Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A new outlook

Well, after twenty-four years of watching the Le Mans 24 hours from the ACO grandstand overlooking the startline, it seems I shall be getting a new place to watch this year's race from.

New commentary boxes have been built, on the inside of the Ford Chicane, and the tribune is being (or has been) converted into hospitality suites.

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, the original booths - small open-backed glass cabins with no soundproofing, on the top floor of the ACO building - were known as the "ash-trays". There is a marvellous story from the late eighties concerning Simon Taylor, Janice Minton and boiled sweeets, that I would like to tell on the blog one day, but that will be another time. Over time, the commentator's floor was renovated, the boxes refitted and the whole affair became slightly less agricultural.

In more recent years, some additional "greenhouses" were built on what used to be the photographer's balcony, a flight of steps further down, but still with an unrivalled view of the grid, the pre-race 'animations', and most importantly, the pit lane. These provided less headroom, but more space for notebooks and TV screens and have been my home during the race for several years now.

So this year will be different. Hopefully, from the point of view of Radio Le Mans listeners, the changes behind the scenes will lead to a better broadcast. For Radio Show Limited, it has meant a great deal of work, but I have the greatest confidence not only in them, but also in our technical staff to make it all work!

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