Although the race isn’t until the weekend, preparations for Le Mans have been taking place for a long time, and the action really begins this week.
Yesterday, Monday, the cars began to face scrutineering, with Audi going first. Peugeot are due to be inspected today. Scrutineering isn’t just a chance for the regulators to check all regulations are being met, but it’s also a time for the fans to get a great view of the cars close up, and some of the drivers as well. This is really important for 2009, as there’s no test day for the Le Mans race this week. Apparently it rained yesterday, but was still a good day.
The scrutineering procedure is as follows (thanks to the official Le Mans site):
- Cars are weighed and measured.
- Cars are put on a ramp so the underbody can be checked.
- Safety items are checked, including safety belts and fire extinguishers, and the cars are given a stickered seal of approval.
- Temperature and pressure sensors are checked.
- Make sure the lights work.
- Confirm the timing transponder is working – crucial for laptimes.
The Audi cars passed scrutineering as did all examined on Monday. It’s too early to tell for Tuesday, but we’re not expecting any problems with the Peugeots either.
A couple of words of wisdom from Peugeot Sport team members (none from Franck yet – boo.)
Nicolas Minassian thinks it will be a tough fight, but the team have done all they can:
We’re the best prepared and the whole team is ready. Our testing and our knowledge of the car put us in a better position than last year. Concerning performance, last year we were way in front of the others. This year the gap is quite narrow.
Meanwhile, team manager Olivier Quesnel is a man of few words:
It’s the greatest race in the world and also the most beautiful. There’s nothing more to say about it.