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Periscope Up! How to Watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans LIVE on your Phone

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/12/2015 Edward Loh

We say the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the best automobile race in the world; better than the Indy 500, better than the Monaco Grand Prix and any single event on the NASCAR, WRC, or Formula D calendar. If you’re a fan of any kind of car racing, you should really try to see it live at some point in your life. But if you can’t make it this weekend for the 83rd running of the most famous endurance race in the world, advances in social media can bring you the action live and direct.

Research

By now we hope you're familiar with the access provided by social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the rest. But there are a couple of new livestreaming mobile apps, Meerkat and Periscope, that are changing the way we interact with live events.

Periscope is the one we’re focusing on at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, primarily because it appears the majority of the teams big and small have adopted it (Periscope is backed by Twitter, so teams and manufacturers with large Twitter followings have an incentive to stay within the family).

Le Mans Periscope© Provided by MotorTrend Le Mans Periscope In fact, the ACO, the organizing body behind the 24 Hours of Le Mans, supports the app (which is awesome, though a bit strange since it competes with the television broadcast) and even has this succinct explanation of what Periscope is on its website and how it will be used during the race:

"And new for this year - get live, behind-the-scenes video coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Periscope. This app, available on smartphones and tablets, will send you a notification whenever a video is aired live from Scrutineering or the Circuit de la Sarthe.

An insider's view of Scrutineering, the pit lane, press conferences, pre-race preparations and much more... get all the highlights from the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans via Périscope at @24heuresdumans and @24hoursoflemans.

The app lets you download live videos with a mobile device. Nissan was the first to use Periscope, during a test session at the circuit in Bowling Green, Kentucky, so fans could follow the GT-R LM NISMO's progress. Since then many teams and drivers have created accounts and the 24 Hours of Le Mans did too!

The easiest way to create a Periscope account is to use your Twitter account after downloading the app from the App Store or Google Play. Once your account has been created, you can choose the people or entities you wish to follow just like on Twitter. To follow the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it's easy: just add 24 Hours of Le Mans to the list of those you wish to follow!”

Indeed, it is just that easy. Merci, ACO.

If you haven't already downloaded Periscope, you can get an idea of what it's like by looking at a few of the screen captures here. Yes, some are pretty low-resolution, but that is to be expected from live streaming video (and it looks clearer in motion). We're a little concerned what the video quality will be like -- or if livestreams will be accessible at all -- as race day approaches and hundreds of thousands of fans descend on Le Mans and crush the mobile and wifi networks, but given the access and insight we've already seen, it's definitely worth the risk.

In the run up to the race weekend, the ACO, the FIA's World Endurance Championship organizing body (@FIAWEC), and several of the top teams have been actively livestreaming test sessions, pit walks, driver, and support team interviews.

Periscope Up! How to Watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans LIVE on your Phone

Nissan Motorsport (@NISMO), Audi Sport (@Audi_Sport), and Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces), are three of the teams in the top level prototype class (LMP1-H) that have been particularly active on Periscope. As mentioned by the ACO, Nissan has led the way using livestreaming to build buzz around its crazy-looking front-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. Audi is a close second and benefits from having several Le Mans legends at the race and on the Periscope feed, including three-time champion Allan McNish (@AllanMcnish) and nine-time champion, Mr. Le Mans himself, Tom Kristensen. Porsche is documenting its second year in top level Le Mans racing with its 919 Hybrid and the performances of several 911 GT3 RSR teams in the LM GTE Pro and GTE Am classes. One of those teams is Dempsey-Proton, fielded by actor Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey. He appears to have a personal Periscope feed, but has not posted anything. If he's your man, follow @PorscheRaces because Dempsey appears in the feed pretty regularly.

Who is missing? Well, Toyota has a Periscope account for its motorsports activities, @ToyotaRacing, but that has been largely inactive at Le Mans (though it is active on Twitter). That's a shame, because Toyota Racing's TS-040 Hybrids looked very strong last year.

GM Racing is fielding two Corvette C7.R teams in LM GTE Pro and is the only factory-backed American effort at Le Mans this year. We'd love to be able to tell you how to watch them live on Periscope, but neither Jake nor GM Racing appear to have Periscope accounts. The good news is you can follow C7.R drivers Jan Magnussen (@JanMagnussen) and Jordan Taylor (@Jordan10Taylor) of the No. 63 Corvette and Tommy Milner (@TommyMilner) and Oliver Gavin (@OliverGavin) of the No. 64 car.

If you're rooting for the remaining American teams Extreme Speed Motorsports (LMP2), Krohn Racing (LMP2), and Scuderia Corsa (LM GTE AM), you'll have to do so in more traditional ways, as none of them have Periscope either.

Who else to watch? Aston Martin is fielding a strong team of five Vantage V8 race cars (number 95 through 99), with three in LM GTE PRO and two in LM GTE AM and covering them all at Aston Martin Racing Official (@AMR_Official). Of course, Motor Trend will also be at the race, and we'll Periscope as our connection allows. Be sure to follow us (@MotorTrend) to see what we're up to at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans Periscope© Provided by MotorTrend Le Mans Periscope But because Periscope will mostly give you behind-the-scenes looks and fleeting glimpses of the actual race, here are a few other ways you can catch the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fox Sports will alternate coverage on two of its channels, though there are big gaps where there is no coverage. Fox Sports 2 will broadcast the race starting on Saturday, June 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. Fox Sports 1 picks up again at 7:00 p.m., and the race switches back and forth between the two stations until the checkered flag waves on Sunday, June 14. The race will be available to stream in its entirety through the subscription-based Fox Sports GO app. If you're content with just hearing about the on-track action, tune in to Radio Le Mans for some of the best commentary.

Below, we've compiled a list of active accounts on Periscope. Enjoy the race.

Who to follow on Periscope at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2015:

Organizations

@24hoursoflemans: ACO/24 Hours of Le Mans organization (English)
@24heuresdumans: ACO/24 Hours of Le Mans organization (French)
@FIAWEC: Federale International Automobile World Endurance Championship

Teams (not everyone, just the ones we could find on Periscope)

@Audi_Sport: Audi Motorsport Team
@PorscheRaces: Porsche Motorsport Team
@Nismo: Nissan Racing Team
@ToyotaRacing: Toyota Racing Team
@AMR_Official: Aston Martin Racing Team
@StrakkaRacing: Strakka Racing Team
@MurphyPrototypes: Murphy Prototypes Team

Drivers (not everyone, just the ones we could find on Periscope)

@AllanMcNish: Retired 3-time champion, Audi Ambassador
@LucasdiGrassi: Audi Sport Team Joest driver, car #8
@TommyMilner: Corvette Racing driver, car #64
@OliverGavin: Corvette Racing driver, car #64
@JanMagnussen: Corvette Racing driver #63
@Jordan10Taylor: Corvette Racing driver #63
@Lucas_Ordonez: Nissan Motorsports driver, car #21
@HarryTincknell: Nissan Motorsports driver, car #22
@MaxChilton: Nissan Motorsports driver, car #23
@NickMcMillen: Nissan Motorsports driver
@Al_Buncombe: Nissan Nismo driver, car #21
@PatrickDempsey: Dempsey-Proton driver/owner, car #77
@LiebMarc: Marc Lieb, Porsche Motorsport driver, car #18
@MarcoHolzer: Marco Holzer, Porsche team driver
@DarrenTurner007: Aston Martin Racing driver, car #97

OEMs to consider following
@Porsche
@Toyota
@Nissan
@Audi

Le Mans Periscope© Provided by MotorTrend Le Mans Periscope
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