Le Mans 1999 - Ayse's Story
Page 12 - Sunday 13th June
The Finish at Dunlop
1.15 p.m., it was time to make our way back to the cars (bearing in mind the
longer walk than usual), and head back to the main circuit for the last few
hours of the race. We were back into the
garage rouge at about 1.45 p.m., and, more importantly, found somewhere for the
three cars to park fairly quickly for the first time. In fact, we managed to park close to the main
entrance, which would be a bonus for a quick getaway after the race.
by 2.00 p.m. we were heading back into the circuit for the last time. I knew that once again Ian would try to end up on the tribunes, but I was keen to head off to the
shops first, hopefully to buy a couple of mementos of the race for Toby and
James. So I left the others trouping
along the crowded tribunes once again and made my way to the shops down behind
the grandstands. It was actually quite a
difficult task to find things that were suitable, but, in the end, I picked up
some Le Mans keyrings and models of the ORECA Vipers from a couple of years
ago, which were rather smart.
was by now around 3.00 pm and with only an hour of the race to go there
was no time to wander off anywhere else in view of the need to be back to the
cars as soon as possible after the finish.
I decided to watch the end of the race from the inside of the Dunlop
Chicane, as that would leave me very close to the exit. In the end, the hoped-for last minute battle
between the BMW and Toyota never materialised due to a puncture for the Toyota,
but at least it made it back into the race to register second place. Third and fourth went to the two brand new
Audi roadsters, a highly creditable performance in terms of
reliability, if not outright speed.
So, the 67th Vingt-Quatre Heures du Mans came to an end at the traditional time of 4.00 pm with a victory for BMW, thoroughly well-deserved, one has to say, notwithstanding the fact that I had dearly wanted to see a Toyota victory this year. The current “Mr. Le Mans”, Yannick Dalmas, had done it again, registering his fourth victory in the race, equalling the likes of Henri Pescarolo and Olivier Gendebien. Who would bet against him going on to challenge Derek Bell (5 wins) and Jacky Ickx (6 wins) in the next few years?