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  • Writer's pictureTereza Černá

How is attending 24H of Le Mans as a journalist for the first time?


Thanks to my work for True Racing CZ I got the most incredible opportunity of my career so far: to attend the 24 hours of Le Mans as an accredited journalist.
 

To put it, it was a very tough week for me but chasing your dream is never easy. I got the confirmation email about my journalist accreditation only 2 weeks before the event (which is the standard for all races, everywhere), however I didn’t expect to get it so I was positively surprised to read this email. Immediately I started planning what turned out to be one of the toughest yet most amazing motorsport trips of my life and career.


I am only 18, so a lot of the parts of the trip were completely new to me. I never flew on my own, yet alone traveled to a foreign country completely by myself. As I am pre writing this article now (on the Monday 12th June, only a day after LM), I am still sitting on the floor at the Charles de Gaulle airport waiting for my returning flight to Prague, still completely overwhelmed by the amazing experiences I have gathered at the Le Mans centenary - reflecting as I go.


I arrived in Le Mans on Wednesday evening and after checking into my accommodation I went to pick up my pass. This was the second race in my life as an accredited journalist (first being ADAC GT Masters at Lausitzring in 2022) so I was very excited. After I went on a little stroll around the paddock before coming back to the accommodation, work started the next day.


Going through the details of my work is boring - I think - so I shall spare you the details. I had a desk at the media center and was reporting on the action on the track. I did a few interviews and attended many press conferences. The most notable interview that you should definitely look out for is an interview I managed to get with the Ferrari F1 team boss - Fred Vasseur, who very kindly agreed to answer some of my questions.


Besides my work I got to do a lot of exploring and it was beautiful. All factory manufacturers had strands with models of their hypercars displayed and there were a lot of cool places to see and events to go to, besides watching the race.


An event that I attended that deserves to be mentioned was the FIA Women in Motorsport networking event that took place on Thursday morning. Many different women attended with their working positions ranging and it was extremely insightful and later on even helped me with some things which made my experience all so much better. I met incredible women from Aston Martin F1 aerodynamicists to PR managers and racing drivers.


From specific experiences that deserve to be mentioned was my 2 am nap on the floor of the media center under my desk with my backpack under my head. Very uncomfortable but a power nap that was very much needed and my the rest of the Le Mans race experience so much better. I was not the only one who took a nap under the table during the race and I feel like that was the sole moment when I felt like I belonged there, that I wasn't an imposter in the media center.


Another one would be when I met the girls who run Parc Ferme (motorsport clothing/photography lifestyle brand), who were very very nice and encouraging. Females who support other females in male dominated fields, such as motorsport, are a blessing and I always enjoy meeting them. It means a lot, so don’t be afraid to approach your favorite female motorsport people, it pays off (as i did with the lovely Parc Ferme ladies). This supportive conversation made me feel more comfortable with my work and with my position at Le Mans.


There are so many more things that I could talk about from this weekend but that would be a novel. For those of you who watched the race, I hope you enjoyed it and for those who didn’t, consider giving endurance racing a chance.




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