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Aug
10

Le Mans cars

As I reach the A1 I catch sight in my mirror of my fleece pocket, unzipped.  A quick check confirms my worst fear, my wallet is roadside, somewhere between the petrol station and the A1, 9 miles! Arse.

Spinning the bike round I re trace my route checking the verge, I want to go quick enough to cover the ground but slow enough to be able to spot it, 8 miles later I spy a red lypsyl, also missing, sat in the gutter, a few yards later, there’s the wallet, intact.  So the top tip is, apart from zipping up the pocket, have a wallet that has a secure fastner, in this case velcro.  Money, cards, all in tact.  The feeling of releif is almost overwhelming!  I’m late now and I hate being late, the M1 has 50 limits for miles so there’s precious little chance of making any time up.  Stevie is just gona have to wait.

Describe by some as the world’s most famous motor race, Le Mans, run on a mixture of closed roads and the Bugatti circuit since 1923, it captures the imagination of many.  Gone are the days when the race was broadcast live by the BBC, there’s TV coverage of course and to be fair if you actually want to follow the race that’s probably the best way of following the action, but!  It’s not just a race, it’s much more.  For those who enjoy their sport put Le Mans on your bucket list.  The event really begins for me at the ferry terminal.  The Q’s of classic cars waiting to cross the channel can be something to behold, all shapes, sizes and ages.

The Automobile Club de l’Oest came up with the idea of running a race over 24 hours after losing the Grand Prix to Strasbourg in 1922.  That first race was won by Andre Lagache and Rene Leonard in a Chernard et Walcker ‘Sport’ who covered 2,209 kilometres. History had begun.  The 1955 race saw a death toll of 88, a crash as cars went past the pits saw wreckage hurled in the watching crowd, no safety barriers to speak of in those days.  The dramas continue to modern times as Peter Dumbreck’s flying mercers proves in 1999, google it, it’s pretty dramatic!

Whilst the TV coverage may provide you with the best method of following whats happening on the track it will never convey the reality of being trackside, its not just about the race.

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IMG_3379IMG_3526 IMG_3757 IMG_3710 IMG_3689 IMG_3607But 24 hour racing is all about racing when the sun goes down.

IMG_3993 IMG_4050 IMG_4000We make it through the weekend on a carefully calculated blend of coffee, alcohol and carb loading.

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