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Le Mans 2017 - Ayse's Story

Page 11 - The 'CBW' and Back to the Circuit

Friday 16th June



So with the on-track action now over until race day we came to what is probably the most important day of the build up to the race.  Friday is unofficially a 'rest day' on which we can do as much or as little as we like.  It normally involves a visit to the circuit at some point, possibly for a pit walk (or even just watching the car park marshals in the rain!), and last year we took in the Classic British Welcome for the first time.

After the fairly late night I was in no rush at all to get up on Friday morning, although I did wake up not long after 7 am as normal.  I eventually headed for the shower at 8 and then dressed, waiting for the others to surface.  We all made our rendezvous outside the hotel for the trip up the road to the bar for breakfast at 10 am.  Once again (boring, boring....) we had been presented on waking with another stunning morning and the pastries and coffee went down very well after our slightly poorer fare the night before.

After the success of last year we had already made the decision to visit the Classic British Welcome again, particularly as it was only a 15 minute walk down the road next to the bar.  There were a lot of people there and plenty of cars.  The name marque this year was Marcos but somehow for me, the classic cars on offer just weren't as interesting or as exciting as last year and although I took a few snaps, I'm afraid I actually found it a little boring this year and the camera on my phone didn't see very much action.  We left the CBW just after midday for the walk back to the cars at the bar and then headed back to the hotel. 




We were going to go into the circuit as Allon was keen to do the pitwalk and we were generally happy to wander around.  We had been in contact with our old friend Paul Truswell from Radio Le Mans and after a walk along the tribunes and then around the shops and stalls during which I finally succumbed to buying this year's Toyota t-shirt, we met up with Paul for a chat for an hour or so at the back of the pits before heading back to the car and then back to the hotel.  Tony didn't join us for this trip as he was feeling a little under the weather and sensibly decided to have some rest out of the sun for the afternoon.




After a couple of hours rest and with Tony feeling rather better than he had earlier we headed out for an early dinner at Del Arte at 6.40 where I broke my normal Del Arte rule by having chicken and pasta instead of a Pizza Marocco.  The meal was spoiled a little (initially at least) by really poor table service as we waited an age to even be asked what we wanted to drink - nearly half an hour - and we were close to getting up and walking out, however we stuck with it and the foot itself was pretty good as usual. 

We returned to the hotel at 8.30 and I was in bed by 10 pm for what is always the most important sleep of the year!