So, what is there to be said about the Le Mans
2017 trip that hasn't been said already or is just a repeat of what I've said at
this point in previous years? In truth, not a lot, I guess. Well,
aside from the fact that 2017 was a great 'event' - the whole week and a bit,
that is. The weather - well that was absolutely astonishing. Not a
single drop of rain during the entire trip. Even in my days of much
shorter trips between 1986 and 2009 I don't think I can recall a year which
involved no rain at all. And it was hot - very hot. All day, every
day and through most of the nights as well. There were times when it was
actually quite draining, but very welcome of course. I wouldn't have
wanted to swap it for the rain of 2016, that's for sure. The company was
top notch as well - as it always is. We know what we like to do and 'mesh'
together perfectly in that regard.
As to the race itself, as a Toyota 'fan' it was
deeply disappointing - again. Porsche certainly had the run of the luck,
in both 2016 and 2017 but it has to be said that they finished both races while
Toyota's challenge faded away. In the same way as I will never forget the
closing minutes of Le Mans 2016, nor will I forget that hour or so during race
night this year in a hurry. Seeing an LMP2 car get so close to winning
overall was exciting, but always tempered by the knowledge that Porsche were
almost inevitably going to overhaul the JCDC car. The GTEPro contest was
first-rate and I'm sure that the Le Mans GT fans enjoyed it immensely, but for
me as a prototype afficionado, it somehow flattered to deceive, a feeling that
was only enhanced by Porsche's hugely disappointing decision to walk away from
the WEC and Le Mans, announced a while later. Who knows what kind of race
we're going to be witness to in 2018.
But, be there I will be, this time with both of my
boys in tow and I will enjoy seeing how they react to the experience in 2018.
2017 was my 32nd Le Mans so next year will definitely be a 'long player' (if
you're old enough to appreciate that one). I hope to see you there.