Sparky Pete wrote: Dr. Wife wrote:
I find any attempt to write a summary of the Le Mans experience difficult.
Even when freezing, wet and hungry, I was happy at Le Mans. You would be too.
I think you just said it perfectly.
I've loved every ALMS race we've been to (especially our trip to Road Atlanta in 2010 for Petit Le Mans), but there's a reason I call Le Mans "the pilgrimage." Sensory overload of the best kind.
Television is no comparison to the visceral punch of standing near the Indianapolis corner in the middle of the night, feeling the ground shake as the next car comes thundering in and whips by you toward Arnage. Standing closer to Arnage, the drivers brake so late one wonders if they'll actually slow down enough, but then the rotors on the cars glow red-hot for a moment and they swoop around the corner to thunder away from the crowd. Underneath your hearing protection, earbuds bring the sounds of Radio Le Mans to keep you apprised of the rest of the track.
We stood at Arnage and Indianapolis for hours both times we went, watching the drivers execute this sequence every few minutes again and again-- and yet when we left to go back to the rest of the track, they still had half the race ahead of them.
Attending any ALMS race gives you that wonderful punch of seeing these amazing cars and amazing drivers perform, but Le Mans is full-on motorsports immersion therapy due to the scale and duration. As a spectator, I feel like I can just walk around, and if something strikes my fancy, I'll take my time and soak it in. If the view from a particular chicane seems cool, go ahead and watch it for almost half an hour... that's less than 3% of the race's duration. Start at the Porsche Curves, stroll by the ferris wheel, watch the Ford Chicane, check out the action in the pits, proceed to the Dunlop Bridge and Tetre Rouge. Take your time at that and it'll occupy several hours, yet you'll see less than 1/3 of the track.
Then you'll be about ready for some crepes.
Clogging up the Gulf Region with TetanusNeon
since 2008 and now the TetanusRacing 944 too.
Guest drives with NSF, Rocket Surgery, Property Devaluation, Terminally Confused, Team Sputnik, and Spank's band of miscreants.
28 races and counting!