parade

LE MANS, France (June 6, 2022) – For the first time since 2019, the 24 Hours
of Le Mans is fully open to spectators with popular activities such as
public scrutineering, pit walks, autograph sessions and the parade of
drivers returning to the event.

With these and other fan engagements returning, Le Mans is bound to attract
a significant number of new spectators – many of whom will go into the event
wide-eyed and somewhat overwhelmed by the scope and amount of things to do.

The six drivers from Corvette Racing can help, however. Each has their own
perspective on the reopening of the event and recommendations for newcomers
to the 24 Hours…

to Le Mans with fans being here this year is something we all wanted.
Obviously it’s one of the biggest races of the year. Missing a large portion
of the fans last year was very unusual for everybody. So it’s great to see
them all back at Le Mans.”

Recommendations for first-time fans at Le Mans: “I only have the driver’s
view of Le Mans, other than 2015 (the No. 63 Corvette didn’t start). I
walked around the track a little bit on Saturday but that was it. The amount
of opportunities where you see interactions between fans and drivers are
huge. I’ve never seen longer autograph sessions than what you have at Le
Mans. That’s on top of scrutineering where you are signing all the time and
seeing people everywhere. Those are two of the good things. So scrutineering
downtown and the autograph session before practice… then there are the pit
walks where you can see the whole team working on the cars. This year is
back to normal, which will be great. As a race fan, I will definitely do the
experience more than once after I retire in some years!”

time going, events like the autograph session, scrutineering and the parade
were huge events around the race itself. As a kid watching from America, you’d
get online and look at the pictures from those things and wonder what it
would be like in person. When you’re there, you understand the magnitude of
the event and how special it is… not just for motorsport but for the city
and how everyone embraces it. Not being able to connect with fans as much as
we have in the past was tough. But it’s nice to get back to that normal and
makes all the traditions come full-circle.

Recommendations for first-time fans at Le Mans: “I think you have to do the
parade. That’s where you get the energy of the whole city that embraces the
event. You see how massive it is and all the traditions that go with it. At
the race itself, somehow getting around most of the track gives the
perspective of how big the circuit is in itself. It reminds you of the
history of the event and guys going around with tiny seatbelts, basically no
headlights and things like that. You can get an idea of how crazy it is when
you go down Mulsanne and there are no lights or anything. Think about what
those guys in the 60s and 70s were doing at 220 mph and old-style
headlights. You feel so alone out there. It’s something you don’t see
anywhere else in the world.”

parade and public scrutineering back is big. Drivers always joke that there
are some sides of it which give us more work and more time to be away from
where we want to be on track. But I think we all love it. The Le Mans parade
is a parade unlike anything else. You go through the city with so much
history and so many great fans. Of course Jordan will steal the show so I
can’t wait to be next to him and watching him do what he does with the fans.
And what would our sport and Le Mans be without fans? So I’m super happy
that Le Mans is going to be back to normal in a way and we can all enjoy the
massive amount of fans that are down there. Le Mans and Nürburgring 24 are
events that driven by the fans being there, and we’ve missed that the last
couple of years. I can’t wait.”

Recommendations for first-time fans at Le Mans: “I’d do the parade. You also
have these little streets around Arnage and in some of the small towns that
are just full of fans eating food and drinking beer. The atmosphere is so,
so cool even though you are half-a-kilometer from the track. That is
something I really like about Le Mans. You can see the whole area is
breathing the event for that week. So I would soak up some of that. At the
track, I would recommend that my friends just go walk. Go for a huge hike
and leave for a couple of hours. Go around the track and to spots where it
might not be so crowded. You can really see the crazy speed differences and
approaching speeds into the corners. You get to see the event from a
different point of view than just sitting around in a hospitality room
looking at a TV screen. That’s definitely something I would do.”

deal for the race and all the fans, sponsors and competitors to get back to
normal. While the last two years with the world situation as it is, the
bare-bones required people have been there to make the event happen. What
makes the event special, as we see with any marquee sporting event, is the
atmosphere and ambiance. It’s all the extra stuff and energies that come
together and make these events as special as they are. When you don’t have
all those ingredients, there definitely is a different feel to the race. We
had some fans last year, which was great. It adds to the event and makes it
feel as special as the race always has been. We’re all looking forward to
getting to back to a normal Le Mans.”

Recommendations for first-time fans at Le Mans: “I’ve never experienced
things from the fan side, but there are some awesome things around the
event. The parade is always great. The fans look like they’re always having
a great time. Some may enjoy just sitting back, having a beer and enjoying
the atmosphere that way. The best thing I’d tell someone is to find another
fan who has been there multiple times and ask their opinion on what their
favorite thing to do on the weekend, where to go, where to watch the race.
You’ll definitely get different opinions the more you talk to people. When I
do have friends that come to the track, I can show them the cars up close
and talk to them what we experience as drivers. But the best advice I can
give anyone is to find and talk with other fans. I’ve always found sports
car fans to be super approachable. They’re all obviously knowledgeable and
very much fans of the race. Even at big events like Le Mans, you have people
there that understand what’s happening in the race and have a good
perspective on how best to enjoy themselves.”

Le Mans to other sporting events I’ve been to, Le Mans is one of the top
ones in the world. It’s been different the last couple of years. Yes, we are
a racing team and we go to concentrate on our racing. That’s what we’ve
focused on the last couple of years. When I first went to Le Mans, I wasn’t
prepared for the scale and amount of people that watch and follow it. People
make a holiday out of it. It’s just incredible. For our sport as a whole, it’s
great that we have our showpiece back in its normal slot, back open and back
where people can see the cars during scrutineering in the city. I’ve not
seen a lot of friends and family that are always in the same spots for the
driver parade each year. That’s part of the week. It’s great for everyone
that we’re back to how it should be. I hope it goes smoothly so everyone can
enjoy what we’re doing.”

Recommendations for first-time fans at Le Mans: “Learning from other people’s
experiences from the times they’ve been there is helpful. When you’re open
to moving around, that’s ideal. I know people who have made friends in
France that are now life-long friends back in the UK. They don’t live near
each other but they meet at places like this and have similar vested
interests. People go there for the social side of it, meeting and talking
and sharing the same passions is just as much of a draw as seeing the cars,
the drivers and action on-track. One of the draws of a 24-hour race is that
you don’t have to sit there for an hour-and-a-half to follow it. You can dip
in and out. You can go around to different parts of the track. You can go
and have dinner in one village and then have breakfast in another to meet
other people to get involved with what’s going on. I’ve always said that if
I wasn’t driving at Le Mans, I’d definitely go there with friends to have a
good time and enjoy the event.”

this is what Le Mans is about. The size of the event is enormous. I’ll
always remember the first Le Mans I did, I had been in single-seaters to
that point and was around Formula One. I knew of Le Mans but it wasn’t until
I went there and realized the scale of the event and how it completely
surpassed any F1 weekend I had been to. It’s still the same with the times I’ve
been to Le Mans. Even last year with limited fans, you still had the
sensation of it being an awesome event with loads of people that are coming
from around Europe and across the world. Having done the drivers’ parade, it’s
just madness! Fans are standing five- and six-people deep during the parade
and well before it! It’s bonkers and you realize how big an event this is.
To be a part of that is really cool and an amazing experience of life, much
less in motorsport. It’s unrivaled.”

Recommendations for first-time fans at Le Mans: “The things that stand out
are the driver parade in town… and I’ve never done it, but my wife has
ridden the Ferris wheel. She went up at night and said it was really cool
seeing the cars buzz around underneath you. It really gives you a sense of
the enormity of the occasion. Those are two really cool things to do to soak
up some of the atmosphere of Le Mans.”

Ryan Smith

Judy Kouba Dominick


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