The pinnacle of the endurance discipline, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The race itself is next weekend, 16-17 June but the scrutineering sessions mark the beginning of a week of racing-related festivities. For fans, this is the highlight of the racing year and for drivers an unforgettable experience, an unparalleled opportunity to show off their cars and chat to spectators.
This afternoon, ACO officials inspected 22 of the 60 cars on the grid while drivers presented their kit and licences. First up was the #23 Ligier JS P217 Panis Barthez Compétition.
Five of the ten LMP1s were present today, including the #11 and #17 fielded by SMP Racing. World Formula One champion Jenson Button, one of the most popular rookies in this year’s line-up, was visibly delighted. The all-Malaysian crew of the #37 – Jazeman Jaafar, Nabril Jeffir and Weiron Tan – of LMP2 Jackie Chan DC Racing, were amazed at the atmosphere. The LMGTE Pro teams, all of which could be winners this year, drew huge cheers too!
Dempsey Proton Racing was cleared to race today. One of the team’s drivers is the youngest in the line-up: Julien Andlauer, who was born on 5 July 1999. In fact, he is the youngest by a small margin: LMP2 driver Philip Hanson was born the very same day a few hours earlier!
The second session starts at 09:30 tomorrow for the 38 other cars entered for the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Follow the proceedings live on lemans.org.