During Le Mans scrutineering, even the normally recalcitrant F-1 stars open their hearts and quote books for the media when they transition to the friendlier world of sports car racing. Drivers often find themselves waiting around engaging in friendly banter with teammates, rivals and the media as the queue forms to get the cars through tech.
In typical bureaucratic fashion, the teams and drivers have an appointed time to be present if they are late the penalties can be draconian. If the organizers are a bit tardy, it’s, “c’est la vie” (that’s life with the appropriate Gallic shrug).
Holding the technical and administrative checks in the town center is also a throw back to a simpler by-gone days. It recalls and pays honor to the early days of the post-war era when even the big works teams of the day stayed in towns around Le Mans and commuted by driving the race cars to the track every morning and night, sometimes as far as 30 to 40 miles.
Today the cars all stay at the track in the paddock, but for two days a year it is like old times with cars being moved by transporter and flat bed trucks to the public square.
It is the traditions that make all great events special and nowhere in Europe do those traditions carry on like they do at Le Mans. A visit to Place de la Republique is a must if you want to soak in the entire Le Mans experience. Come early and stay late, scrutineering is part of the spectacle that should not be missed.
You can follow me on twitter @jrollerLM24 and here interviews from scrutineering at radiolemans.com.