Aysedasi's Le Mans

Start here

Start here.....................

Le Mans 2022

Le Mans 2023

Le Mans 2023 Ayse's Story

Page 9 - Thursday 8th June - The Hyperpole Charade - and Trevor Joins the Party!



We had already planned to leave the grandstand when the session ended at 6:00 pm to go back to the car in Expo and drive out to Mulsanne corner for the Hyperpole session at 8 and then the final practice session (now only one hour) at 10:00 pm.

Getting out to the outskirts of Arnage village was easy enough but as we approached the ‘Feuilette roundabout’ everything ground to a halt, and we crawled through the village to the next roundabout which took traffic the normal way to Arnage.  Of course we already knew better than to take that normal way and once we were straight across the roundabout and following the “Violet” signage we lost virtually all of the traffic and had another easy journey, brilliantly signposted all the way to Mulsanne corner car park where we arrived at 7:30 pm.  There were a decent number of cars in the car park but it was far from full. We took our chairs from the car and walked down to the corner as the first RTLM race ended and found it fairly busy on the viewing bank. I assume that as there were only a modest number of cars in the car park many of the people already on the viewing bank must have come on the shuttle buses. We went right to the far end of the corner enclosure and set up our chairs.


You will have appreciated by now that I am not at all a fan of the Hyperpole concept. I guess that the ACO think that a half hour qualifying shootout including only nine cars from each class is exciting, but I would take back the three two hour qualifying sessions format in a heartbeat. I guess that the Hyperpole format is more TV friendly for those casual viewers with limited attention spans but even with a much more competitive field it still felt like a damp squib. The Ferraris took the front row with relative ease with IDEC Sport surprisingly beating Jota in LMP2 while the Corvette was a second and a half clear in GTEAm. It was unfortunate that the already brief session was red flagged when the #3 Cadillac stopped and caught fire on the Mulsanne, which seemed to take all of the (already limited) steam out of the session.


It was as the Hyperpole session was coming to a close that our little band of ‘Croutons’ was joined by an interloper! Yes it is now time to introduce Trevor...   But this introduction to my story needs a little explanation to begin with. It was back in May 2019 that someone by the name of Trevor Alexander Hermance contacted me via Facebook Messenger, thanking me for my website and the impetus that it had given him way back in 2003 to become fascinated with the 24 hours of Le Mans.  I was pleased to receive a message from a ‘fan’ but I thought little more of it at the time.  In June 2018 Trevor had made his first visit to Le Mans from the USA and indicated that he hoped to be there again for the centenary. In April this year he contacted me again as he was now definitely going to be attending and he was hoping that we might get the opportunity to meet. I was aware by then that he was attending as a marshal and although I mentioned a couple of possibilities in my reply I wasn't at all confident that it would work out with his duties and our plans for the week. But once he had received his marshaling schedule for the week we provisionally agreed to try and meet up for breakfast at the Feuilette on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately Tuesday turned out to be impossible due to his unexpected involvement in the Chief Post Marshals briefing (the same briefing that we had thought of blagging our way into on our circuit drive that day).  We maintained contact however via Messenger and I told him that we planned to head out to Mulsanne corner on Thursday evening. I confess that once we had set up camp at Mulsanne corner I completely forgot about this and I was hugely surprised when this chap turned up in front of us asking for me by name! (Although I had been aware that he was at Mulsanne corner long before us as he sent me a video taken it about 5:30).


After the introductions he explained that he had looked all around for me without success but when he went back to his bike in the car park he had a look around for my car (which he knew from my photographs on my website from previous years) and he found it. He must have looked pretty hard as I had parked way down in the bottom corner of the car park. He then came all the way back again right to the furthest point of the corner to find me. He thanked me again for the influence that my website and stories had had on him from a fairly tender age which had fueled his desire to become involved in motor sports ultimately leading to his current job as the assistant general manager of Palmer motor sports park in Massachusetts. Trevor was on a break from his marshaling duties only a little way down the Mulsanne from where we were sitting. 

Sadly my photos from the final session were among the worst I've ever taken at Le Mans.  Then again, I did spend more time chatting than wielding the camera! 

Trevor stayed chatting with us for a considerable time as we watched the final session, answering all of our questions about the marshaling processes including information about the mirrored location of the marshals’ posts which I had never been aware of before - it really was enlightening stuff. I know that James, Lauren and Allon enjoyed Trevor's company as much as I did and I was really quite chuffed to observe his tremendous enthusiasm for this event that had captivated me for so many years. It had been a wonderful way to round off another good day at the circuit and was the perfect antidote to an anticlimactic hyper pole session.


As we had done the night before we chose to leave Mulsanne corner a little before the end of the session to beat the traffic and Trevor walked back with us as his bike was chained up in the car park. We said our farewells at about 10:45 and left the car park to retrace our way back to Arnage and then back to the hotel. Getting back to Arnage (reversing the violet route) wasn't difficult but the traffic bogged down again just as we approached the roundabout entering Arnage village. After not moving at all for about five minutes the traffic started moving again but we quickly realised that the gendarmes had closed our roundabout exit, presumably due to some kind of accident or incident and we were forced to go back the way we had just come. This was frustrating as we were little more than a quarter of a mile from the main drag back and we were now being sent in a direction that we were wholly unfamiliar with. I'll freely admit that I was completely flummoxed, but at this point my ‘navigator extraordinaire’ came into his own as James employed Google Maps to take us in a circle around via Moncé-en-Belin until we were back onto the familiar road again. It was a good job he was on board otherwise I'd probably still be lost in France right now!


We finally pulled up at the hotel after this extensive detour at ten past midnight nearly an hour and a half after leaving the car park at Mulsanne corner. I was very ready for some sleep after another hot day and the long journey back.  But it was going to be a warm night following a hot day, as witnessed by the thermometer in my room after midnight...























Aysedasi's Le Mans
is supported by

Want to get in touch?

Your name:

Your email address:



Are you a first timer?

Take a look at my information for first-timers