At the Scrutineering sessions, the teams, drivers and team principals are first called in to have their paperwork verified, then half an hour later the cars and related equipment undergo a technical inspection. First, the drivers’ licences are checked, then the officials inspect their clothing and equipment, and finally the drivers are weighed.
Of course, the fire suits and helmets are checked over, but also both gloves, both shoes (some drivers wear different coloured shoes, like two-time Le Mans winner Alexander Wurz used to!) and both socks. To facilitate the inspection, all fire-retardant items must bear a label indicating that they are compliant.
Today’s scrutineering was a first for Jules Gounon, son of racing driver Jean-Marc Gounon (12 participations in the French endurance classic between 1995 and 2008). “I caught the motor racing bug when I used to come to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with my dad, but I’d never witnessed the admin checks before. Scrutineering is almost an event in itself. Fortunately, my teammates (Luis Felipe ‘Pipo’ Derani and Oliver Jarvis) know what they’re doing and are showing me the ropes. It’s strange - I don’t think I realise I’m here. I think it’ll only hit me when I’m in the driver’s seat, ready to race.”
Photos above, from left to right: The Car Guy Racing team (#57 Ferrari) at the start of the administrative checks; the officials check Jules Gounon’s fire suit (Risi Competizione), then his socks and shoes; Pipo Derani (Risi Cometizione) poses for the official photograph; Derani’s helmet in the light box.
Once all the checks were completed, the #89 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO driver (Risi Competizione) and his teammates all had an official headshot taken, then their helmets were photographed in a lightbox (see above).
Meanwhile, the team principal signed the register and picked up the armbands worn by the mechanics who will be working in the pit lane. This is a chance for the ACO staff in charge of competitor relations to get to know new team principals. It is crucial to maintain links with the teams this way, in case a driver or team is invited to report to Race Control or is issued a penalty during the race.
Watch all the Scrutineering action live on our YouTube channel.
Cover photo: Jules Gounon (Risi Competizione’s #89 FERRARI 488 GTE EVO ) shows his helmet to a steward during Scrutineering ahead of the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.