iPhone Postcard from Le Mans. Controlling the Nerves

This is my first Le Mans, and I’m quite excited. I’m also quite nervous.


The pressures and the effort involved in covering a 24-hour race weekend are quite high (and that’s only when you’re watching the bloody thing), a couple of Dubai 24 Hours events having hammered that home nicely. But this is different. This is Le Mans. A racing goliath celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and steeped in history arguably like no other motorsport event on the planet. And I’m here to cover it. See what I mean?


So, the Ghalic butterflies are already doing a number on my stomach when I arrive to collect my weekend accreditation and media passes. Where do I go? What do I do? With whom do I speak? Argh?!


But then another thought hit me: “James, you’re at Le Mans. Why not just enjoy it you idiot?” Sound reasoning my none too subtle alter-ego. I don’t know when I’ll ever get to experience this again (there’s no guarantee I’ll be back next year), so why not make the most of it? And the best way to do that is the pre-event gridwalk, surrounded by motorsport fans from across the globe and a healthy dollop of oddity.


IMSA Performance Matmut fears that its experimental new race seat might be fundamentally flawed…


…and we suspect becoming a professional racing driver is slightly easier than before, thanks to IMSA’s new driver development program.


Ferrari 458 Italia: left or right?


Rebellion Racing might have reason to feel optimistic about their weekend. After all, the Michelin Man is wishing them luck.


If you were wondering what the best mode of transport is during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, here’s a clue. And yes, I’ve tripped over several of them already.


Just one question Aston Martin Racing, how do you put it all together again? “Someone find Humpty Dumpty”


It didn’t take too long for the rain to arrive and for the ludicrously sized golf umbrellas to start poking me in the eye. But that was okay. A dirty great grey cloud had already been lingering over the circuit, and given the changeable weather over the course of the past week, rain was inevitable. It didn’t seem to damper anybody’s spirits, even if we were all quickly soaked to the skin. The t-shirt brigade stood firm, though a few did break rank to find their cagoules.


“Oi, who’s nicked the bloody ladder?!”


“…Oh, sorry about that”


We’ve been struggling to work out which nation this gentleman will be supporting during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


Take a wild stab where you can watch footage of Nissan’s Le Mans adventure


“Jean-Luc, your job is the most important. Those stickers MUST be straight”


We all have our opinions about what should be eligible to compete at Le Mans. Any objections to this?


What do you need for a full weekend of World Endurance Championship action? Spare socks, a new pair of jeans, a funny hat if you’ve got one, half your weight in cigarettes and a couple of t-shirts you don’t care if you ruin. And cups. Lots and lots of plastic cups.


And if you wondered how we entertain ourselves between track sessions, tonight’s film will be Grand Prix (why it’s not Le Mans, we’ve no idea). Grab a bean bag, quick!

PS. Squint really hard and you can pretend these shots are in focus.

Categories: Lifestyle


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