Radio Le Mans — The Video! 1988
98 minutes. (Sports Seen, Tattenhall Lane, Tattenhall, Chester CH3 9NH. £20)
On the face of it, this is an excellent idea: take the best bits of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s footage of this year’s classic 24-Hours, add some extra independent footage, and then dub onto it excerpts from the live commentary of Radio Le Mans.
Unfortunately the realisation doesn’t come up to expectations. The whole production shows the signs of having been hastily cobbled together with a view to capturing early sales as a souvenir of Jaguar’s victory.
I simply cannot believe the producers had access to the most exciting pieces of footage. If one is to accept the evidence of one’s eyes, the ACO cameras missed all of scrutineering and practice as well as the major race incidents; night coverage and in-car shots from the No 3 Jaguar are also very restricted.
The soundtrack is so muffled that it gives the impression of having been recorded on Sellotape (picture quality was also blurred and smudgy) and the commentary itself is jingoistic and frequently inaccurate, with obvious bloopers such as “I can see two little Danish flags being waved in the crowd for Jan Lammers” . . .
On the plus side, the sequence of the Jags rolling to the finish and Lammers being lifted out of his car (not ACO stock) is alone worth the unusually low asking price.
There are at least two rival videos of the race in the pipeline, so it would be wise to wait and have a look at one of these before parting with your hard-earned cash. But having got its product onto the market first and advertised for weeks before the race, Sports Seen can hardly fail to clean up. IB