Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

Practice for the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place this week. 200-mph racing cars set loose in the French countryside? Ford GT? Aw heck, mes amis, you had us at bonjour.

The #61 Matech Competition Ford GT, driven by the all female team of Natacha Gachgang, Rahal Frey and Cynde Alleman of Switzerland. Old shape, old colors, old track, still excellent.



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Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

Thomas Erdos of England drives the # 25 RML Lola leading Franck Montagny of France driving the # 2 Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908. Public roads, people. Le Mans is the name of a town; a good chunk of the race's competition surface, including the hallowed, 200-plus-mph Mulsanne Straight, is composed of closed-off public highways. (Note the backwards traffic arrows in this shot.) Nuts.



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Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

Nigel Mansell, former Formula 1 champion and driver of the # 5 Beechdean Mansell Ginetta Zytek prototype, chats in the pits. Those eyes speak volumes.



Photo Credit: Rick Dole/Getty Images

Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

David Brabham of Australia jumps from the #26 Highcroft Racing HPD ARX1 during pitstop practice.



Photo Credit: Darrell Ingham/Getty Images

Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

Track workers line up and wave the green flag to the course car before practice to indicate the track is ready to go hot.



Photo Credit: Darrell Ingham/Getty Images

Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

GAH! SO MANY COLORS! (Andy Priaulx of Great Britain drives the #79 BMW Motorsport BMW M3 painted by artist Jeff Koons.)



Photo Credit: Darrel Ingham/Getty Images

Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

Benoit Treluyer of France drives the #8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15.



Photo Credit: Darrel Ingham/Getty Images

Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

The #4 Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 driven by Olivier Panis, Nicolas Lapierre and Loic Duval.



Photo Credit: Darrel Ingham/Getty Images

Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

Legendary BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen sitting in the pits during practice. Mustaches, determination, big headsets: German racing in a nutshell.



Photo Credit: Rick Dole/Getty Images

Ten Awesome Photos From 24 Hours Of Le Mans Practice

Allan McNish of Britain drives the #7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 under the track's iconic Dunlop pedestrian bridge.



Photo Credit: Darrel Ingham/Getty Images