In June’s ‘Pack of Aces’ article, Emanuele Pirro picked victory in 2006 as his favorite Le Mans experience. He related the story about his son giving him tiger ears to stick on his helmet, but he’d been cautioned not to do anything silly at the finish, so did not.
However, he had already done the tiger car bit as he crossed the line to win Le Mans in 2002, a race I attended. That year, Pirro told me, his youngest son was not allowed to come and instead gave him something to bring luck. It was a pair of suction-cup tiger ears and his son had said, “Stick them on your helmet during the race… They will give you the fighting spirit to win.”
Pirro added: “I obviously couldn’t race with them, but before getting in the car for my last stint I thought about it and put them in my pocket. At the end of my last lap, I started loosening my belts so slid my right hand in the overall pocket and grabbed the tiger ears. I managed to reach them, with no little difficulties, and stick them on my forehead just before the flag. My son was over the moon when he saw the images and, of course, the whole school and his friends knew about it.”
Perhaps Emanuele mixed up his years and victories. If you win so many races, that can happen! Don Trantow, Buford, USA