800 competing cars, 900 drivers, 9,200 club vehicles and 235,000 spectators: numbers that consolidate the Le Mans Classic’s position as the world’s largest classic car event.
Races kicked off by two Richard Mille partners: Rafael Nadal and Didier Drogba.
Presentation of the RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic watch dedicated to the 2023 event.
In a year devoted to celebrating the centenary of the Le Mans 24-hour race, this year’s Le Mans Classic embodied a passion for vintage motorsports like never before. The entire weekend dedicated to this 11th edition treated spectators to the visual and acoustic thrills of unique engines. 235,000 people – a record number – watched the sparring matches between vintage speedsters divided into six categories according to their age.
Many other races supplemented the programme, offering an opportunity for some legendary Group C cars to relive their former glory and for Porches to battle it out amongst themselves like in the heyday of endurance racing. The enthusiasm aroused by this historic year was also demonstrated by the presence of around 70 Bentleys on the track. The sight of these venerable British cars lined up in position along the pit straight before making an old-school ‘Le Mans style’ start was one of the highlights of this year’s event, as was the display of Lola T70s and Ford GT40s that reigned supreme in their category.
What other event enables you to admire true legends like the Porsche 917, the Ferrari 250 LM or the Alpine A442 in action all at the same time and place, alongside curiosities such as the aptly named 1950 Cadillac Monster, the 1968 Howmet powered by a helicopter turbine or the 1976 Ford Gran Torino straight from Nascar? While a few showers occasionally spiced up the competition on the track, the heavens were kind enough to allow the event’s sporting and spectator success to unfold unhampered after tennis icon Rafael Nadal, accompanied by football legend Didier Drogba – both friends of Richard Mille – kicked off proceedings.
A faithful partner of the Le Mans Classic since it began in 2002, Richard Mille was keen to pay tribute to this wonderful event by revealing a particularly spectacular model this year adorned in the colours of this historical event.
Released as a limited edition of just 150 timepieces, this new RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic boasts a sporty look. Fashioned in green and white Quartz TPT®, the watch showcases a dial with multiple indicators. Visible through the transparent case back, its self-winding skeleton movement notably includes a flyback chronograph function, a first for an in-house calibre which stands out for its patented coupling system featuring two oscillating pinions and offering optimal performance.
Highlighted in red, the number 16 on the hour counter is, of course, a nod to the traditional start time of the legendary Le Mans race.
Spectators will have to wait another two years before witnessing the start of the next Le Mans Classic, which has become the world’s largest gathering of vintage cars and an unmissable event in the classic car racing calendar. See you there in 2025!