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
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
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.