There is something faintly bizarre about writing a
postscript to a Le Mans trip when in exactly three weeks time I will be sitting
in my 'home from home' on the outskirts of Le Mans again having arrived in
France about 6 hours ago at the very start of the 2019 trip, but that is how
long it's taken me to finish off the 'rush job' of the 2018 Le Mans Story. As I
said within the piece itself, it's been delayed by a variety of things, the
annual post Le Mans 'malaise' being one of them and indolence being another....
Hampered by a fading memory of things seen and done during the trip the story is
probably not as full (or as accurate) as I'd normally hope to be and I'm sure my
fellow travellers will point out things that I've either misremembered or more
likely not remembered at all and I will promise faithfully to put the record
straight (and then promptly forget to do it!).
So, what did I make of the 2018 Le Mans trip?
I loved it. (But you knew I'd say that). Driving over myself for the
first time in 33 trips was quite a revelation as I enjoyed it so much. In
fact, I decided pretty much on my return home that if I could, I would do it
again in 2019. It was fabulous fun to drive around all of those places
I've known for so long and the trip around the circuit on the Tuesday was a real
highlight. As indeed was the trip to the pitlane on the same day and
catching the Porsche photoshoot - what a great day. It was also huge fun
and a massive pleasure for me to enjoy Le Mans for the first time with both of
my boys and to see just how much they enjoyed it as well.
The race was typical of Le Mans in that there was
no close finish this year but like many others I'm sure, I breathed something of
a sigh of relief that Toyota had finally got the win they had deserved for so
long. OK, they no longer had factory opposition, but it wasn't their fault
that Audi and Porsche had picked up their toys and run away. Toyota had
finally beaten themselves - and the race - and I was very happy to applaud them
It was a shame that Tony had been unable to join
us this year and it will be good to welcome him back again in 2019. It was
also a shame that I spent so much of the race, the night in particular having
lost touch with my now long-term Le Mans pal James F. Somehow that just
didn't work out as it should have done, something that we will put right
I'm sure in 2019.
So for the diehard few who read this each year,
thank you to you and I hope you find it enjoyable but I'll finish now as I'll
need to start packing soon......