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Le Mans 2005 LeMans, F1, formule 1, konstrukce, | Constructors F1 Constructors F1

Le Mans 2005

J.Beneš,text i foto | 12.5.05 | J. Beneš


I have just returned from the Castle, well, I mean from Le Mans on Monday morning, but the feeling of triumph is similar to that of "Klema" on that historical February day.

The fact that there is such a race, I realized already as a little boy, browsing through father's World of Engines sometime back in the sixties, when he took me to our garage, about a kilometre away, to apply all "improvements" into our family Spartak, listed in the magazine. While my father was laboriously spreading glycerine onto the rubber insulations and blowing through the jets all the time, I was sifting through the magazines.Another encounter came in the cinema Jadran in Brno at the beginning of the seventies, at the premiere of the Steve McQeen's film Le Mans and the magazines of the time where I found other information, mostly about already passed races. Hard to say today how much of influence it was on my life, but there surely must have been some, at least in my inclination towards various mechanisms and in my dream to see the event in my own eyes. That I didn't make it true sooner I account for my, let's say absent-mindedness, in the sense that my efforts were not too systematic and before I woke up from the winter's sleep, the race had been already over. The third and the strongest stimulus was the appearance of a fan of the race from Cheb, Mr. Petr Havlicek at www.lemans.cz. Though after more or less accidental search entry "scuderia filipineti" into some search engine. The web site, in my opinion very professionally done, with amazing amount of information on this exceptional race and with lots of images, it all woke me up from daydreaming. Having read several stories, I came to conclusion that I have to see the action immediately. As soon as I got hold of a calendar for 2005, I marked the magical weekend 18 - 19 July 2005 and began to look forward to it unscrupulously.I set Thursday as the day of departure and decided for VW Transporter as a means of transport, as it is quite suitable for spending the night in, will hold a lot of stuff and the turbo-diesel's agility ensures pretty swift speed average on the European highways, at least till France, because I hadn't made up my mind as to whether I would let the French fare collectors earn some money of me or not. Having spent the afternoon shopping for elementary "domestic" products including still water and "sound" boots I set off early morning westwards from my native town. Without any surprising events I found myself close to the German town of Sinsheim late at night, where you can find a fantastic aviation museum and in the shade of a Tu-144 I went to bed. At about half past six in the morning, after "all English breakfast" I decided for the journey past the famous circuit Hockenheimring, via Saarbrucken, nice and easy on the highway to Paris and then I will see. This cost some 22.20 EUR on fees, but it cut the travel time by 2 hours at least. From Paris I took the national through Orleans to Le Mans, to save 15.90 EUR and satisfy my skimpy nature and let the thrifty myself out.The road is marked well, so once again, I could take in all charms of the little villages and towns I was driving through and tame my "racing" heart which kept whispering: "go, go, so you are already there". The circuit itself is easy to find, because the whole surroundings of Le Mans obviously breathes with the event, and closer you get, more explicit it is, and last but not least also because I began encountering sports cars of all sorts and years of production, in various groups, mostly mounted with English license plates. From the guideline for the first visit I remembered that I want the BLEU parking lot, where I arrived without stopping around 6pm and took my place about 200 m from the gate near the Ford corners. As soon as I got out of the car, I realized I would like to die there, as I had never seen anything like that, let alone experienced. And that was just the beginning of the emotional orgasm, which lasted till the late Sunday afternoon, when I left the sanctuary of the world motosport. Constantly I had to ensure myself that it was not a daydream, that it was true, that it was really me living my childhood dream at the age of fifty, the dream which first emerged more than forty years ago over, nowadays already aged, pages of World of Engines in a lost garage somewhere at the periphery of Brno. What happened next? I don't really know, I just wondered around, the redneck from a village, just staring and staring. When the race starts, when it ends, that the weekend ticket for all locations except for the stands costs 59 EUR, that the parking costs 19 EUR, that Enge in his beautiful ASTON MARTIN was leading his category and retired two hours to the end because of technical troubles, that Tom Kristensen and his boys became overall winners, that the night view of burning brakes' discs is fascinating - all these are known facts, which do not require further mentioning, they simply must be lived. I know it might sound a little bit like an expert lecture, somebody who took so many years to act and immediately wants to counsel others, but however sad, it is true. You could spend a week just walking in the parking lots, admiring the jewels there, that can not be seen perhaps anywhere else in such concentration, and their owners accordingly proud and ready to talk about them for hours.What to say at the end? It is NECESSARY and ESSENTIAL to go there once again, come a little bit earlier to see the parade and introduction of the teams and drivers, which happens exactly at the 6pm when I arrived at the circuit, in the streets of Le Mans, to change to proper shoes on arrival so as not to crush your feet in chaotic running there and back in the large areas, and definitely pack some sun cream and shorts. The strongest impression? Probably when I was waiting, after the start, on Saturday shortly after 4pm, among the thousands of people in the crowd under the Dunlop arch, waiting for the whole pack to appear after the first lap. When, after about four minutes the complete group of almost fifty cars rushed from a long right corner, which comes right after the final straight, in still quite close formation doing about two hundred fifty kilometres per hour, from which they braked at quite a tiny part of the road into the chicane to about one hundred under the Dunlop, I was stunned. The worst experience? Being angry with myself for waiting so long to visit this extraordinary event. The feeling haunts me today and it doesn't seem to let go easy.

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