Silverstone is a fabulous place to watch these cars race because its high speed corners show off the modern prototype sportscar to its best effect. Through the Becketts complex you will barely believe the speed at which the top cars are changing direction, and if they happen across a car from the lower GTE formula, the speed at which they overtake mid-bend will boil your brain still further. And a GTE car, as anyone who’s seen one in action will tell you, is a very rapid racing machine indeed.
But there will be sadness in Northamptonshire too, sadness because this will be the first round of top-flight sportscar racing to take place in 18 years without an Audi prototype in the field. And although it has been the dominant force in the sport for most of that time, of late Audi has been rivalled successfully by Porsche and, on occasion, Toyota too, so it’s not like Volkswagen leaving the World Rally Championship and watching it come alive as a result, as has happened so far this year. Although I’ve been critical of some of the ways Audi has gone racing – including introducing diesel cars that at night at Le Mans could neither be seen nor heard – I’ve never joined the chorus who blamed Audi for the success that for a while appeared to be ruining the sport. And I’ve always admired the spirit in which it has gone racing, never knowing when it’s beaten and on those rare occasions when it was bested, conceding defeat with a grace that did the team enormous credit.