Aysedasi's Le Mans
I originally wrote this introduction at the beginning of September 2001 when my site had been up for about 6 months. My first effort back in March 2001 was just a single page with no links and no thumbnails, but within a month I was posting small galleries of the photographs I have taken at Le Mans over the last 24 years.
For the first month and a half I was getting about 7-8 visitors a week (and 3-4 of those were me!). Now thanks largely to the links I have traded over the years with the likes of Club Arnage, Maison Blanche, Ten Tenths and loads of other excellent Le Mans sites, both professional and enthusiast, like me, I guess I receive about 25-40 visitors a day. In the two or three weeks leading up to a race week, the figure goes up to about 50-60 a day. It may not sound a lot to you but for a one man band who set up a web site just for fun to see if he could do it, it works for me....
When I started back at the end of February 2001 for several weeks my home page carried what I suppose you could call my raison d'etre - suitably French - and as I now have a lot of visitors who haven't got a clue about me or why I have this web site and who would never have seen that, I thought that now was probably the right time to repeat what I said back then. So here goes.....
My obsession with the 24 Heures du Mans began with my first visit to La Sarthe in 1986, when like many others, I was lured by the return of the works Jaguars to the French 24 Hour classic. Little did I know then what a passion this would become.
I had never given any thought to creating a web site until one of the Tourists (you've probably picked up on who they are by now - if you haven't and you go on to read my Le Mans stories, you soon will), suggested that I should publish some of my photographs on the web. Being a (very) amateur (but keen) photographer, I've taken thousands of photographs at Le Mans in the years since 1986, resulting in a pretty big collection.
But it isn't just a question of photographs. I am a Le Mans nut, and each year I had gone to what some might consider extraordinary lengths to write up the story of the Tourists' Le Mans Weekend and it seemed quite a fun idea to put some of this on the site as well. If nothing else, I hope it might be a source of interest and amusement for those who have themselves been Tourists over the years.
This is a wholly amateur effort with no commercial interest other than small assistance from 1st Tickets (although if someone can show me a way to make some more money out of it I would love to hear from them!). The construction and upkeep of this site was (and often still is) a slow process, limited principally by the time I have available. There are some fantastic sites out there dealing with every aspect of the Le Mans experience for the expert and the uninitiated alike, and if you go to my links pages, you will be able to access some of the best ones.
But I ask my visitors to remember that this is not an expert site at all. I am neither an expert photographer, writer nor even a Le Mans expert - and you won't find professionally taken photographs here or lists of statistics you may need for the pub quiz...... There are plenty of great sites out there where you can find top-notch photographs of the cars from every possible angle and vantage-point. Virtually every picture I have taken has been from areas of the circuit to which ordinary spectators have access. The last thing I would want is a media pass, as then I'd be under an obligation to get the shots that were needed, and I can do without that. In terms of information, I don't have access to any more about Le Mans than anyone else who has been to La Sarthe or has joined the ACO. This is an enthusiast's view of Le Mans - the world's greatest motor race. A view of the sights, the sounds and the smells which those who've been there know only too well make the annual trip to La Sarthe such an addictive drug. I hope you find it of interest. If you do - let me know!
Aysedasi - September 2001 (as revised)