Le Mans 2020 - Ayse's Story
Page 3 - The Race
Race day came around and we had plenty of food laid on by Jayne and James and Lauren arrived just in time for the start. It was a very strange experience, watching the build up on the TV with no spectators at the circuit. Over the years I've mused several times about the day finally arriving when I would not be able to go to Le Mans. Obviously it was going to happen one day, whether through age or infirmity, but I hadn't expected it to happen for a few years yet!
For the race, I had the live feed via Eurosport, together with the Radio Le Mans commentary and live timing on my laptop. It was bizarre really that I was far better informed about what was going on at all stages of the race than I had ever been! I really had just a couple of things to focus on particularly for this Le Mans, the last race for Rebellion and the progress of the #24 Nielsen Racing LMP2. I'm not going to give a blow by blow commentary of the fortunes of either team as that would be pretty pointless but I was able to exchange whatsapp messages with Toby from time to time (and we briefly saw him with the crew on the live feed) and also with the Buckingham crew. I was delighted that the Nielsen car made it to the finish - it was just a shame that it couldn't have been pedalled a little quicker....
I watched the whole race, completely uninterrupted as I wasn't about to break my 'no sleep at Le Mans' rule, which had been in place since the late 80's. Lauren retired to bed around 1 am and James followed a couple of hours later but I stuck it out to the end. I suppose I felt a little better for the fact that it would have been impossible to attend the race but it was a very pale shadow of the normal Le Mans experience. What more can I say....?
Edit - It is now June 2021. As I write, had the original dates applied, I would have been in France, getting ready to go to the circuit for free practice and the first qualifying session today. The race has been put back to August of course and I've already resigned myself to not being there - for the second year in a row. Toby will be there again, having moved up somewhat - he's been working for Algarve Pro in the ELMS and also did the first round of the WEC with G Drive. So it is already two years since I was at Le Mans and I confess that I'm really feeling the 'loss' right now. This has been a poor story, I know, but the desire to talk about Le Mans 2020 is limited and I only do so (as I said at the start) for the sake of continuity and record.