At 9.45pm, almost six hours into the race, the call is made to switch to the soft slick tyres and the pit garage explodes into life. Our tyre, along with its three team-mates, is removed from its warm cocoon and stacked onto a tyre trolley.
Tools, fire extinguishers, signal boards and bottles of compressed air are hustled into the pit lane. The stack of wheels is rushed from the back of the garage towards the open door. The mechanic skids to a halt before he bursts into the pit lane. Two others each grab a pair of wheels by the spokes, one with each hand – one front and one rear.
It’s manic, rushed and exhilarating – but too fast. The team is prepared well before the car arrives. There’s a wave of calm as the crew waits silently, ready to pounce on the 911 when it appears.
With a thrashing of transmission and a high-pitched squealing of brakes, the #33 noses into the pit box and there’s another spike of energy.
The pit crew leap into action and the wheels are lifted clean off the ground as the mechanics run to each side of the car. Even carting two wheels at chest level, the guys move at pace, running around the 911.
There’s a fury of hisses, whizzes and clunks as, one by one, the four corners of the Porsche rise up, a fuel hose is jabbed into its nose and the old wheels and tyres are yanked from the hubs. The freshly clad rims are attached and the sticky warm new rubber is lowered onto the cool beige concrete of the pit box.