Sunday, June 14, 2009
Le Mans, France. 12:07am, Sunday June 14, 2009
I am not tired. At least it does not feel that way. And like all things, this too will no doubt change. The race has been going for 9 hours. It doesn’t really feel like that long. But it is. I can tell because the words that used to come so easily are now elusive. I know they’re there, I just can’t find them, yet. And as I look around I see the sleepy and the sleeping. The drivers have it the worst. Piloting a car at speeds approaching 200 mph is exhausting. The cars are required by the rule makers to have air conditioning. What those of us not in the car don’t realize is that the AC is only required to keep the temperature below 32 degrees centigrade. That’s about 90 fahrenheit. Better than the 130 it would be without, and still hot. When a driver gets out of the car after an hour stint, his driving suit is soaked in sweat. Tonight they are doing double stints and will continue this for the rest of the race. For the next 14+ hours. And I have not stopped since 5:30 this morning. Which is perhaps why I am typing like a blind man. I’m back in the Ferrari tent, but it is virtually empty. A refreshing change from the day when it is full with media, teams members and hangers on. Lots of the latter. But now the air is cool, the engines wail in the distance and the announcer continues to find things to say. Fortunately my French is not good enough for me to make much sense of it all and the ear plugs soften things to a point where I have almost forgotten it’s there. Almost.
OK, I took a nap. 20 minutes and I am a new man. Well not entirely new, but new enough to get my ass out of my chair for a cup of espresso. I want one of these machines. It’s the kind that uses pre-packaged coffee pucks. Easy, no mess and tastes good. What’s not to love.
Earlier I took a walk and mingled with the masses. There are thousands of people here. Thousands and thousands. I’ll find out later how many, but for the time being we’ll just say a butt load. And they are partying as hard as they can. At least they are awake. I’m checking out of writing and into picture editing so you can see this, or at least my version. And to truly get it one needs to hear it. To hear it and to feel it in your chest. A most excellent sensation.