Not long till the proper on track action starts now.
Sunday and Monday are taken up by scrutineering. Even this is special at Le Mans - they normally take place in the centre of town and fans are invited to go along, get close to the cars, meet the drivers, take photos - real unprecedented access when you compared that to the likes of F1. I think it is totally free, too.
No action Tuesday. Normally a day for last year's winners making handprints in town, etc. Think Hollywood, except with racing drivers.
Wednesday is when it starts. There's a practice session from 16:00-20:00 (all French times I should add, minus an hour for Britain, minus/add whatever for wheverever else
) then the first qualifying session begins at night from 22:00 to 24:00.
There's two more qualifying sessions on Thursday from 19:00 to 21:00 and the final session from 22:00 to 24:00. With three sessions it gives team a lot of time to plan strategy too - whether they'll go for grid position, or conserve their equipment/decide to forfeit a session by changing engines or whatever. It also depends on weather, if it rains on Wednesday night, don't expect much. Equally, if it is dry on Wednesday and there's rain forecast for the other sessions, expect a lot of action. It is normally pretty easy to find a video stream for qualifying, so if you're interested, I'll either link it here or just PM me (depending what you moderators think is best).
No action Friday. Historically a rest/relaxation day. There's the pit lane walkabout and then in the evening, all the drivers from the 56 cars take part in the driver's parade through town. Streets will be lined with thousands of fans and it is a chance once again to get autographs/pictures etc. A real carnival atmosphere from 17:30 to 19:30 in the evening.
Saturday morning from 09:00 to 09:45 is warm up, where everyone will be giving their cars a last minute shakedown to make sure there are no problems. A Group C support race will follow, and then not long later the build up begins. Cars will be brought to the grid, the national anthems for every competing driver will be played, the trophy will be brought to the grid by last year's winner and there will be the famous group driver photograph as the atmosphere builds. Then, shortly before 13:00, the cars will be waved away on their green flag lap. Once they get back, the race is underway.
I'll keep this thread informed with what the situation with the weather is. It wouldn't be Le Mans if rain didn't feature at some point during the week.
Edited by JHS18, 06 June 2012 - 12:31 PM.