Grand parade in historic centre
Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke enjoyed a warm welcome and support from approximately 100 000 fans that surrounded the Jacobins square and neighbouring streets in Le Mans downtown for the traditional drivers' parade. All three Charouz System drivers later met together with other Aston Martin Racing drivers the team and guests during a barbeque in the garden of a nearby chateau.
Friday may look like a free day for the 24 Du Mans competitors but the reality is quite a bit different. Charouz Racing System team used the day for a final preparation of the car for the 24 hours race which effectively means complete rebuild. Also the drivers were not just relaxing as Friday afternoon is dedicated to the parade in Le Mans historic downtown. Year in, year out there are always tens of thousands fans who enthusiastically cheers their heroes.
Tomas Enge is competing at Le Mans for the seventh time in a row and he always enjoys the incredible atmosphere. He also has nice memories as he got there his five trophies for the fastest GT qualifying lap. "I think that we saw a record number of fans here today. You go there and you know that it will be special but it always amazes me how many people turn out to see us. Incredible. I am happy to be in a close contact with the fans. They support us and it is a perfect opportunity to give them something back." smiled Enge who is, in Le Mans terms, the most experienced driver of the team.
Jan Charouz and Stefan Mucke were at the Jacobins square for the second time. "The parade is fantastic for fans and their enthusiasm is unbelievable. On the other hand, it is quite exhausting. Normally you would prefer to relax the whole day before the race but it is part of uniqueness of Le Mans and fans are definitely a major part of the legend," said Jan.
All three drivers had a logistic challenge after the parade in order to reach in time Aston Martin's barbeque with important guests in a chateau just outside Le Mans. "It is good to meet the people who provide support to us. Obviously, we did not stay there long because we have to sleep as much as possible to be in the best possible shape for the race. We will not have many opportunities to sleep next night because even if you do not drive the adrenalin is pumping and it is not easy to rest," said Jan who suffered from a cold earlier in the week. "I feel okay now and ready for the race. I can not wait for it because it is clearly the highlight of the season."