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Le Mans 24 Hours 2012, Jean-Marc Teissèdre and Christian Moity

Hardy Annual. 

Yep, it’s that time of year again, turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, Morecambe and Wise on the TV and the DSC Editor reviews his Christmas presents!

First up is the Le Mans 24 Hours yearbook, 2012’s edition is notable for the worst cover ever produced by this august publication, I’m sure it will have its fans somewhere, but they aren’t here! – a ratified rendering of a picture that probably wouldn’t have been the best choice anyway!  Major fail.

The Le Mans 24 Hours is often defined by two factors – The quality of the best head to head racing over the 24 hours, and the results of the biggest incidents during that race.

Let’s deal with the latter first – The HUGE accident between Guiseppe Perrazini and Anthony Davidson was as bad as they come, and was caught on live TV too – Compared to those images now seared into the consciousness of more or less everyone who watched the race the book falls short – Clearly they had no action pics of the shunt available so have come up with… a painting!  In fairness there are plenty of photographs of the immediate aftermath but this has to count as a miss.

An then there’s the incident which accounted for the Nissan DeltaWing, the moment of impact was fleeting and in a difficult place to photograph, but Satushi Motoyama’s efforts to recover the car to the pits were there for all to see for quite some time, a badly cropped single car shot is a poor representation of one of the real dramas of the race – That one has to go down in the “must do better” category.

There are though plenty of reminders of just what a troubled race Audi had on the way to an historic victory for the R18 e-tron Quattro, you have to look carefully to see just which damaged R18 was pictured each time!  Ingolstadt’s spares cache must have taken a hell of a dent!

As always with these books there’s a small cottage industry dedicated to spotting the inevitable errors that creep in to the text – I found one in seconds flat, and it jarred – Derek Bell is a British national treasure, a personal hero and a racing legend, What he isn’t is SIR Derek Bell (he should be but that’s a different story entirely!).

Another thing that jarred was more than a page of photos of the (not very well known) bands playing in the free concerts – I’m delighted the concerts happen but thought this marked a move gradually in the direction of ‘celebrity’ shots in the book – There are, for instance, too many pics of the ‘local’ TV and announcer faces – They aren’t the story guys, and this book should not be an avenue to boost their CV!

OK then that’s the Christmas grinchery dealt with – Aside from those moans and groans the book is as it should be, combining plenty of high quality shots (including several from the DSC ‘shooters’) with some of the ambience of this unique event. The text does its usual very capable job of memory jogging us through the sliongs and arrows of a packed week.

The print quality retains the recent return to form after a rocky year or two recently and the page layout is more than passable.

2012’s offering is NOT the best of recent years, but it is worth the outlay, I’d just like to see a step taken back to consider the book’s direction for 2013.

There are too some very good deals available at present that will put a copy on your shelf for rather less than the cover price.

Le Mans 24 Hours 2012 – Jean-Marc Teissèdre and Christian Moity
ISBN 978-2-7268-9681-5
49 Euros