Robert Walsh

Freelance writer from Cornwall

The Le Mans 24 Hours: One Of My Other Passions.

One more for today, seeing as I’m still enjoying the novelty of my own blog.

I’m a petrolhead. I can’t drive. I’m not allowed to drive. But I’m still a petrolhead.

Every year I start planning and paying for tickets, camping permits and other essentials for the next trip and I usually start panning months in advance. I first went over in 1999 as it was something I’d always wanted to do and I didn’t realise then that it would be the start of an annual passion that still persists. It’s like an itch I can’t scratch. Like around 250-300,000 others from all over the world I pack my kit, make the arrangements and then, a week before the start of the race itself, I’m off to the ferry and back in La Belle France once more.

Le Mans was first run in 1923 and since then there have been more British winners than any other nationality. The single largest contingent of spectators is actually British, not French. Some of the biggest British car-makers have won there, legends like the ‘Bentley Boys’ of the mid-to-late 1920’s and Jaguar’s domination during the 1950’s, Aston Martin’s only win in 1959 and then Jaguar again in 1988 and 1990. Not for nothing is Le Mans described as ‘A very British race, run in France.’

If I do go over next year it’ll be my eleventh visit since my first in 1999. I don’t know whether I’ll be there or not. If it’s at all possible then I will be, but right now I don’t know. With the return of the Porsche factory team in 2014 (Porsche have more wins than any other car-maker) we could well be in for a titanic battle between Porsche, the Toyota factory team and, of course, the Le Mans legends that are the Audi factory team.

And let’s not forget one more attraction. Danish driver Tom ‘TK’ Kristenson is also known as ‘Mr. Le Mans.’ Why? Because he has more wins than any other driver in LeMans history. He’s won nine times at the Ciruit de la Sarthe and will certainly be gunning for win number ten. Will he get it? Will he also become the first Le Mans driver ever to win in double figures? I have absolutely no idea and neither does anybody else.

But I do know one thing. I’m absolutely desperate to be there to find out.

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This entry was posted on November 2, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , .
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