Chip Ganassi  Interview

I was introduced to Chip Ganassi, who has one hell of a job to do. His prime responsibility is to get the drivers performing at their utmost best. Chip is the most laid-back guy I have met under so much pressure. Chip for me is everything opposite to Le Mans 24 Hour. Chip explains that experience has taught him to remain calm at all times.

Listen to Chip talk about his relationship towards FORD Performance and his philosophy regarding Le Mans 24 Hour racing.

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell ExperienceLe Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

FORD VIP Hospitality

Over the four days, I had exclusive accesses to watching the race and also meeting iconic Ford representatives. I have never been to Le Mans 24 Hour, so I was impressed that Ford Performance had three exclusive locations for me to be able to appreciate and experience this extreme event.

The first location was, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Drivers Team Unit, this is where my interviews took place. I had a nice healthy breakfast here and it was great seeing all the crowds go by.

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

The second location is the Ford VIP Hospitality Unit At Raccordement. This is where I ate and had a prime view of the circuit. It’s also where I met 1967 winner AJ Foyet. What a privilege to be able to meet and ask a few questions with AJ. Who is AJ and does he miss racing at the age of 85 years old? Listen to what he has to say.

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell ExperienceLe Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell ExperienceLe Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Ford Performance Pit Suite is where I could observe the Ford Performance team and the FORD GT’s coming into the Pit Suite. It was brilliant to watch and it was where all the action took place regarding the racing.

 

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell ExperienceLe Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell ExperienceLe Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Start Of The 85th Le Mans 24 Hours

Around 350,000 fans turn up for Le Mans 24 Hours, the traffic coming into Le Mans 24 Hours is brilliant to watch and it varies from, helicopters, private jets, supercars, buses, bikes and people walking from the tram. The campsites are in full swing with interesting cultures of its own. This year it was all about fans placing unique messages on their cars and supercars. I couldn’t believe how many Ferraris I saw parked next to the tents. The fans explained to me that the camping challenge is all about been able to stay up all night due to the noise of the racing cars.

What a great way to start the day by having breakfast and observing the Le Mans 24 Hours warm- up on the track. I loved the tyre parade which really showed how much these are used at this event.

I was told that during the race that the amount of tyres used during a race is 15 sets at $3000 a pop. That is a grand total of $180,00 worth of slicks per car. I also witnessed the tyres are kept in an unbelievable hot temperature and are grabbed at the very last minute before being placed on the Ford GT.

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell ExperienceLe Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Can you imagine driving non stop at top speed for 24 hours? Can you even fathom why a human being would want to even do it? Can you comprehend the emotions, the physical endurance let alone the mental capacity that is needed to sustain such a performance, let alone a win? These guys are what I now define as the modern-day gladiators on wheels.

You can listen to all the interviews I did the day before the race.

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Grid Walk/Pass Pitwalk

Thanks to Serengeti Eyewear, I had the opportunity to be able to walk on the track and peep into each competitors garage. This is a great experience and one I would encourage you to do to appreciate what is involved in creating such an iconic event. I was fortunate enough to speak to one of the drivers from Ford just before the race. I was shocked to hear what he was about to do before the race?

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

I took these shots just one hour before the race began. I can’t believe how calm the drivers are.

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Panoramic 24

This was just awesome and due to Serengeti Eyewear, I had an extra viewing point called the Panoramic 24. This was the best view, regarding the start, as I experienced this mythical race from the very heart of the event. The Panoramic 24 is new and exclusive ACO Official Hospitality lounge. The massive glass screen absorbed the noise, so a real luxury for those that are not entirely into motorsports. The hospitality, the food, drinks and seats were excellent. The live music, later in the day was great too, it changed the atmosphere from day into night. This is luxury at its best for Le Mans 24 Hour. It was also wonderful for me, because I could observe Ford Performance from another angle. I could switch from the Panoramic 24, to the Pit Suite anytime I wanted too. I had 24 hours to enjoy it.

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell ExperienceLe Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

The Media Centre & The Podium

Serengeti Eyewear took me on a tour before the race to see where all the media hang out. I loved this so I could observe my competition effectively and realised there was no way I could compete regarding media coverage. I was up against almost 3000, dedicated media who represent Le Mans 24 Hour. So from the onset, I knew I had to run my own media race and capture iconic moments that no one else did.

In the media centre, it was great to see another viewing point of where the drivers were racing. I loved seeing the podium and pondered who was going to end up there. Ford all the way was my moto. Ford’s hashtag was #GoLikeHell and it suited me to a tea.

I had the same philosophy regarding me as a spectator and a social media super Queen. It was thrilling sending out tweets in real-time.

The unique aspect about Le Mans 24, is that the atmosphere just keeps building as the hours pass by.  

Le Mans 24 Hour – Ford Performance GoLikeHell Experience

The No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Andy Priaulx (GB), Harry Tincknell (GB), and Pipo Derani (BRA) grabbed the runner-up spot in the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours at the end of the final lap.

2 of 3