Times were I'd build an entire weekend around Daytona, Sebring and the just-completed Le Mans. If for some reason I couldn't attend the races, friends would come over to the house and, whether poolside or inside, televisions all around would...
Times were I'd build an entire weekend around Daytona, Sebring and the just-completed Le Mans.
If for some reason I couldn't attend the races, friends would come over to the house and, whether poolside or inside, televisions all around would be tuned to the race of the weekend - wine, women, song and race video. Indeed, a standing rule: no porn allowed during race time. Life just didn't get much better than that.
With the 2006 Le Mans weekend now finished, it is for the first time in years - actually, that would be decades - I did not see or seek out a single minute of Le Mans coverage, live or video tape.
Admittedly, I've been consumed by traveling and paying attention to a certain USGA championship golf tournament, but I didn't even really care at all to look for Le Mans information of any sort.
Wow, what contrast: the speed of golf vs. the speed of cars going down that long-ass, better-than-3-mile straight in Le Mans.
But, I'm so into this golf thing that I didn't learn until Monday morning - that would be the day after the finish, EDT, CDT, MDT, PDT or Prime Meridian time - of the race's major overall upset win.
Or, in a "Can You Believe It II?" moment, another major upset was posted in GT1 as well. And it would all happen at the one race I didn't attend or see. Go figure.
Wow. Who would've thunk the A10 diesel with Piro, et al, would win? I bet only the team went in thinking itself capable of winning the race. Surely no one else gave the R10 a single chance in Hades of winning that race. But, Of course, that's to be expected by a team - to believe when no one else does. Good for them.
And how about Corvette winning the GT1 class in another huge surprise?
So great were those two accomplishments that I had to spare myself further finish-list reading excitement -- such adrenaline rushes being nearly intolerable to a half-century-old body.
Just those two results are almost more than this simple mind can comprehend.
I'll bet bookmakers the world over are sobbing to no end today. Indeed, the more morbid among us might want to closely watch the obituaries as bookmakers' self-inflicted death statistics will likely take a huge spike this week, so poorly did they fare in predicting the correct winners' odds.
Speaking of betting, I'll bet all of my U.S. $23.24 that this year's Le Mans finishing order will go down in history as The Bookmakers' Waterloo, what with the huge sums of money paid out for Le Mans' surprising underdog victories.
Then, also on Monday morning, I learned the ACO has decided to put roofs on their LMP1 cars in 2010.
Before long, every sportscar will have them. Then street cars will have them, too. Roofs over drivers' heads? Surely, for additional safety reasons, they'll soon be mandating seatbelts, too.
Where is this sportscar race thing going? To Sunyata in a hand basket, I say.
Of course, there's the still-topless LMP2 class. But, why? If it's important for one class, why not another?
Nevertheless, today I'm going to out on a huge limb and predict the overall winner of the 2010 Le Mans: The Audi R(oof)14.
And I'm betting all of the above mentioned funds on that major race upset, too, because even such a meager wager will surely provide funds for the rest of my life's wants.
I'll place it as soon as I can find a bookie who's willing to enter into such an obviously idiotic wager - assuming any bookies remain in the wake of one of bookmaking's most inglorious historical moments.
-Commentary written exclusively for Motorsport.com by DC Williams