Well, here we go LeMans 2006.
How to report on this, so many things that happened and so many things forgotten, well this is how it looked through my eyes.
It was a nice lazy start to the holiday, getting picked up by Apple in the 3.0 TDI A6 and gradually squeezing in more and more people until we had the luggage and bodies of 5. Got started the way we meant to continue with a beer and a Macki D’s on the way to meet Larry at Portsmouth.
Thursday was supposed to be the quiet warm up to Friday, unfortunately someone forgot to tell that to a bunch of tossers in purple shirts sitting on the cornet of the roundabout in Arnage. We had just gone for a quiet pint and pizza only to be disturbed by these idiots who were trying to get every car that passed to ‘burn out’ we let it pass for a while but after they launched a pint of water in to a Bentley much to the shock of the 70 year old couple that were driving it, we had had enough. Back to the A6 load the pistols with a combination of 60% lucozade and 40% water, wind up the tinted windows and we were ready. Sliding gently up to the people on question we were of course encouraged to light up the A4 3.0 TDI Quattro, short of a sudden ice age or a sudden shower of banana skins, that was never going to happen. Everyone was poised ready for action, the call went out …go go go and the windows were opened and a barrage of sticky juice was unleashed at point blank range into the faces of several unsuspecting 50 year olds who quite frankly did not take it in the most dignified manner. Needless to say they could not take what they were dishing out and proceeded to chase us down the road to the cheers and jeers of all the onlookers. Another act of justice in the name of Larry Lemans successfully administered. The rest of the day was spent drinking and in the search for beer. It turns out that Larry had been down the local in the Range Rover and bought out the shops whole supply of beer. Wasn’t even half full he tells me later.
Friday oh Friday, well at least everyone made it to the start of the day this year. A gentle start with a few beers for breakfast, we started to load the cars with all manner of water firing devices and copious amounts of alcohol. We headed down to our usual spot down by Indianapolis but unfortunately the Gendarmes were doing a good job of stopping every car that could possibly do a burn out from coming down the road. We go to occupying ourselves with a bit of catapult action. After several warm up attempts Chesney and Jwit had there nique down and were ready for a moving target. Before we could say anything they had launched a round each at the unsuspecting Clio of the gendarmes that had just driven by. To be fair their aim was fairly true and they managed to both miss by only a few meters, however the gendarmes that were in the wagon behind were not so impressed with their skills (see the video). That was that game over.
After moving around to several spots we settled for the straight by the pits, this involved the usual antics including a ford lightening that proceeded to seemingly do a set of tyres in one go and suffocate half the crowd. Good skills. There were a few zippy Caterhams, a digger, several convertibles having a competition to see who could get the roof up the quickest, the winner being the one with the smallest pool of water in the bottom of the car. There was also a quick visit from a few elderly gents in purple shirts. “Oi, its them Larry Lemon lot” I heard, I turned around to see them looking at the 5 or 6 Larry Crew on the road side. I was standing on the bank at the time with the other 20 of the Crew all with super soakers in hand. Needles to say the confrontation did not last long. Things seemed to be winding down so we wrapped things up and headed back to the campsite for the carnage that was going to be Friday night.
This next bit may not be long or make a lot of sense but I’m pretty sure that everyone’s recollection of the evening is going to be as hazy as mine. It went something along the lines of Food and Drink, Dice and Drink, Dance and Drink, “Anyone got a pint in their hand……Down in One”, more Drink and then Blurry Morning sunshine. There were a few more things I remember and I am sure that more will come to me as time goes by but this is what I have so far: There was definitely food, then there was the drinking game to which Chesney brought the most rancid drink in the whole of France. It is the first time in a long time that a drink has bounced on me quite as quickly as that one did, it was all I could do to keep it down while lining up for the funnel that I had just rolled. Twiglet was doing a fine job considering his known lightweight status and the considerable bad luck that he was having. Oh yea and Red run having an impromptu snooze. Ahh and there were the bands, what can you say about them, awesome, fantastic, better be back next year. They started as two and ended as one, I cant remember how many times they came back for an encore but every time seemed to be better than the last and was received by an even bigger roar from the crowd and even more furious dancing churning up the ground into a dust cloud extending far into the night sky.
The morning was unwelcome but the breakfast went down a treat. Some of the more adventurous made it out the campsite before midday; the rest of us nursed our bodies back into life and then made our way down to Arnage for the start of the race. After a few hours we made our way to several vantage points around the circuit including the café on the Mulsanne straight which took a few goes to get to but with Larry’s built in Stella seeking guidance system we soon found it. Much to our joy there was not the heavy presence of police this year and we managed to get on the barriers with the cars passing at over 200mph just 1 or 2 meters away. This gave you a really good idea of speed and just how quiet the Audis were, they just appeared out of the night and as they passed you got a whoosh of air and the road noise of the tyres. Viewing done most of the troops headed home at about 2-3am, several of us stayed in the pit lane area to watch the sun rise, after a load of pit stops and a French Pikey fight, mild insanity set in and we decided that the sun was not actually going to come up. We headed for the tents at 6.30 ish to get a couple of hours shut eye before we got boiled out of them………
….…The rest is a bit blurry and somebody did win and it was probably an Audi.