Scrutineering is a causal, ‘laissez-faire’ event held every year, where true fans that follow the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but for the 80th running of the race itself, Place de la Republic entered the spotlight after it’s last appearance in 1923, as Places des Jacobins was unavailable, due to ongoing construction works.
And the verdict of all who attended? Nothing but singing praises about the operational succes of the event, which is traditionally held on the Sunday and Monday before it starts to get serious at the Circuit de la Sarthe, leading up to the start of the iconic endurance race that everyone wants to win, with the 80th running of the 24 Heures du Mans starting this coming Saturday at 3pm.
The spectators were clearly enjoying the spectacle of being able to see these endurance vehicles up close and personal, which are designed for one purpose only, to finish and finish fast. This is due to the fact that the cars are checked to see if they conform to the regulations, a very serious matter, but it gave a chance for people like Bastien, only 12, who came out of school quickly, as soon as the final bell had rung. His words said it all, about the allure of what Le Mans brings every year: ‘The cars are checked under a tent, but by leaning in a bit, you get to see the engine’.
So this young, impressionable child was able to see such great vehicles, which included the Audi R18 armada and the Toyota Hybrids, but it was one vehicle in particular that caught his eye, as well as the rest of the crowd – the Nissan Deltawing. This state of the art vehicle, that has drawn attention around the globe, first needed to be guided to negotiate its way to the technical checkpoint area, with one of their drivers, Marino Franchitti, in one way, was saying to the crowd that the car will show how it turns this week.
Wednesday and Thursday sees the drivers from all categories taking part in the final practice and qualifying sessions, that will shape the grid for the 80th running of this event, where a rolling start, followed by the green flag dropping at 3pm on Saturday, setting the wheels in motion for another 24 hours of racing, where dreams are made reality, and hearts are broken in a spilt second, as Audi attempts to build on its further dominance of this iconic track, and reap the benefit of no real clear competition, since the withdrawal of Peugeot the day before the WEC entry deadline. The final moment of truth will be shown, when the chequered flag waves at 3pm Sunday at Le Mans.