Barff’s Le Mans Diary
Day Five – Friday Fun
Friday is traditionally
a day when the teams get a chance to catch their breath and catch
up on any repairs and tweaks to the cars.
For the drivers there
is the parade through the city in the late afternoon, something
all of the TVR crew were thoroughly looking forward to.
Before then though there
was more media work, TVRs return to Le Mans has attracted a great
deal of attention.
Richard Stanton had arranged
for us to visit the main TVR Car Club campsite in the afternoon.
Quite right too, there are around 1000 TVR road cars estimated to
be arriving for the race, and well over 500 of these are here thanks
to the efforts of the excellent TVR Car Club. One of the drivers
has particular reason to be grateful to the club, Michael Caine,
my team mate in British GTs last year, was offered personal sponsorship
by the members, a fantastic gesture.
down to the Houx campsite in convoy, the drivers in Richard Stanton’s
Land Rover Discovery. I say “in” but in the case of
myself, Tim Sugden and Michael Caine we were on top, in full race
suits and waving Union Jacks and the TVR ensign….with the
TVR press fleet behind, Ben Samuelson in a Tuscan S, Chairman Peter
Wheeler in a Cerbera and dailysportscar in the
brand new little 350C.
a fantastic welcome at Houx. As soon as we arrived we had beers
thrust into our hands and I must have signed about 200 autographs
on t-shirts, posters, photographs and race tickets.
There were photos, handshakes,
backslapping and a huge cheer as we left, a real boost, then it
was back on board the ‘Disco’ and off to a press function
that the Richards had arranged, or so we thought!
happened was that we were taken to a hairdressers: Richard Stanton
had arranged for all six of us to have a special hairdo for the
in this instance meant having our hair sprayed with what was alleged
to be bright yellow hair colour (it actually came out bright green
on our dark hair) and if that wasn’t enough we then had ‘DEWalt’
sprayed on the back and ‘TVR’ on both sides in black
– it was certainly eye catching!
It earned the
reception Richard was hoping for at the parade too. It seemed that
every camera in the world was pointed in our direction.
There were literally
thousands of people lining the route as each crew paraded in an
open topped vintage car. The TVR crews got a fantastic welcome,
a real boost for all of us before the race tomorrow.
So that was Friday, for
tomorrow, the cars are ready, the pit crews are ready and all of
the drivers are ready, willing, able and eager to get stuck into
the great race.
It’ll be tough
to sleep tonight, not through nerves but through excitement. I’ve
been building up to this for an awfully long time and I intend to
give it my very best shot.