Photo: Roger Jenkins
Sunday of race-week being the traditional departure date for the EnduranceandGT team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Editor Andy Lloyd and Le Mans photographer Roger Jenkins set off from Kent to begin the seven-or-so hour journey (via P & O Ferries – Dover to Calais) to our base for the week in a small village about 15 minutes north of Le Mans city centre.
The journey was largely uneventful, French roads being a joy compared to South-East England and, it being a Sunday, there was very little commercial traffic on the road.
All was going well until we arrived at base-camp and unpacked everything in readiness for set-up. To cut a long story short, as we were assembling our large, and extremely confortable tent, a thunderstorm struck and we were caught in a torrential down-pour. Beyond the point of turning back at that stage, we persevered and the tent was put up. It was, however, a painful exercise and we were both soaked by the time we had finished.
After drying out somewhat and preparing some dinner, we headed into Le Mans itself. The day’s events at scrutineering had long-since finished by the time we arrived but a leisurely coffee was enjoyed in the Place de la Republique in the warm and humid evening conditions.
The point about the weather is not that it was inconvenient today – bad weather and camping are old friends after all and a week in a tent in the Pays de la Loire would not be the same without a cloud-burst at some point. The point is that the weather forecast is mixed for much of the week and that will make for fascinating practice and qualifying sessions.
Tomorrow, Monday June 11, sees the continuation of scrutineering in the town centre which is always fund to attend. The first car up for scrutineering is the #29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara P217 at 09:30 and, with the exception of the Corvettes who went through scrutineering on Sunday, all theLM GTE Pro field will be the centre of Le Mans on Monday.
At the circuit, set-up and administrative checks continue with the official photo for the ‘Road To Le Mans’ grid at 17:00. The long build-up to the Great Race continues!