Aysedasi's Le Mans

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Le Mans 2022

Le Mans 2023

Le Mans 2022 Ayse's Story

Page 15 - Thursday 9th June - Final Free Practice at Arnage



After the Hyperpole session, having been in the grandstand for the best part of six hours or more, it was now definitely time to move on, stretch our legs and head off to Arnage again.  Allon was keen to do Arnage and Indianapolis and we were perfectly happy to go there again, even though we'd been there the previous night.  We had plenty of time as the final free practice session didn't start until 10 pm and as far as I recall the journey there (with Allon squeezed in too) was straight forward.  I don't recall now if Tony and Tim joined us after we got there, or if we joined them....  We got there in very good time and had our chairs set up along the run from Indianapolis to Arnage corner by 9.10 pm.   There was therefore plenty of time to tuck into a sandwich Americaine merguez!  

Arnage corner is one of those love/hate places on the circuit, depending on whether you're a spectator or a photographer.  It's the slowest corner on the track as well as being pretty much as close as spectators can get to the cars (legally!).  So for the fans, with the faster cars rushing past the slower ones in the 'squirt' from Indianapolis, it's pretty exciting - and all the more so at night.  The cars are then hard on the brakes producing some wonderful glowing brake discs before they take the corner.  For my money, during the recent Toyota/Porsche/Audi hybrid era it was the best place to watch as those cars accelerated like rocketships out of the corner, they were absolutely mesmerising.   

On the other hand, for the photographer it's a real challenge.  The debris fencing is extremely intrusive.  For those relying on smart phones, you can hold the phone up high and just hope for the best (which does work for video), but if you're wielding an SLR with a big lens, the fencing is nigh-on impossible to lose.  I took plenty of photos of course, but the majority of those where fencing was involved were poor.  The few good shots I got were taken of the cars as they left the corner, as I was able to 'get above' the fencing.  What is seen here is the best I could manage....

Apologies again for the poor quality of the video....

So the session came to an end with the Toyotas running about two seconds quicker than the Glicks with the Alpine having replaced the sand and running another second or so behind.  It was reasonable to assume that this was probably close to the pace we would see from each of them in the race as there had been nothing to press hard for in this (and the previous) session.  Jota and United Autosports were probably most people's favourites in P2 and the Corvettes were looking a lot stronger than many had expected in GTEPro.  Our walk back to the car and subsequent return to our base was once again pleasantly unremarkable and we were into our beds not long after 1 am.  



























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