2009 Le Mans

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June, 2009, and the Boars visit Le Mans to see how real drivers do it.

Le Mans is best known for the huge party crowd, well over a hundred thousand fans crowded into a huge tent city around the track. The track is 9km, so there is plenty of room and the town airport is in the middle. Beer intake is staggering and so is most of the crowd by Saturday night.

What is really astonishing and impossible to convey on television is the speed of the cars. The Boars were guests of Aston Martin and the pavilion was at the Ford chicane, just before the pits. The cars approach at 150mph and don’t slow a great deal on the way up hill to the Dunlop Bridge. Seen from track level, this is stunning. And they do it for twenty-four hours.

The Ford Chicane is clogged with ghosts, Bentley Boys thundering through the rain, Pierre Levegh slowing at this very point just before catastrophe, GT40s lining up, 1-2-3, a tradition followed today as Peugeot turbodiesels celebrated a 1-2. Aston was 4th, best of the petrol powered cars.

Taittinger provide lakes of champagne at the Aston Pavilion. The Boars approve.