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Le Mans 2018 - Ayse's Story

Page 16 - Into the Night at Indianapolis and Arnage

Sunday 17th June



As I've said too often already, there is a huge disadvantage to catching up with a story when you rely on memory that is about 11 months old.  As I write this part of the story, we are now well into May 2019 and it's definitely a struggle to remember the order of things with any clarity.  For example, I'd completely forgotten about eating tartiflette for the first time!  What I've had to do is to piece things together from the timings on my photos and video plus using the text and Whatsapp messages that passed between James, Toby, James F, Allon and myself at the time.  I don't think I've ever been so challenged in the memory department - it must be something to do with getting older.  I promise to do better next (this) year..... 

So, the state of play was that James F and Ramona didn't make it down to Tertre Rouge after the car battery 'incident' although messages from Allon showed that he had followed in our footsteps, although we had left by the time he got there.  We ate our tartiflette around 9.45 and then went briefly back into the grandstand.  I knew Allon was on the way back from Tertre Rouge however Toby and James were keen to crack on out to Arnage and Indianapolis, so James agreed to give Allon a lift out there. 

Once we had left the main part of the circuit, we left for Arnage I guess around 10.20, not having too much trouble with the traffic this time.  When we got to Arnage it was pretty busy and although we were allowed into the first car park it was completely full and we had to drive down the road to the bigger overflow car park where there were plenty of spaces.  It just meant a much longer walk back to the entrance to the enclosure and we didn't get there until about 11.40.  Although it didn't look like being a bone-chillingly cold night (like 2008 and 2011), we dressed up warmly and James and I took our folding chairs with us again.  Allon had previously put his chair in the car, so Toby brought that with him to make use of until Allon arrived. 














As it happens, James F, Ramona and Allon arrived shortly afterwards and Allon soon joined us to reclaim his chair from Toby!  James I believe had decided to go and watch from one of our favourite spots at Arnage corner.  By this time Toyota were well in control with Rebellion leading the non-hybrid LMP1s (3 and 4 laps behind) after drama for the #17 SMP which was retired after long dramas following an accident for Matevos Isaakyan who moved heaven and earth to try and get the car running again, all to no avail.  The #26 G-Drive car was almost a lap to the good in LMP2 while the 'retro' liveried Porsches continued to hold sway in GTEPro, notwithstanding a remarkably strong sowing for the #81 BMW. 

Having enjoyed a long stint on the banking at Indianapolis, Toby, James and I moved off to take in the sights of Arnage.  Some time before I had walked back to the car with Allon so that he could get a bit of sleep in my car.  It was only later that I discovered that James F had been watching from Arnage for some time.  I must have walked past him at some time but as it happened, James, Toby and I didn't met up with him and Ramona again until later on Sunday.  Having had a rare degree of debris fence freedom at Indianapolis, the curse of the chain-link of course returned at Arnage....









I never make any great claims for my photography skills however my new lens did seem to make a difference, even if it was blooming heavy to hand-hold (somehow I can never quite get on with monopods).  Having been pretty unhappy with my night shots over the last few years, I was more pleased with this year's efforts, even if they might not win any prizes! 

For my videos at Indianapolis and Arnage - follow this link -