Monday, October 02, 2006

Reflections on Petit Le Mans

Due to my lack of TV- and laptop-related viewing on Sunday I'm unable to talk about the three different Superbike championships that raced this weekend, two of them for the final time this season. I can assure you however that comments are coming, especially given the pathetic behavior by so-called "profesisonals" at Mid-Ohio that I've heard a little about...

So today seems like as good a day as any to cogitate on this year's Petit Le Mans, which took place on Saturday at Road Atlanta.

I'm pleased to say that I only missed 15 minutes of the nine hours whilst I ran out to get milk, distilled water and flowers at the local store. A remarkable thing happens when you watch / listen to a long endurance race: you get sucked in. As the race ebbs and flows, the fact you've seen enough of it to spot said ebbing and flowing unlocks a whole new level of understanding and complexity that the casual observer would certainly miss.

So whilst Joe Blow would have certainly spotted the dramatic destruction of Guy Smith's Dyson-Lola, he would have missed how Creation were constantly battling the need to change tyres at every pitstop. He would definitely have missed the gradual move up the leaderboard by Duncan Dayton's Highcroft Racing Lola, which crossed the line in a magnificent third despite a late charge by mutant-nocturnal-ninja-creature Jamie Campbell-Walter in the Creation.

All in all it was a fabulous race, full of drama, and enhanced by my usage of the Globecast 0157 commentary allied with Speed Channel's visuals. We even got to hear my partner's name read out on air after she asked a question about the aforementioned Lola that had been converted into a 10,000-piece carbon-fibre jigsaw puzzle.

Kudos go to the Zytek team for a great second place, at the expense of the terrifically boring Audi freight-train, which suffered suspension failure on the second-placed car ten laps from the close of the business.

I'm feeling all "predictory" about next year's Le Mans season (as well as focused on the topic given the upcoming ALMS race at nearby Laguna Seca), so look for such a post in the next few days.

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