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After a long day of traveling, I am now in Le Mans and excited for race week and what hopefully will be a great race for the #97 Lowe’s Aston Martin Vantage GTE team.
While the race is not until Saturday, at Le Mans you hit the ground running early. I arrived in Paris yesterday and despite heavy traffic, I was able to make pretty good time on what normally is a 2-1/2 hour drive to the track.
The first order of business was to greet the team, catch up on a few notes following our recent test there on June 3 and current schedule, and prepare my driving kit – suit, helmet, Hans, etc. – for the Administrative Checks and Scrutineering which were scheduled for later that afternoon in the town square of Le Mans.
As usual, there was a great crowd on hand to greet all the teams and drivers and watch the proceedings. Scrutineering is a two-day event – Sunday and Monday – with strict appointment times for each car and basically there is one car presented every 10 minutes at inspection stations.
Fans come early for a good viewing spot and have the opportunity for autographs and photos with their favorite drivers following the traditional team photos and on-stage media interviews. I am always amazed at the great photos the fans bring not only for signing but to share a little bit of history of past races.
I am fortunate to have my father with me at the race again this year. He thoroughly enjoyed his first time at Le Mans and this quickly has become one of his favorite races. He has always been one of the biggest influences in my career and my life, and it is special to have him here.
Today (Tuesday), included the Driver’s Briefing at the track – mandatory for all drivers – and an autograph session in the garage area from 5:00pm-6:30pm.
As you can tell from this photograph of me and my teammates at the autograph session, it was quite cool and the forecast for the rest of the week could make things interesting and even more exciting if the rain indeed comes.
Tomorrow we begin on-track testing and qualifying practice sessions. You can find a full schedule of all track activities here http://bit.ly/LSbFdl. Race coverage will be provided by SPEED TV, SPEEDTV.com, americanlemans.com and radiolemans.com.
24 hours, 56 cars and 168 drivers – I am looking forward to a great race and hope you will tune in to follow us.
Thank you for your support,