Le Mans 2014 - Ayse's Story
Page 3 - Monday
Time for Sunshine, Tenthers and Rebellions...
Monday morning dawned as bright and sunny as the day before after our first night in our Le Mans 'home from home' and my early morning routine was also unchanged. James was up and about much earlier than usual however Nane wasn't feeling so well this morning. So the two of us decided to head off to Auchan for breakfast. We had discovered the day before that Monday was a bank holiday in France and although we did nip up to the Bar Havane to check just in case, it was clearly very closed.... At Auchan, quite apart from the irony of bumping into Madame from the bar doing her shopping, we enjoyed some excellent coffee, a rather good pain au raisin and the 'maxi' size pain au chocolat - a pastry on steroids that we would both heartily recommend and which turned out to be better than any we had all week!
Having gorged ourselves on buttery goodies we did a spot of shopping in Auchan where I bought a supply of my water and a universal plug for my hotel room wash basin! We also bought some more croissants to take back for Nane's breakfast. We had made a conscious decision the day before that we wouldn't bother to rush into town for the start of scrutineering as virtually all the cars due through before the lunch break were GT Ferraris With all due respect to those cars and their teams, James and I are prototype fans through and through, so we decided that the first cars we really wanted to see were the Rebellions. These were due to go through into scrutineering straight after the lunch break at 1.30.
We actually arrived around midday (although Nane remained at the hotel as she was still feeling out of sorts), and we quickly located our car park. Having enjoyed our time away from the main crowds the day before, we decided to await the post-lunch action at the far end of the 'collection area' again. It was as we were walking there that we spotted a familiar colour - orange! Yes, enjoying a drink at the bar were Walter, Ton (Mr. Orange, resplendent in an appropriately coloured shirt) and his son Sergio.
We enjoyed a drink and a chat with these three and about 20 minutes or so later we lucked in as the Rebellion truck arrived and the two lovely Rebellion R1's were unloaded, literally right in front of us. Wonderful!
At about 1 am we headed back to the other end of the collection area where Walter and I exchanged photos of each other (!) while Aston Martins, Porsches and various other cars were unloaded.
The Audis were due in at 15.10 and the sight of Reinhold Joest prowling the street (along with some of the drivers) meant that they couldn't be far away...
By this time we had been joined by Eric (batmobile) and his brother Stéphane as well as Romanian Tenths member Victor. By this time James had been contacted by Nane, still in the hotel, but now feeling a lot better and very bored there, so he headed back to pick her up and bring her back into town to join us.
The scrutineering process continued in much the same way as it always does and I was able to get some good shots of the Audis as they were unloaded and pushed into position. There are no engines of course during scrutineering. We hung on until the Corvettes arrived. I took quite a shine to the new C7R's which to my mind looked that much more sleeker and purposeful than the very familiar C6R's that they had replaced.
I know that we bumped into John Brooks at some point and talked about the Greaves operation and possibilities for Tuesday, although for the life of me I can't now recall whether that was on Sunday or Monday!
As things drifted towards a conclusion, we made the decision around 5 pm that we had seen enough and made our way back to the car and drove back to the hotel. It had been another very warm day and I needed to cool off and rest my legs as I'd spent most of the day on my feet. Soon enough though, our thoughts turned to dinner and we went out to another of our usual haunts, the Hippo Grill where foie gras was consumed with gusto followed by a fairly up-market burger. It was strange though, James and I had eaten here many times before but this year it seemed a rather dull experience; there were only about half a dozen diners there and the whole place seemed to be in need of some serious updating, decor-wise. The food was reasonable, but in truth, quite expensive for what it was, the burgers in particular.
Following our meal it was back as normal to the hotel for a moderately early night. So, the first 'phase' of the trip was now over with the conclusion of scrutineering and now we had the prospect of our first visit to the circuit to look forward to tomorrow.
Videos 2, 3 and 4