23:30 – 14 June 2008.
I’m standing on a hill just beyond the forest outside the village limits of Arnage, France. One hundred feet in front of me, through the darkness, is a public road that’s been cordoned off for one of the world’s most prestigious car races, The 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Only eight hours into the twenty-four hour “sprint” race, drivers are pushing the limit despite pitch-black conditions.
In the distance, you can hear the sound of cars lapping the 8.467 mile circuit but of the fifty-plus cars on course, there is one car that reaches an octave that no other car can. It’s a V12 ratcheting up through the gears as the driver makes his way from the town of Mulsanne towards Arnage via public roads. Suddenly, what was pitch black, is now full of color as headlights light up the road beyond the trees.
The sound is deafening as the driver presses full-throttle to the braking point. Quickly, the noise of the engine is replaced by the shrill of carbon ceramic brake pads slowing the car to what is seemingly a crawl – the friction between the brake pad and disc produces so much heat that the rotors begin glowing a bright amber hue in the night.
Instantly, the driver lets off the brake, pushes the throttle and the V12 wales at full song, accelerating into the night as its exhaust note reverberates through the forest trees until its tail lights are out of sight.
Fifty-eight cars entered the 2008 24 Hours of LeMans but not a single car had the sound of the Lola Aston Martin. While the entire race soundtrack was incredible, there was nothing more enticing than hearing the high-pitched 6.0 litre V12 motor screaming by every three minutes and thirty seconds – the time it takes to lap the full circuit.
Watch and listen to more of the Lola Aston Martin here:
Side bar: Not only did the Lola Aston Martin have the best sound, the Gulf racing livery was on-point, as well. Learn more about the Gulf racing livery on Petrolicious.