Friday at Le Mans is traditionally a quiet day in that there is no track action and so the day is taken up with press conferences and ‘meet the team’ invitations where you can interview drivers and team managers, providing essential meat for your features.
You usually try to get a little extra shut-eye on Friday night as you have had a week of very long days so far and it would get a whole lot more intense with the start of the race at 15h00 on Saturday. Race day dawned with a different, more expectant atmosphere, as everybody was rushing about with intent.
The intensity of the day ramps up towards noon and as the countdown to the start begins, you begin to draw on those adrenalin reserves.
The race has its own demands on your energy depending on what you are doing at the race, but as a photographer and journalist, I find myself trying to cover everything which really is a drain. A journey out to the Mulsanne Straight in one of the media shuttle buses can take the best part of three hours for just an hour spent at the trackside.
One spends a lot of time walking up and down the pit lane and on the outside of the track, from the Ferris wheel right around to Tertre Rouge and as one photographer calculated, she walked around ten miles a day carrying cumbersome photographic gear, including up and down three flights of stairs to media centre above the pit complex countless times a day.
By the time you have snatched a few winks during the dead of night between Saturday and Sunday, you are ready for home when the end of the race comes.
The race finishes at 15h00 on Sunday, so you aim to leave the car park at around 18h00-19h00 allowing enough time for everyone else to leave first, and you make your way slowly towards the coast, and your ferry.
The return ferry crossing was with Brittany Ferries from Caen to Portsmouth, a 125 mile, 5½ hours sailing which if you opt for a cabin, offers one the opportunity to relax, shower and begin to feel human again. The crossing is a comfortable one with all the conveniences and facilities such as movies and all the eateries you could wish for.
The driving distance from Le Mans back to West Wales is 325 miles and despite an exhausting week at Le Mans, this final leg was accomplished in comfort.
I can say without any doubt, that the Sorento has truly impressed me.