Destiny I met some friendly Brits, the Penneys (with whom I became lifelong friends) and spent the weekend tagging along with them, which was an enormous improvement on the last year where I was alone and on foot the whole time. The race itself was a ferocious knock down drag out dog fight the whole way.
The might of the Porsche Factory was supported by a phalanx of Porsche Privateer Teams, and to win the Jags would have to beat all of them. It was a battle, but they were right there- and towards the end, with the Silk Cut Jaguar still leading, still smoking on down the trail, it occurred to me that I could single handedly jinx the whole thing JUST by listening to the radio. A watched pot never boils, right?
the last hour I waited in desperation, chewing all my fingernails right
to the quick, not knowing, and hiking slowly with my English friends
from Tetre Rouge towards the pit straight. The photograph seen on the
right is the Jaguar, 45 minutes from the end, having raced for over
three thousand miles - the same as though it had raced across the United
States without stopping.
But they did it- they won, and I found myself running headlong across the track along with many crazed fans - like a Rolling Stones concert - when the battered & dirty Purple and White Jaguar finally came to a halt, my knees were against the left hand side of the car. Jan Lammers climbed out and stood on the roof- with his helmet in his hand. Champagne seemed to be falling out of the air - I didn't see anyone running with a champagne bottle, so it was unclear where it was coming from, No matter- it was perfect - and remains one of the most incredible experiences of my whole life.
Glimpse It is easy to get swept away in the glory of a boyhood dream coming true, and being there in person to see it. The glory, the champagne - the deafening cheer. But when it was all over what REALLY mattered was the experience as a whole. To say I went to a "car race" couldn't possibly begin to capture the overwhelming nature of the whole thing. The cocktail that makes it so powerful is made of disparate elements.
1988 - Jan Lammers' last stint in the Jag, seen here hangin on, with just 100 miles to go