The second day of Le Mans 2015 motored along quite swiftly as 34 of the 56 cars entered in the 83rd running of the 24 Hour event passed through scrutineering in the Place de la Republique.
The Taiwanese Team AAI was the first through with its pair of Porsche 911 RSRs, and the day was capped off with Krohn Racing’s unmistakably green Ligier JS P2 entry rolling through the archway for its technical inspection.
Among the many highlights on Monday, the Porsche’s factory 919 Hybrid trio blitzed the photo bullpen with the cars carrying the same livery in red, white, and black. The red seemed to capture the most interest, but the black No. 18 entry, looked particularly sinister. Marc Lieb, who shared the No. 18 with Neel Jani and Romain Dumas, reckoned it was the most appealing of the three, and its Darth Vader-inspired motif could be the most fetching of the three.
Porsche’s lineup it loaded with mercurial talent and, with former F1 driver Mark Webber (LEFT) and current F1 pilot Nico Hulkenberg within the fold this month, the two open-wheel stars commanded the majority of the attention from fans and reporters during Day 2.
“Mark’s Mob” followed him at all times, and then there was the visibly drained Hulkenberg – fresh off a red-eye flight after finishing eighth at the Canadian Grand Prix – who wanted nothing more than to sit down. The young German got his wish in the media lounge where a chocolate-colored inflatable lounge chair provided comfort and refuge.
Porsche also features two of the fastest New Zealanders on one team with Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber. Bamber, who’s making his Le Mans debut in the P1-H class, reminisced with Hartley about the tracks they drove Down Under, and briefly compared the legendary Pukekohe circuit with Le Mans…until Hartley suggested backing away from that assessment and leaving the great French road course at the top where it belongs. It might have been the one and only time Pukekohe and Le Mans have been spoken in the same breath.
Aston Martin Racing’s five-car battalion pushed though scrutineering and presented its fleet of V8 Vantages, including the highly anticipated “Art Car (BELOW),” which this writer immediately dubbed the “Seizure Chariot,” thanks to its headache-inducing, mind-warping livery.
Corvette Racing was among the last teams through scrutineering, and seemed to mark the end of the event as many fans and photographers packed up after the thundering C7.Rs completed their tour. Corvette Racing crew chief Dan Binks treated us with a solo pose in the middle of the vast bullpen while waiting for his cars to appear. If you know about Binks, it was a wonderfully cheeky display that fits the spirit of the team.
He was outdone earlier when veteran Corvette Racing driver and his teammates in the No. 64 car posed for a #LeMans social media shot in the ACO booth, and thanks to Gavin, we learned how to take a hands-free shot with the foam #LeMans logo on a selfie stick (BELOW). The Briton duly tucked it between his legs for the shot–focusing everyone’s attention a bit lower than usual, which prompted a huge round of laughs from everyone nearby.
The team also had one more laugh in store when they filled a tiny elevator to get down to the parking complex, and posed for a Corvette Racing-in-a-sardine-can shot to close the day.
Day 3 of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans is the final opportunity for teams to prepare their cars – and themselves for Wednesday, which sees the first on-track activity of the event.
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