Aysedasi's Le Mans

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Le Mans 2022

Le Mans 2023

Le Mans 2023 Ayse's Story

Page 14 - Saturday 10th June - The Race is On


It would be fair to say that the opening couple of hours of the race were unexpectedly eventful, more so than we had seen for years, not only for the initial battle between the Toyotas and the Ferraris but also the carnage all around the circuit!  Although the track in front of us and as far as we could see in both directions was as dry as a bone, over the other side on the Mulsanne it was still damp from the earlier rain showers and this caught out the #311 Action Express Cadillac on the very first lap when it turned into the barriers causing extensive front end damage.  This wasn't the end of the Cadillac woes as the #3 Bourdais car was hit by the #21 Ferrari (and/or the #55 Aston Martin).  The two GTE cars were out of the race on the spot but the Cadillac made it back to the pits and continued after a short stop.  

The worst shunt however was for the #14 Nielsen Oreca which flew off (seemingly 'unaided') just before the Dunlop Chicane on lap 18, causing very extensive damage and giving Sales no chance of bringing the car back.  There was more to come only a lap later as Ricky Taylor speared off into the armco just after Tertre Rouge, wrecking the Tower Motorsports Oreca that had been completely rebuilt around a new chassis after the accident on Wednesday.  Not long after this the #98 Northwest Aston had a scary moment after the bonnet lifted leaving the driver to bring the car back to the pits with little or no forward visibility.  

And as if this thoroughly crazy start to the race wasn't exciting enough, then the rain came....but typically only to certain parts of the circuit.  Once again, where we were sitting in the grandstand the track remained completely dry but at the back of the circuit and through the Porsche Curves in particular it was raining hard.  There were spins a-plenty and a number of accidents which resulted in several delayed cars and two more retirements, the #60 Iron Lynx Ferrari and the #16 Proton Porsche.  All of this led to an extensive safety car period during which the rain stopped and then the track dried out.  The unpredictability of the weather made it an easy decision for us to stay in the grandstand for the time being.  It was still very warm and the ACO cafe downstairs was a real Godsend for cold drinks.  























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