Busy week of activities has begun in Le Mans, France.
The great week of the 24 Hours started yesterday with the traditional "Pesage" which concluded on Monday evening. The formalities completed, all the competitors are allowed to participate in the race.
Although Audi and Toyota are hot favourites but, at Le Mans, the town celebrates all its champions, from the smallest to the biggest.
From the outskirts of Le Mans, there are temporary signs indicating the directions of the parking Blue, Green, Red ...
The traditional parking areas whose mere mention is enough to stir up memories of picnics buried deep in collective memories. Yes, the magic of the 24 Hours of Le Mans operates far beyond the gates of the circuit. The virus spreads into the city centre of Le Mans where it contaminates those you might think to be immune: pharmacist, fishmonger, newsagent, bookseller...
Everyone has their personal touch to help create an atmosphere second to none. In this showcase - unique in the world! - Patent black pumps are decorated with miniature Silver Arrows …
Two steps away, the proportions are reversed: high heels of Miss 24 Hours stroll around a German car. Chloe Le Deun is not alone, others have come between girls near the star from LA "Patrick!!!" Dempsey or encourage Keiko (Ihara) and Natasha (Gachnang), the two women competing this year.
This little world began this week in the entertaining, yet mandatory walkabout during the Technical and Administrative Checks.
Those who are often called "the men in the shadows" are under the gaze of cameras of the official WebTV (on lemans-tv.com) as they proudly push their machines between two rows of spectators that connect different inspection tents. "At other races, inspections are conducted behind closed doors in the paddock, said a mechanic. Here it is different, people are passionate, they want to see and know everything, understand everything." The same goes for the 168 drivers, professional or amateur, who receive the same treatment: one reserved for heroes ...
They are! Because on Saturday evening who will still envy them when they will be going over 300 km/h in cramped cockpits, in the noise and the dark. During the two days of 'pesage', everything went off without a hitch: no major problems were raised with either the cars or drivers.
At Le Mans, in the paradise of the Place de la République, unlike the hell of the Mulsanne straight: a haven where 56 teams will relax one last time on Friday (after testing on Wednesday and Thursday night), on the occasion of the Great Drivers Parade.
Meanwhile, the busy week continues tomorrow with the inauguration of the recreation of the legendary Pontlieue hairpin that was part of the circuit from 1923 to 1928.
More than ever, the 24 Hours of Le Mans cultivates difference but not indifference!