Supported by




Le Mans 2016 - Ayse's Story

Page 4 - Monday 13th June

More Scrutineering....



Having got a decent nights sleep my body clock woke me early as usual and I eventually got up around 7.45.  Although James and I have had the habit in recent years of heading into town a little later on day two of scrutineering as that normally starts with a succession of Ferraris, those were the very cars that Toby particularly wanted to see, so we made an earlier start than normal at 9.25, again parking in the Rue D'Algers, this time avoiding the fun and games with the ticket machine that we had last year by paying by card.  Unfortunately as we could only purchase three hours at a time, it would mean a couple of trips back to renew the ticket during the day.

Having had another quick look around the square which was pretty quiet at this time, we took a breakfast of coffee and croissants at the Galand before James and I moved around to our favourite spot to watch the cars arrive.  The Ferraris were already arriving en masse and Toby stationed himself at the scrutineering area, hoping to get a closer look. 























While taking up our position we bumped into Bart Hayden, the boss of the Rebellion team (who we visited in the pits back in 2009 when they were still the Speedy Racing Team Sebah with Rebellion sponsorship).  James has maintained occasional contact since organising that pit visit and several times since we've been able to have a chat with him.  His initial reticence seemed to be quickly overcome, perhaps as a result of appreciating that he was with friends of the team and he became rather more candid with us about the team's chances, what with the apparent fragility of the factory LMP1s and the good results at Silverstone and Spa.  It's a fact that we all love those that try and we could only hope that Rebellion's dogged persistence in LMP1 would bring them a decent result. 


As yesterday, we experienced some rain showers, but managed to dodge the worst of them by standing under the overhangs of the surrounding buildings.  We did well when the nice young lady working for Audi started dishing out the posters and t-shirts (although it's a shame that we're all supposed to be medium sized!). 


For me, the highlights of the second day of scrutineering were Audi and Rebellion and we managed to get ourselves into a couple of good spots for photos.  At one point we stepped out of the rain showers to go into one of the local shops as that had the lure for me of a large selection of fountain pens (one of my other passions!) but I managed to resist the urge to spend my Euros in there, although Toby did buy a marker pen in the hope of getting autographs of the Audi drivers on his freebie Audi t-shirt. 






As morning moved into the afternoon, it was time to get some lunch and for once we resisted the temptation of another croque madame and instead walked down into the town to indulge in baguettes and pastries from one of the local shops - and very good they were too. 




Following our lunch it was back to scrutineering still suffering from regular showers of rain.  As the crowds were thinner than normal, Toby and I were able to pause at the end of the scrutineering area where the cars and drivers make their exit to take some photographs while James paid a visit back to the car to top up on the parking time. 













We saw the Audis emerge but sadly the drivers were nowhere to be seen.  Eventually we gave up on the autograph idea but as we left the scrutineering area we bumped into Leena Gade, the well known race engineer of the very successful Lotterer/Fässler/Treluyer car.  Leena would be retiring from the Audi race team after Le Mans to move to the Bentley customer arm.  Leena was kind enough to pause for photos and to put her autograph on Toby's short! 


On our way up to scrutineering that morning we had spotted a patisserie selling typical wonderful looking pastries so as the afternoon wore on we decided to walk down there and Toby and I indulged in a rather large millefeuille each.  Although we did head back we soon concluded that we had seen all that we really wanted to see, including a close-up view of the Rebellions and the ByKolles car as they were put back into their trucks.  We decided to call it a day and headed back to the car.






Click the link below to see my videos from scrutineering on both Sunday and Monday. 

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the local Auchan for provisions - for me, some water, cherries, strawberries and my favourite almond tuiles.  Back at the hotel we chilled for a couple of hours before going out for dinner.   For dinner, old habits died hard again for James and I and Monday evening meant a trip up to the Hippo Grill, where tradition again dictated foie gras to start, followed by the steak kebabs.  The food was excellent in familiar (if still slightly dull surroundings).  After dinner it was back to base again for some more football on the TV and shuteye. 

So, three days into the trip already and scrutineering was now done.  A fine (if rather damp around the edges) start.  Despite my now legendary weather 'optimism', I was still concerned about the weather as it appeared unlikely to cheer up very much for the rest of the week.  But tomorrow was another day, the familiar 'day of rest' between scrutineering and qualifying which would see the team numbers swelled by the arrival of Tony's party in the afternoon.