It is 7am on Sunday morning of the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours. It is raining and the metronomic howl of engines blasting past the main grandstand echo with the regularity of a Swiss watch.
In a rain swept paddock filled with caravans and motor homes that would now be considered rudimentary to most kart racers American racing driver Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) spies a shell-shocked Lisa Belgetti, whose boyfriend has just been critically injured in a fiery accident.
Delaney offers Belgetti some solace in his motor home, away from the prying eyes of the TV cameras and in her distressed state she asks him a poignant and seemingly unanswerable question.
“What is so important about driving faster than anyone else?”
Delaney, blue eyes glistening like the face of the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12 chronograph watch resting on his wrist, utters a line that has gone into motoring celluloid immortality.
“Racing is life….anything before or after, is just waiting.”