Sword Beach | Ouistreham | France
A Race Into History
The Normandy Beach Race is France’s first-ever 1/8-mile beach drag, featuring some of Europe’s finest and fastest pre-War stock cars and motorcycles vying for bragging rights along Normandy’s beautiful and historic Sword Beach — the site of the British invasion during D-Day on June 6, 1944.
The event is organized by a group of four enthusiasts after being inspired by the American-born Race of Gentlemen, a similar vintage stock race with roots in the historic racing town of Wildwood, New Jersey, which has recently added a West Coast event in Santa Barbara, California — another town with equally-important status in the history of the sport.
Though only in its first year, the race was well organized and attended by thousands of spectators from as far away as Japan and the US. Above all else there was a sense of reverence and respect both for the site and the integrity of the race itself, with racers and attendees alike dressed in their vintage best. Combined with a rare sunny day along the English Channel, and shooting conditions couldn’t have been better.
There are few races in the world that honor the traditions and vehicles of the glory days of drag racing, and the Normandy Beach Race beautifully encapsulates the spirit and passion of the sport. My objective was to simply capture that spirit as best I could.