Pure Aesthetics: A Look at Night Racing at 2017 Petit Le Mans

The final hours of the IMSA season finale are undoubtedly the best—and the prettiest.

© Richard (Rip) Shaub. All Rights reserved

As The Drive found out this past weekend at the 2017 Motul Petit Le Mans, nothing beats getting up close and personal with some of the world's top sports cars. The smell of race gas and the sound of crackling exhausts are enough to tip you off while the stunning visuals of night racing get you itching for more, more, more. Here, we've collected some of our best shots to show you just what we're talking about.

Multi-class racing is a beautiful spectacle in its own right, so when you combine them with the glowing hues that lit up Road Atlanta on Saturday night, you've got a winning recipe for peak photography. 

Perhaps the greatest example of this is displayed at the track's famed uphill esses. High speed entry makes for hard turn-ins, and bottoming out near the start of the hill throws sparks aplenty. Keeping on the loud-pedal, each of these GT cars and prototypes let out their own distinguishable shriek (or grunt) that make you literally laugh out loud–especially those ungodly Porsche 911 RSR GTLM twins.

© RIP SHAUB - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
© RIP SHAUB - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
© RIP SHAUB - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
© RIP SHAUB - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Collectively, this past race weekend was one that nobody will soon put behind them. Whether it be the winning RLL BMW team of GTLM or the awe-struck Ford GT cars that crashed out with little time remaining, everyone on the grid and in the stands will keep this one in their pocket when they need help remembering what makes modern motorsport as good as the olden days.

For more action shots from the 20th running of Petit Le Mans, head over to Rip Shaub's channel Track/Side. A collection of GT and prototype cars can be found there, with tons of other fun stuff mixed in for good measure.