And 100 candles! The 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates its centenary this weekend. Since the start at 4 p.m. this Saturday, the race has been largely dominated by Ferrari, Toyota, Peugeot and even Porsche. But in the mythical bar restaurant “at the gates of the circuit”, the manager does not have time to take a look at the classification.
From the height of her 70 years, Janine still runs the house. But the latter admits, the time to pass the torch is approaching. “One morning, I did not give the exact date, I will no longer open”, she explains at the microphone of Europe 1. This announcement had the effect of a bomb. After almost half a century spent behind her counter, she must retire. “I still feel tired,” she admits.
But with this future start, it’s a page in the history of the 24 hours that turns just 200 meters from the circuit. The pace, sustained during the race, tires the manager. “I open at 7:30 a.m. and I don’t close until around 4 a.m. These are very hard times, but then, it’s also something sensational. Especially because we can receive all these people from around the world whole,” she said.
And in addition to enthusiasts, some well-known heads have also branched off here. For example, “Prince Albert”, came here. “There were also his bodyguards and one day they came with a photo of Prince Albert dedicated to my first name,” notes Janine.
A royal dedication displayed just above the first table reserved for the idol of the house, “Monsieur Pescarolo. The first table is his place”, she underlines. Once again, the manager of the establishment “At the gates of the circuit” will not see anything of the race. But promised, next year, she will be able to attend, without forgetting a detour by her old bar, her pit stop.