I am going to try something of a live blog today, as it’s race day for the 24 Hours of Spa you can read me slowly but surely go crazy!
It’s almost 13:00 here (on Saturday I think). I got to the track at noon today, we just had our Pirelli group photo, and now I’m sitting down to lunch. The race is scheduled to start at 16:30 today, so there won’t be much action for a few hours at least. It’s currently sunny and warm, though not as hot as it has been which is nice. Especially once the nomex goes on! The forecast called for rain today, but appears to have cleared up now. However, it’s Spa, and that can change very quickly…
23:59:46 – And we are green!
22:54:30 – First round of pit stops completed, good to get one under my/our belt
22:10:12 – Safety car brings everyone to the pits once again, a little scrambly but no issues. For anyone wondering, they are allowed as many sets of tires as they like for the race, and must make a pit stop every 65 minutes.
19:05 – It’s dinner time for me. The first 2.5 hours of the race went by pretty quickly. I can really see the appeal of this kind of competition, it’s a very different kind of challenge.
20:37:44 – Back from dinner to chaos. #58 Mclaren was hit in the rear, puncturing the tire and damaging the car. They were running about 8th before that happened. #44 Mercedes is also in the pit replacing some front suspension, not sure why but it can’t be good. Ruebens Barrichello is one of the drivers of this car, and somehow he still looks happy.
18:15:05 – The last couple of hours have been full course yellows and darkness falling. It’s now 22:15 and almost fully dark.
15:31:36 – I am just on my break, I have 1h25 to do something. I think I will wander down to Eau Rouge, it’s supposed to be spectacular at night. And then lie down and try and sleep a bit in the trailer. Any suggestions?
14:04:19 – I just got back to pit lane from my break. Eau Rouge is very cool at night. And I can’t sleep on the bench in a trailer in a racetrack. Home stretch now! Kind of…
13:19:02 – The red flag has come out, meaning the race has stopped. All of the cars are now back on pit lane, and it’s eerily quiet… On the plus side, I have acquired a (sort of) real coffee from my Mercedes team, the first of (probably several during) the race.
11:51:45 – We are past halfway! The race is just about to restart, there was a bad crash in Eau Rouge.
10:52:44 – I just noticed for the first time that it’s getting light outside again. Also another safety car, big crash for a Mercedes.
8:41:12 – That safety car period lasted over an hour, which allowed me to have breakfast without missing anything. It’s now pretty much the next day, nice and cloudy though which is keeping the temperature down.
6:01:04 – Coffee count is now at 2. And the sun is out.
4:00:03 – Back from lunch, 4 hours to go, we are in the home stretch!
0:58:13 – Less than 1 hour to go, and only 2 cars each with 1 stop left….so close…
It’s over! It ended at 16:30 local (obviously, as it started at 16:30 local). I’ve got a couple of debrief meetings that should be pretty quick as it went pretty well from our perspective. Then hopefully some dinner and a celebratory beer! I would guess this will be a 36+ hour day by the time it’s over…