The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most fascinating and historic auto races across the entire sport. The race, held in the French town that bears its name, was founded in 1923. That makes it the oldest endurance race still being held. And yes, the duration of the race is a full, sustained 24 hours.
This year’s race began on June 10th and ended on the 14th, and Porsche emerged the victor. Tons of analysis about the race is ready for eager eyes to pour over, but something incredibly cool has popped up recently: the 24 hour marathon race has been condensed into two minutes. It makes sense that a shorter version should come up at some point. 24 hours is an incredibly long time, and you’d be hard pressed to find fans of any sport willing to forgo an entire days worth of productivity, sleep, and social obligations to devote that time to something they love (even parents have to sleep!). But two minutes? Now, that’s impressive.
So who’s the artist behind this miraculous optical feat? Camden Thrasher. And yes, that’s his real name. Thrasher is a racing enthusiast and self-taught photographer who seeks to ”capture the story and emotion of man and machine at speed in a still image”. He’s no stranger to Le Mans; he first attended in 2000. But his coverage of Team Audi presented an entirely new challenge.
While you may think that Thrasher was simply gliding along, taken shot after shot of Audi, it was much more intense than that. Though the race lasted 24 hours, Cameron was on the track for nearly 40. He also spent nearly a week preparing A huge portion of that was prep time– making sure all safety measures were in place, and practicing with coverage of the qualifying races.
When the race itself began, Thrasher went into full on artiste mode. He actually walked 19 miles during the first half of the race. When cars aren’t on the track and receiving pit stops, you may assume that he can catch a break. But you’d be assuming incorrectly. He made sure to capture images of the pit crews as they toiled in the garage.
Cameron’s four cameras places you right on the side of the action. 1,158 images later, the stop motion video instills you a sense of wonder and admiration for the bond between man and machine. Check out the video below: