By 10:00 the paddock was filling with spectators keen to get a glimpse of the machinery and drivers who will pilot them throughout the WEC season. As the gates opened at 10:05, the public flocked into the pitlane, many heading for the LMP1 big-names such as Audi, Toyota and of course, returning to top-flight endurance racing this year, Porsche.
All of the teams were obviously being very cautions, with so many people in such a confined space, who could expect anything else? However, the polar-opposites of Aston Martin Racing and Porsche are worthy of note; the ever fan-friendly AMR not only fielding their drivers for autographs but allowing a slow trickle of fans into the garage for a close-up view of the cars and the team – at the other end of the scale, the Porsche LMP1, fielding ex-Red Bull F1 driver Mark Webber were, somewhat unsurprisingly, suffering ‘Rock Star Syndrome’ with a heavy contingent of security guards keeping the majority of the public away and locking down the rear of the paddock too. Being such high profile ‘newcomers’ to the WEC we can hardly blame them but can’t help but think that as the season runs the team will find a happy balance between their ‘superstar’ status and fan-friendliness.