Johnny O'Connell's Postcard from Le Mans
Saturday, June 4, 2005

Greetings from Le Mans! Just getting here is always an adventure. This year I had a tight connection in Miami and my baggage never made it to Paris. I met my teammate Ron Fellows and his family at the airport in Paris to catch the train to Le Mans. That's when we found out that the French train conductors were on strike and all of the trains to Le Mans had been cancelled. We rented a car, stuffed it full of adults, children and baggage, got hopelessly lost in Paris, and finally dragged ourselves into the hotel in Le Mans at 4 o'clock in the morning.

Johnny O'Connell.
Photo by Richard Sloop.
But all of the aggravation is worth it. There is always a magical feeling when I arrive at the track and remember what a special place this is. This is sports car racing's Indianapolis 500. In fact, there are many analogies with Indy - certainly the size of the crowd (more than 250,000 spectators) and the worldwide importance of competing here.

Also like Indy, there is also a lot of waiting around. We'll have only one day of testing on Sunday, and won't be on the track again until qualifying begins on June 15. We'll start the 24 Hours of Le Mans nearly two weeks from now at 4 p.m. on June 18. The good news for my friends at home is that the race will again be televised on SPEED.

For the last two days, all six Corvette Racing drivers have been posing for pictures, going over notes with the GM Racing engineers, and making sure that our setups are right. We've got nine hours on the track tomorrow, and we have to make the absolute best use of the limited time.

I'll let you know how the test day turns out in my next postcard from Le Mans.

Au revoir,
Johnny O'Connell