As They Say, a Picture Paints a Thousand Words
Originally written 10th Feb 2017
Earlier today I saw a really cool concept shared on Twitter. Shea Serrano had a Getty photo of LeBron James’ clutch shot from Monday’s Cavaliers/Wizards NBA game. He then proceeded to break down the image and write exactly 1000 words about it (you can read his article here: https://theringer.com/this-photo-of-lebrons-game-winner-is-worth-a-thousand-words-1c0652ce0a6b#.qhcw6oir0).
This is a hugely interesting concept, as not only do you get to analyse the image, but you have to really hone your writing skills to make the comment exactly 1000 words. So I thought I’d give it a go – mainly to challenge myself. For my piece, I’ve chosen a photo that makes me smile and should break down easily enough to write about (thanks to Spacesuit Media for this shot.)
Now I’m no journalist or professional writer, nor are my Photoshop skills anything to write home about, so this will probably be a bit rubbish, but I’ll give it a go! Here we go, 1000 words starting now:
The Man Himself
If you’re into motorsport, (or even if you’re not) you’ve most likely heard the Senna name. Be it Ayrton or Bruno, the iconic surname is branded into every racefan’s brain.
This motorsport moment features the latter Senna, Bruno. In 2016, he secured himself a seat in the FIA World Endurance Championship, racing with RGR Sport by Morand. Being a full season entry in WEC automatically gave the Mexican outfit a grid spot at one of the endurance calendar’s best loved races – the 24 Heures du Mans. So you can understand why he’s smiling. The Le Mans race is essentially a weeklong celebration of all things endurance racing and here you can see Bruno enjoying the driver’s parade which goes through the town of Le Mans itself. Armed with a Sharpie and ‘hero cards’, a driver is ready for any autograph or photo opportunity that comes their way – even if they’re dressed as silly English K-nig-hts.
The 84th running of the race was Bruno’s first time competing in a prototype since driving an Oreca in 2009. And while the rest of the world was busy focusing on the tragic end to Toyota’s epic race, the RGR squad were putting in a top-ten finish. Senna, alongside Filipe Alburquerque and Ricardo Gonzalez finished 15th overall but that’s 10th in class. You might say ‘that’s not that impressive’ but remember that the 24 hours is a tricky beast to tame, and though Bruno had previously driven Le Mans on three separate occasions he only managed to finish once. That 10th place is looking better now eh? Especially when you consider the sheer talent in the LMP2 field. 23 cars, over 60 drivers and 10 former Le Mans winners. As it happens, Signatech Alpine team found the perfect combination of talent, determination and luck and crossed the line first in class. Congrats to Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi.
Knights of the Realm
This isn’t something you see every day. A bunch of grown men dressed in silly costumes? You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a student night out somewhere. It is however, just another day in Le Mans build-up week. Where nutters from all over the world (I am happy to count myself as one of them) come together to make up a weird and wonderful crowd.
There’s varying levels of commitment in this bunch – I am thoroughly impressed by the guy at the back who’s gone and got a helmet and everything. In contrast, his mate on the left who seemingly thought that nobody would notice if he just used the hood from his jacket. Come on man, you won’t be finding the holy grail looking like that. Though he does seem to have a strange, grey growth coming out of his shoulder – I got confused trying to work out whose sword that was. Don’t you just love the mind tricks that photos can play?
Let’s talk about the guy on the left for a minute. He might be taking his role a little too seriously. Everyone else looks happy and like they’re having fun. That guy looks like he’s stumbled straight out of an action movie via a Monty Python prop cupboard. It’s a very Vinnie Jones face. Does Vinnie like endurance racing? Has he ever been to Le Mans? Would someone go ask him please?
The Clearly Happy French(?) Man
When I say the words ‘Typical French Man’, what images spring to mind? If you said beret, striped shirt, red scarf and oodles of onions, clearly you’re not alone in your thinking. Whoever this man is, I applaud him for sticking to his French stereotype – it’s good for some amusement for the rest of us. The only thing he’s missing is a cigarette and maybe a twiddly moustache, but 10 out of 10 for effort.
The Manor flag sported by his largely obscured friend is a nice touch too. Well done to you if you spot him – I pretty much missed the guy completely. FYI it was a couple of onions that gave him away!
One Man Rebellion
Maybe he’s a Senna fan? Perhaps he missed the memo from his friends about being Knights? Or maybe he just wanted to get involved in the moment.
You can almost hear the noise he’s making just from his facial expression – that ‘wheeeyyyy’ sort of noise that has become synonymous with lads everywhere. This guy supports Rebellion and he’s going to do it in the manliest way he knows how. Go on my son.
‘I don’t know what’s going on but it looks hilarious’
I imagine myself having this face a lot.
That look when you see something utterly daft and you can’t help but smile (a smile mixed with a little bit of wtf, but a smile nonetheless.) And who wouldn’t chuckle at the scene occurring on this man’s right? A bunch of men dressed as knights posing with an incredibly smiley man in a onesie? It’s certainly enough to make me giggle.
Let’s take a step back…
For me, this image captures some of the many things about Le Mans that I love. The willingness of the stars to grant their fans wishes. The range of people brought together by a common passion. And just how silly it can all get. Nobody takes themselves too seriously – in the paddock or out of it.
If you’ve not made the journey to Le Mans (that’s also a good film by the way), do it. Seriously. Not only will you be treated to some spectacular racing, but you’ll become part of one of the best families out there. For the whole week, the area becomes a hub of happy, like-minded people – it’s like one big party. A party where you can meet your heroes and get up close to some of the most impressive machines in the racing world. Yeah, it’s pretty damn special.
Get yourself out there, and you’ll probably find yourself wearing a smile as big as Bruno’s.