Today was scrutineering day at Le Mans, where the officials make sure we are completely in compliance with the regulations. What started as a cool and rainy morning eventually turned into cloudy day, and finally by the end of the day, it felt like the middle of the french summer.
I started the day with a long run to get the nerves out and stay loose this week and even got to enjoy a really neat Sunday market going on in the center of the town below the Le Mans Cathedral. We were at the track by noon, and we headed to the Place de République for scrutineering of the cars of the cars and our safety equipment at around 1:45pm where we were ushered through the huge crowds waiting to watch all of the cars and drivers rolled past. We stopped to sign autographs and “Selfie Selfie” as much as we could, but were in a rush to check our equipment with the officials.
Meet the Press
After that was complete there was a quick press run, more selfies with fans and small (recorded) conversations with local and international press, driver videos for the tv and social media of the 24 Heures du Mans. The last piece was the most unexpected part was being ushered onto a stage in front of a huge crowd for a sit down conversation that I had no idea was going to happen. I recovered as quickly as I could, but there was certainly a shot in being sat down in front of a crowd of screaming race fans for a translated english-french-english chat for the TV and live audience.
Behind the Scenes
What I thought was the final stage of the day was taking pictures in the center of the square with the entire team of drivers in our Jackie Chan DC Racing team as well as the men and women that work tirelessly behind the scenes to put all of this together. This image will be ingrained in my mind for a long time to come…
All of it was a little overwhelming, but one of the coolest parts was the time we had to wander around the gated circle and chat to fans. I was asked to sign pictures of cars I drove as far back as 2016 at Daytona and Circuit of the Americas and Canada and on and on… It blew my mind. The little kids got so into all of it that it really made it all very real. I remember being those little kids just loving motorsport and trying to get as close to the action as I could.
If this is just the scrutineering day I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings. I’m certainly leaning on my teammates to help me keep my nerves and cool through this crazy week of press events and marketing.