June 2010 Le Mans

Monday, June 14, 2010, 1:30 p.m. Charles de Gaulle Airport

Well, a solid day for Porsche and the 911 RSR. Fifth for the Matmut IMSA team, but a 1-3-5 finishing order is just what the doctor ordered after a brief dry spell.

I know how the Risi and Corvette guys feel, not to mention Peugeot!

What a race though...

Spent the evening having a few drinks with the team and the class winners (my LMS team for the first two races this year)—Felbermayr-Proton.

Now on to Charlotte today for what promises to be an exciting upcoming weekend. Make sure and follow me on Twitter to see what I am up to!

http://twitter.com/pLmotorsport

 

Sunday, June 13, 2010, 1:30 p.m. Le Mans

Just out of the car after logging in my ninth hour behind the wheel. There is just over an hour and a half to run in the race and we are holding a top five. After losing the clutch, we have rebounded and are charging the #76 home.

This has been an insane race! So much attrition. The LMPs are dropping like flies. Let's hope the three 911s in the top five hold strong to the end.

Feeling good, but ready for a shower.

Le Mans just never gets old—I am enjoying watching this as much as taking part. Pulling for my buds from Porsche that are leading overall in the Audi R15+.

 

Sunday, June 13, 2010, 7:40 a.m. Le Mans

Clutch has let go out of nowhere. We are up on jacks and out of a solid podium chance. Give up? Not even a consideration.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 13, 1:03 a.m. Le Mans

The two Vettes are controlling the race after the Risi Ferrari dropped out with mechanical issues. We are currently locked in a battle with our sister Porsche factory supported car, the Felbermayr Proton guys. The goal is to try to push up to the Vettes as a pair and put a little pressure on them. Their pace has been nuts, but as they say, anything can happen in 14 hours.

Right behind us is the AF Corse Ferrari on the same lap with Jean Alesi behind the wheel. It’s still a race at the front and for a spot in the top five, and that's the way we like it. Personally I'm feeling pretty fresh still. A tad sore, but only because of a new seat position I am not used to. I will probably catch some sleep after my next double stint that will have me in the car from about 3 a.m. to 5:15 a.m.

Saturday, June 12, 2010, 1:20 p.m. Le Mans

Well, the stage is set! We are starting from the fifth position. The Matmut IMSA group is pretty chilled at the moment. It’s about an hour and a half from the start, and you can see the typical panic on the face of the first time drivers and teams. The schedule in the week leading to the 24 at Le Mans as well as race morning can catch you by surprise the first couple of times you visit. It’s something about the energy and the many activities pre-race (all week) that combine to make time fly.

The crews need not worry though; if all goes to plan, they tell me there is plenty of time to catch up on rest during the race. I realize that may sound backwards, but problems aside the hard work is mainly over. For the drivers though, the hard work is just beginning.

This is my seventh Le Mans 24 in a row. Each time is special in its own way, but don't be fooled by the ads... this place is damn demanding in every way. Hope you have time this weekend to follow along on SPEED for their live coverage; for those who can't I will send small updates on my breaks when I get a second to let you all know how it’s going! Thanks for all your messages and words of support! - Patrick

Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 11:30 p.m. Le Mans

It’s 11:30 p.m. at Le Mans with half an hour to go in Quali day 1. I’m driving the IMSA Performance Matmut 911 GT3 RSR #76 with Patrick Pilet and Ramond Narac….fourth year with the team. We are currently P4, just behind the two Vettes and just in front the Lieb/Lietz #Porsche. No matter how many times you’ve been here, it still is eye opening the first couple of laps when you realize how fast this place is.

Send your comments and questions to Patrick at askpatrick@pca.org. Although he can’t respond individually, he’ll get to as many as possible in his blog.