euphoria of Jaguar's great triumph in 1988, there's no doubt at all that I went
to Le Mans the following year with every expectation of seeing Tom's Cats do the
business again. Yes, Mercedes were looking strong, but they hadn't done
much at Le Mans, had they? After their withdrawal in '88, they were
short of experience of a race where experience usually counts for a great
deal. Well, so much for that idea!
of Tourists for 1989 had expanded to 10 members, shown below on the (incredibly
long) ferry crossing from Portsmouth to St.
Malo. Left to right, we can
name the guilty parties as:-
Dave, Martin, Bruce, Ian 2, Alan, Terry and Ian 1. Robert had gone missing
for this shot and I was....well, you know where I was!
we had that very long crossing, we thoroughly enjoyed our brief stay in
picturesque Concale - where the seafood in the Hotel Continental and the
hotelier's English were both very good!
we didn't get to the circuit until after midday on Saturday. We watched,
no doubt smiling smugly to ourselves as the Daly and Jones Jaguar established
what appeared to be a comfortable lead, only for the hopes to be dashed when
gearbox gremlins left Derek stranded out on the
all that long before we realised that the Silver Arrows really meant business
this weekend, as they growled around in metronomic fashion. I have
included a shot of the 203 Mazda, only because I thought it was quite
good. I guess I should have included a shot of the winning Mercedes, but,
Jaguar challenge wilted, the race seemed to me to lose a lot in terms of
excitement and interest, although things did liven up when Tom Walkinshaw
instructed the drivers of the remaining 2 Jaguars (1 and 4) to "give them a
good shake", in the knowledge that they weren't going to win the race, so
the drivers might as well see what they could get out of them. My kind of
guy, definitely, Mr. Walkinshaw!
the "blink and you'll miss it" moments was provided by the Aston
Martin team with their splendid (both looking and sounding) AMR-1s. What a
pity that Jean-Marie and Bernie then decided to make sportscars the breeding
ground for engines for F1 (and to give Peugeot a playing field all of it's
own!!). Cynical? Me? Never!
for 1989. Although I haven't included it here (yes, I'm a coward!), 1989
saw the very first picture taken of me (using my camera, that is), at Le
Mans. I will post it some time - it makes me feel very sad and rather old
- I had hair in those days - and a waist!