I recently got back from the 2005 Le Mans endurance race and IT WAS BRILLIANT! (Here are all of my photos).
Our drive down to Le Mans from Calais was in a great atmosphere. It was more like a parade of sports cars (a lot of them British made), with every other plate being registered in the UK which if you think about it is no mean feat seeing as it’s 300+ KM journey.
When we found the camp site – eventually, no thanks to the stewards who had no idea where anything was – everyone was friendly and we were getting the tent up within minutes with beer in hand..
The next morning we got the supplies in and then cycled over to the road heading to the main entrance of the circuit. This was another parade of fast/rare cars all being stopped by a guy putting washing up liquid on the tarmac. They were then required to pull a wheel spin else get attacked by 100+ guys armed with high pressure water pistols. We managed to lose the entire day watching this spectacle.
It was amazing to see all of the cars on the roads and just parked around the campsites. It was rare to see a normal car. The norm was Porches, Ferraris, Aston Martins (old and new), Lambos, Caterham 7′s etc etc. To put this into perspective we saw 2 Ferrari F40′s being driven around and a Maclaren F1.
Then there was the race itself was something else, the noise, the smell of unburnt petrol and the hard to believe fact that these cars were going to be doing this for 24 hours.
Anyway at the end, in 35 oC heat, myself and Gerard jumped the fence and invaded the pit lanes with everyone else and picked up a nice sign for our efforts.
Le Mans essential items
Things we took that were essential:
- A fast/comfortable car. Gerard has an Audi A8 on a W plate. It’s massive, luxury++ and goes like the clappers (ever seen the film Ronin?) Anyway, it kept up and normally beat everything (including when we raced a TVR) and was amazingly comfortable to be a passenger in. On the way back we managed Le Mans to Calais, door to door, in 4.5 hours which was an interesting experience to say the least.
- iPod for the car
- Those £9 fold up chairs from Homebase/Asda/Tesco/whatever, with the beer holder in the arm rest
- Sun cream
- Washing up stuff/sharp knife/tin opener/plates/cutlery
Next year there are a few things to take that’ll improve our stay even more:
- A dustin to put water/ice in to cool beer down
- A table
- Large saucepan (for a chilli or somesuch)
- A phone with ‘International roaming’ switched on at the SIM card (I was not happy about this)
- A motor scooter (the things you stand or sit on, not a moped)
- Lots of Euros for tolls and cold beer during the weekend. Keep some in reserve for the way back, 30 will be plenty