Le Mans 2014 - Ayse's Story
Page 19 - Postscript
I spend a lot of time when writing my story saying things like 'as usual' or 'like last year' and this year's story is no exception. Having had a fairly set routine with the Tourists for many years, I've now settled into another routine with James and Tony. And it's a routine which suits me very much indeed. As usual (!!), I'm writing the final page of my story many months after Le Mans (today is actually the 15th February 2015) and as I write these last few words there is a thread on Ten Tenths where the relative merits of F1 and sports car racing are being discussed (fairly pointlessly, to my mind). I'm firmly of the opinion that although there are many people who are real fans of F1 the 'great unwashed' are deluded into thinking that F1 is the altar of motor racing upon which all racing fans should worship, while everything else is less technologically advanced or somehow just less important, less relevant and less entertaining than F1. Those like me who are devotees of top level sportscar racing know this to be quite untrue, on pretty much every level. But we are still told that we watch 'boring' racing. This year, perhaps more so than any other for quite a while, the 24 Heures du Mans was completely enthralling on so many levels. A great three-way battle in LMP1 and fantastic racing in LMP2 and the GTE classes. I don't understand how motor racing fans could find that boring, but I guess I just have to accept their right to think that way.
The same goes in a way to the way in which I choose to take part in Le Mans. There are many who think that the only way to do Le Mans is to spend a week on a campsite, imbibing copious amounts of alcohol and watching a few hours of the race. But that's not for me. I want to watch as much as possible and as alcohol holds no importance for me these days, I do that in a wholly sober state, pretty much all of the time now. It certainly wouldn't suit most, but it works very well for me as does the ability to return to a hotel bed each evening after a day of good company, good food and on-track action.
This year was different though. James, Tony and I were joined by Nane and then later in the week by Allon and I enjoyed their company even though it made for a very different experience at times, particularly for the first few days. I realise now that I am very selfish about Le Mans and this year probably even more so, having missed out on the Silverstone WEC weekend in April due to my operation. Jayne puts up with my selfishness for Le Mans because she knows how important it is for me and changes to routines aren't always easy to accept and appreciate. But Le Mans 2014 was very good indeed.
The weather (apart from the key time overnight during the race), was absolutely glorious and I can only hope for more of that in 2015, pretty please! The racing was excellent too. I'm sorry to say that my photography left rather a lot to be desired. But then, I do it for myself, not for anyone else. Next year I need to make a proper choice between still and video and also to finally get a grip on the desire to deal with the atmospheric stuff, rather than to reel off hundreds of shots of the same cars at the same places on the circuit.
As I write this, I look forward to returning to Silverstone for the WEC weekend in April; tickets and accommodation are all sorted and I can't wait to have my first glimpse of the new Nissan in the flesh, so to speak. Then it will be only a few weeks to Le Mans - my 30th Le Mans - it's quite difficult to comprehend that.... For those who have never been - try it. Most of you won't be disappointed, provided you leave any F1-related preconceptions of motor racing at home when you set off. It is a wonderful, entertaining and addictive experience. Go on - you know it makes sense.....