2010 24 Hours of Le Mans: Scrutineering Day 1 Report
by, 06-07-2010 at 04:21 AM (21252 Views)
At most races scrutineering is a rather unglamorous process where each car goes before a team of engineers for a pre-race inspection. This still happens at Le Mans, but it does so with all of the pageantry the French are known for as the ACO performs the process over a span of two days in the Le Mans city center, open to the public and bolstered by public driver team interviews and a row of vendors.
This year there is construction going on in the parking lot where the event is usually held forced a move into a more restrictive space requiring the closure of several roads. While more picturesque now even more in the shadow of the old cathedral, the space was packed and made for one very crowded experience.
Day one, now moved to Sunday, was only a half day and while our main event of Audi Sport attending won't happen until later on Monday, several notable teams did cross through for inspection including Audi's biggest competitors - factory teams from Peugeot and Aston Martin.
Marco Werner made a showing with his 2010 Highcroft Racing team who will contest LMP2 this year and are likely most favored to win that class. It's also worth noting an all-female team will compete this year for Matech Competition piloting a Ford GT in GT1.
Perhaps most interesting to the Audi-focused was the appearance of Team Kolles and their two Audi R10 TDIs complete with new livery for 2010. This is the first appearance of the team this season and it did so with some specific driver changes for Le Mans.
We're still not sure what the final driver teams are because there was a change from the official entry list and how the pair of trios positioned themselves for the interview and for team photos. As of yesterday it appears Albers, Bakkerud and Jarvis will pilot one car leaving American Scott Tucker, his ALMS Level 5 Racing teammate Christophe Bouchut and Manuel Rodrigues in the other.
A fair amount of the Kolles team interview revolved around French-speaking Bouchut and American Scott Tucker. Tucker, the first American to race an Audi in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, admitted he's never attended the race and has only watched the movie. Albers was also a big part of the interview, joking constantly about teammate Bakkerud's "destroying cars", asking the police not to ticket his illegally parked S5 Sportback, offering to pretend to be Oliver Jarvis and even doing a beat box sound effect while another teammate fielded a question.
Interestingly, Audi DTM star Oliver Jarvis missed scrutineering Sunday. While his Kolles teammates were going through the process Jarvis was racing at the EuroSpeedway in a DTM round. After the race he later joined his DTM teammates Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider for a flight to Le Mans where Rockenfeller will appear for Audi Sport and Scheider for the BMW Scuderia Italia Porsche GT2 team.
Check out more photos from our 24 Hours of Le Mans Day 1 Scrutineering Photo Gallery after the jump.