By Dean Richardson
This blog is the second in a two-part series about my memories of the fantastic race that is Petit Le Mans. Here are a few more that I hope you will enjoy. This is what it’s like to be on the ‘other side’ of the fence.
2004 – The chance of a lifetime!
The 2004 race is hands down my favorite race of all time, Petit Le Mans or otherwise. The reason is simple, I experienced the entire race working for one of the teams on pit lane. Through my day job I had become friends with the Petersen White Lightning Racing team’s PR Rep. About a month before the race I got a call from the PR guy and he asked if I would be at all interested in working as part of the crew during the race. He explained that it would be an all-day commitment and that he understood if I wasn’t interested. Thinking back through my life, I cannot think of a solitary time that I gave an answer to any question faster than the ‘yes’ that shot out of my mouth at that moment.
Fans attending the 16th Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda on October 19th are in for a real treat. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season finale promises plenty of drama with several championships on the line.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing with drivers Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf won the recent race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and has already clinched the P1 championship. However, a win at Road Atlanta will be difficult as defending Petit Le Mans champion Rebellion Racing returns with its Lola Toyota. Last year, the much anticipated duel between Rebellion and Muscle Milk ended when a collision with a GTC car caused an extended pit stop for Pickett’s team, handing Rebellion a somewhat easy victory.
“I spend the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda working in stints. It's a full day of wearing a hotfiresuit. I get constant direction on my performance and those around me through an earpiece. My only line of communication is through a microphone. Millions are watching me do my job through their television screen. If I mess up, the world is going to know it within seconds. I've spent a decade fine-tuning my skill to be on top of my game at this very moment. Every decision I make takes into account hundreds of variables and I must make the right move the first time or risk never getting another shot. With any luck, at the end of 10 hours, I'll stand in victory lane and be covered in celebratory champagne. What's my line?”
If you were on the panel of the golden age of television game show, “What’s My Line”, you might guess Jamie Howe was describing herself as a racecar driver. But, you would be wrong. Many of the same criteria that make up the daily description of a driver also outline the Braselton, Ga.-resident's job as a pit lane reporter for FOX Sports.
Jamie Howe gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be an American Le Mans Series pit reporter for FOX Sports 2 at the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans.