Video: Onboard a chaotic first lap at Le Mans Classic

07th August 2023
Simon Ostler

There’s only one thing more alarming than careering down the Mulsanne Straight at the wheel of a 2003 Riley & Scott MkIIIC. Doing just that, but in extreme wet conditions. Here we have a vicarious glimpse at what that might feel like. The answer? Kind of terrifying, but utterly astonishing all the same.

Surrounded by lesser-powered cars as we start from a low grid position, this opening lap consists of our incredibly brave driver doing his best to battle through the pack. It begins somewhat awkwardly with a pedestrian exit out of the first chicane, but it doesn’t take long for that 6.0-litre V8 to stretch its legs as we begin to gobble up the competition along the Mulsanne, barely able to see at all as we hurtle through the spray.

Coming out of Mulsanne corner, we come across an Audi R8 facing the wrong way, and from then on it’s a true battle of nerves as visibility becomes basically zero on the way towards Indianapolis and Arnage.

A dive down the inside of a Ferrari 550 is about as brave it gets, while this driver's commitment through the Porsche curves is just sublime. Even as the conditions seem to worsen, if that’s even possible. Then we seem to come out of the storm and into considerably dryer weather along the start/finish straight before heading off on the next tour, and presumably another lap of heroics.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Ride along for a 911 GT3 lap record around Laguna Seca

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