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Le Mans 2018 - Ayse's Story

Page 4 - Going Underground/In the Pink - Scrutineering 2

Monday 11th June



I had a decent night's sleep, a single 'pit stop' at 5 am allowed me to sleep through until 7.30.  Although it was currently dry outside it was quite foggy and overcast and the forecast for the day was for plenty of rain.  And the rain was with us by the time I had showered and dressed.  We had already arranged with James F to meet and leave for the town at 9.30 and were all outside at the appointed time to be greeted by weather that couldn't be any more different to the same time last year.  2017's wall-to-wall sunshine had been replaced with torrential rain, so my shorts remained neatly folded in my room and James F's boot was filled with wet weather gear....

After an easy journey we stopped briefly in the Rue D'Algers just to confirm that parking there was not an option today as it was limited to just one hour so was a non-starter and we started looking around for an alternative car park.  After some initial brief hesitation we decided to have a look and see if we could get into the underground car park at the Place de la République itself.  To our surprise we managed it easily, leaving us wondering why on earth we hadn't tried it before!  There were loads of spaces and as we were parking we bumped into our Ten Tenths pal Renée (whitemr2) who told us that he always parked there.  We'll remember that for the future!

By the time we got the lift up from the car park we emerged into heavy rain and made our way to our usual spot as the cars began to queue to get into the scrutineering area.  The timetable for the early part of the morning was very much LMP2 territory but we arrived in time to see the two new BMW M8s being taken out of their trucks.  Of course, as I was now a BMW owner, I had to have a good look at them....  They certainly looked massive beasts but close up they really looked the business in my eyes.  We also saw the two Rebellions arrive, looking splendid despite the heavy rain.  The weather didn't phase James at all and he was determined to catch as much of the action as he could on his GoPro - exactly as his brother had done two years ago. 






As the Rebs were pushed in, thankfully the rain began to ease considerably.  We were lucky anyway as we were standing on the pavement in front of the shops which were covered by the floors of the flats above us, so we didn't get soaked as we would have done if we'd had to stand out in it.  The process is well documented in my photographs and the video that I shot as well.  It's probably worth mentioning at this point that today, most of my photography was done on my iPhone - it was just too wet to get the SLR out....












The rain having now stopped (for the moment, at least) we walked back into the square and were able to get a good look at the Rebellions when they were hoisted into the air for the first part of the scrutineering process.  We stood and watched for quite a while and decided to wait and see the cars and the drivers emerge for the traditional photoshoot.  We managed to get a decent spot, so much so that the photographs posted on Facebook later in the day even had us in them!  I managed to get some decent shots of the Rebellion drivers too!

















The lunchbreak was officially at 12.30 (the last car went into scrutineering at 12 noon) and having had no breakfast we decided to take lunch again at the Galand.  Surprise, surprise, it was croque madames all round once more.  During lunch the heavens opened again.  Although we were outside we were mostly under cover so initially we missed the worst of it, but it continued to rain so hard that eventually we had to move the table and chairs further into the dining area as the rain was actually running down the back of my and James' necks from the covering over the restaurant!








The main 'events' of the afternoon were the arrival of the much-awaited retro-liveried Porsche GTEs and of course the two Toyotas.  We had a bird's eye view of the Toyotas being unloaded from their truck and were also able to get a good view of the Porsches.  The 'Heritage' livered 'Pink Pig' and 'Rothmans' cars looked wonderful and for me, the 'Pink Pig' was an instant favourite.  The arrival of the four Ford GTs effectively signalled the end to the second day of scrutineering and we made our way back to the car, but not before I stopped at the same pharmacy as last year and bought another three tubes of my 'dog cream'.  The supply at home had failed to last the year since Le Mans 2017 after Jayne discovered how good it was for her aching feet!  I had even had to order two more tubes from France, but needed more to keep us going...































My videos from Monday scrutineering are here (I took quite a lot!):-

Once back in the car we headed back to the hotel arriving at about 6.30.  I felt pretty tired and my shoes and socks were still damp from the heavy rain earlier in the day.  We ate again at Del Arte that evening before retiring for sleep, with the Tuesday 'day of rest' a welcome thought for tomorrow.