Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Our Elans were built to be driven and not all of us want to to use them on Track Days. If you use, or plan to use, your Elan as a Grand Tourer and have completed or are planning some great trips then inspire the rest of us with the details.

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Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Nige » Sun 03.05.2009, 07:56

Partly to see if I can get the permissions set up to work and partly to kick off this new section which has been requested I thought I'd add afew line about my annual trip to Le Mans for the 24 Hour race. This year 2009 will be my 17th consecutive year at Le Mans and it's changed a bit over the years.

To be continued................. :roll:
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby max and andy » Sun 03.05.2009, 08:02

Is it the Classic Le mans or the modern? M & A
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Nige » Sun 03.05.2009, 08:31

The Classic is the modern! I'm referring to the full on 24 hour race which has been running since 1923.
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby max and andy » Sun 03.05.2009, 08:36

The guy that we bought the car off told us he hadn't used it much except a run to the Classic Le mans. I thought he was referring to a 24hr race for classic cars. As well as the normal 24hr event. A & M
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Gary » Sun 03.05.2009, 08:53

There are 2 races - I think run a couple of weeks apart . The Le Mans proper (for new cars) - which is what Nige is on about, and the Le Mans Classic for older cars...
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby max and andy » Sun 03.05.2009, 09:01

That's what we thought. A & M
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby mnemonix » Sun 03.05.2009, 09:05

Gary wrote:There are 2 races - I think run a couple of weeks apart . The Le Mans proper (for new cars) - which is what Nige is on about, and the Le Mans Classic for older cars...



Classic Le Mans runs every two years I believe - 2010 being the next one.
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Gary » Sun 03.05.2009, 09:17

Yep looks like you are correct :

Le Mans Classic Website
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Steve A » Tue 05.05.2009, 11:24

I would as a fellow veteran Lemans supporter (but not as many as Nige), recommend this event. :smt036 been there! :smt118 seen it! :smt119 got the T shirts! :smt081 and I want more! :smt007
I was a bit surprised /disappointed that this wasn't a regular "done thing",it's brilliant!!!! :cheers:
It's the biggest British petrol head event of the year by far!!
With it being our 25th anniversary(wedding) :smt008 I doubt if I will make it this year, but where ever I am I will listen to radio Lemans and wish I was there! :wink:
Where do you stay Nige?
when do you go and for how long?
what ferry crossing?
Just in case I can sneak away :smt018 :smt022
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Nige » Tue 05.05.2009, 16:59

Ah Hawaiian Tropic!

I facilitated a trip by a few of us in 2005 and again in 2007, a few went to the Classic last year (I have never been to the Classic as getting 2 trips to Le Mans in a year is pushing it a bit too far), I think its one of those events you love or hate but need to attend to work out which.

I've camped every year, initially on Houx, then Houx Annexe, then Karting Nord and most recently on Bleu Nord. Did go to one of the off circuit camp sites for one year but it's just not the same. These days the usual routine is to take a Tuesday night ferry (Portsmouth-Caen) arrive in France on the Wednesday morning drive down to the circuit and pitch camp and buy provisions in time for the first practice session on track on Wednesday night. We then stay through until the race finishes on Sunday afternoon and head back to Caen for a Sunday night crossing back to Portsmouth.

By the way I have a spare camping ticket for this years event (13/14 Jun) on Bleu Nord Campsite as one of our regular group can't make it this year. It's available if anyone wants it (face value (55 Euros)+ a pro-rata share of the expense I incur in getting the tickets (about 10 Euros) total 65 Euros). One camping ticket covers a car full of people, each person will then need a race ticket (easily obtained at the circuit at 62 Euros each)
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Steve A » Wed 06.05.2009, 00:29

:D I rember when Parking vert ment you could park on the circuit on race day, but now they might as well call it camping Vert :roll:
I've never stayed on the circuit ,always off (because it's easier with a large group),we tend to drive around to different parts of the circuit through out the night of the race.
I always get there for wednesday qualifying, the Friday on circuit is always good.
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Nige » Wed 06.05.2009, 09:52

Steve A wrote::D I rember when Parking vert ment you could park on the circuit on race day, but now they might as well call it camping Vert :roll:
I've never stayed on the circuit ,always off (because it's easier with a large group),we tend to drive around to different parts of the circuit through out the night of the race.
I always get there for wednesday qualifying, the Friday on circuit is always good.


I have a Parking Vert sign hanging at the back of my garage, it was liberated one year after the race :roll: . We have a large group most years but have almost always camped on one of the circuit campsites, we can cover the circuit from the top end of the Porsche curves to Tertre Rouge on foot and usually do, but we also tend to take a drive out to Indianapolis and Arnage Corners, Mulsanne Corner and a couple of back routes into viewing spots along Hunaudieres. We tend to watch the start from somewhere long the start finish straight and the finish either from the same or from the banking at Maison Blanche.

Friday on the circuit is (used) to be good but gets very very crowded and is quite heavily policed now. The run down from Mulsanne Corner through to Indianapolis, Arnage and the start of the Porsche curves can be a lot of fun if it's clear (remembering Arnage corner is a T junction) but there is a risk of getting flagged down before Indianapolis by crowds of people demanding a burn out. Having said that we parked up at Arnage for lunch last year and by the time we left the circuit had been closed for Thursday practice so we had a blast. Like wise Arnage Village on Friday night is also heavily policed.
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Re: Le Mans - An annual pilgrimage

Postby Steve A » Thu 07.05.2009, 00:51

:-D I rember one year someone dressed as a british Policeman with large foam hands stopping the traffic, I think it was Indianapois, he demanded with the crowd, you spin your wheels up, I had a Aston in front of me and he did it :!: , the crowds were so heavy it was really quite dangerous, but of course I was forced to do it :wink: :mrgreen: he even stopped a Police bus but they just slowly stuttered away heavily out numbered :oops: :roll:
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