Aysedasi's Le Mans

Start here

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

Le Mans 2022

Le Mans 2023

Le Mans 2023 Ayse's Story

Page 18 - Sunday 11th June - Race End, Sunshine and Nodding Dogs


We regrouped at 8:00 am and drove back into the circuit on roads that were completely free of any queuing traffic, catching up with the race news on the way in thanks to Radio Le Mans. There is always this feeling after the night has gone that the race has virtually finished however there was still a third of the race to go. Remarkably, three of the hypercars were still on the same lap, Ferrari #51 leading from the #8 Toyota with the #2 Cadillac a couple of minutes back and another four hypercars still within three laps. Of the hypercar field we had only lost the number 75 Porsche, the #7 Toyota and in the last hour the #4 Floyd Vanwall. Inter Europol led LMP2 with their #34 car just a few seconds ahead of the #41 WRT Oreca, while in GTEAm the #57 Kessel Ferrari had about half a minute on the #56 Project 1 AO Porsche.


We were back parked in Expo by 8:30 and back into our seats in T17 very soon after that. Although I felt refreshed after my break from the circuit the sun was up and the temperature was already rising considerably and I knew it would be a real test to stay awake for the remainder of the race. Although I was tempted to get up and move around I was just too weary and we stayed in the stand for the rest of the race. Fortunately, in contrast to the last few years, the race was more than good enough to continue to hold our interest, apart from the occasions when James and I nodded off, captured of course for posterity…   James, Allen, and Lauren periodically wandered off just to stay awake but I only left the stand once to try and buy a Centenary cap from the ACO shop just down at the end of the grandstands, however when I got there the queue was about 20 long so I gave up and headed back to my seat.


The rest of the race saw a good battle between the #51 Ferrari and the #8 Toyota but with only 45 minutes to go Hirakawa went off in the Toyota at Arnage and glanced the armco, necessitating a pit stop for minor repairs which gave the Ferrari a three minute lead.  The only danger to that lead came in the car's final pit stop when the engine initially failed to fire up cutting the three minute lead to one minute and twenty seconds by the chequered flag. Cadillac #2 completed the podium, one lap down. Inter Europol held on to win LMP2 (finishing a very creditable 9th overall) while the #33 Corvette completed an astonishing comeback after earlier delays to win the final Le Mans of the GTE era. Attrition had been lighter than I had expected in the heat and the rain particularly, although 21 cars failed to see the finish.  My photography in these last few hours is sparce, to say the least.  I usually get the camera out just to keep myself awake, but even that was too much of a task!  


We did in fact leave the grandstand before the end, electing to walk up to the start of the Esses to watch the last half an hour or so as this would enable us to make a quick exit through the Panorama entrance at the end of the race. We saw the cars come around after the chequered flag and then made our escape. We had already heard a message over the PA asking spectators to delay their departures amid fears of traffic gridlock however we were back to the car in Expo within five minutes and had an extraordinarily easy exit (easier than any we had ever had from Parking Blanc) enabling us to get back to the hotel just 24 minutes after the end of the race. It was an easy journey not even held up much at the ‘roundabout of woe’. I certainly felt a lot better on that journey from the one I had made at 5:00 am!























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