The 1988 24-hour race at Le Mans was a very English occasion for two reasons. Firstly because a Jaguar won, and secondly because of the absolutely disgraceful behaviour of a considerable number of louts, whose sole objective in visiting the Sarthe this year was to make the lives of others an awful misery!
My wife and I chose to watch the race from the Esses, as we have done on a past occasion. It is an excellent viewing point, but why the English people present deemed it necessary to throw dangerous missiles at others is beyond comprehension.
Furthermore, the race organisers very kindly provide water stand-pipes around the circuit at intervals for the benefit of visitors wanting to wash and drink. They needn’t have bothered because the English, who like the Barbarians have a talent for destroying things they don’t understand, set about knocking seven bells out of said stand-pipes. The result? A cascade of water through the spectator area and onto a part of the track between the guard-rail and safety wall.
Fearing an escalation of the trouble, the members of my party walked the dusty two-mile journey back to the car park, missing most of the night’s racing into the bargain!
May I make a plea now for something to be done preventing this absurd situation happening again? Alcohol, and the Englishman’s inability to behave sensibly under the influence of the wretched substance, seems in my view to be to blame (I didn’t see any Welsh, Scottish or Irish people acting irresponsibly).
It is not difficult to envisage the ACO caging off the English at future events, as is done at football matches, and who could blame them?
Many thousands of true motor racing enthusiasts do not wish to be put in cages at Le Mans, or anywhere else for that matter.
Laurence Meredith, Ledbury, Herefordshire