After all of the adrenaline and action of Le Mans, I have finally settled down back into normal life rather than life at 215mph for 24 hours. I have to say that Le Mans was the most incredible experience of my life to date, the sense of honour in competing along side 26 current/ex F1 drivers and to preform infront of crowds that were in excess of 300,000 was simply off the charts.
Throughout the race its self there were up and downs, as cliche as that does sound, it is the truth. Unfortunately I was hit with a puncture at around 22:00 at the second corner and had to complete the rest of the 13km track on three wheels. We lost around 6-7 minutes due to this. In addition to loosing time it was a code brown moment, with cars flying past me doing 340kph within 2m of myself who was crawling along at 35kph, in the pitch black! Going forward from this we gained ground back up moving up the order, only for my team mate Norman Nato, to be hit with another puncture whilst I was trying to get some sleep, and my sleep or rather lack of sleep didn't go well either…
Once again we climbed back up the order only to be hit with an electrical gremlin in the early hours of Sunday morning, and ended up loosing 35 minutes in the pit box whilst the mechanics worked on our misfire. As a result of this we were now really out of contention a podium spot. However hard work from myself, my team mates and the pit crew got us back up to 8th going into the last few hours of the race.
Coming to the close of the race our team boss came and found me, to express that she was extremely impressed with my performance and attitude throughout the entirety of the event, and so gave me the offer of taking the finish, as a sort of reward for my performance, and of course I said yes with out hesitation.
Stepping on board the #35 to complete the last stint really tired off what had already been the experience of a life time. The grandstands had filled up again to maximum capacity, the noise was like nothing else, along side the passion and energy, it gave me boost and a sense of pride that is hard to put down in words. The car pulled in and that all shut off my tunnel vision kicked in, I was there to do a job and that was it. The crew dod a great stop the car dropped down, and it didn't start, it was completely dead. We pulled to back in. 5 minutes of hard work and organised chaos mixed with desperation went by and still nothing. another 5 went by and finally a flash of light as the dash lit up again, we were in business, the car got rolled back out and we were away, to finish the 86th running of the Le Mans 24 hours. I crossed the line taking the flag in 14th overall and 10th in class. Finishing is a result in its self and it ended up not to bad at all after everything that went on. Just a shame because with out that we were on for a podium or even second place.
The slowdown lap was a chance to take in that energy, look at the crowds and take in the track something that up to that point I had never had chance to do or even thought about doing. What a sight it was! I pulled in turned the engine off, it was a weird quietness and sense of relief for a couple seconds as it all sunk in.