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BOURDAIS: Parade and Pre-Race Prep

Sebastien Bourdais files his latest Le Mans column for Sportscar365 following Friday’s action…

Photo: Ford

Friday was the driver’s parade. The Grande Parade des Pilotes. And let me tell you – it is a party!

If you’ve never been to the parade, it is pretty wild. People dance in the streets and we throw out little prizes just like you would see in America, but ours were bracelets with our car number on them.

Adults act like children trying to catch the prizes! You should definitely try to come sometime if you can. A lot of memories are made there.

For the last few years we have ridden on the back of convertible Mustangs. We get a lot of attention on those. My co-drivers Joey and Dirk and I rode in one, and Scott, Ryan and Richard rode on the other.

We also had a sponsor lunch and met with media that Ford brought for the race. I have had a lot of media interviews this week but that is all part of the Le Mans experience if you are a driver.

By the end, I can tell you I am ready for a break for a few days! Then it’s back to my regular racing schedule.

Photo: Ford

We’re in year three with our Ford GT program and everything has really come together for us.

The first year, we spent most of our time getting to know the car and each other and how we all like the cars, adjusting to our new co-drivers.

Then when we got to Le Mans, we had been there before as drivers, but not together.

In spite of being new, we got a win I will never forget. Now we have been here for a few years and are much more comfortable as a team with what we have to do.

The team did a great job that first year, it was amazing to know they’d never done it before. It is nice, though, to know that we have a system and a routine now.

We’re still chasing the setup a little bit on our car. We’ve been making adjustments and weren’t quite as fast as we would’ve liked to be in qualifying but the team will continue to work on it and get us ready for race day.

I will have a nice dinner with my family and try to get some sleep after the parade tonight and relax before race day tomorrow!

Photo: Ford

Sebastien Bourdais (@BourdaisOnTrack) is four-time IndyCar champion, driving for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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