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Le Mans 2018


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Hi All

Tony & I would like to go next year and we live in Burnley, Lancashire. As we have never been before and we are not wised up to travelling abroad, we would like to join up with another car or group of cars.

I have a 1970 GT6 MKII that which I have owned for 27 years and this year, it has undertaken a comprehensive upgrade including replacement driveshafts, Revotec Electric Fan, Brake Servo and new drums & discs etc. at Willow Triumph, Darlington........... Tim was very helpful and gave plenty of advice when asked!

After reading the information in the Courier magazine, I have a couple of initial questions:-

  • What happens during the day?
  • What happens after the weekend has finished, do people go home or extend their holiday?
  • What does the Lemans organiser's' picnic basket consist of and does it become a souvenir?

Many thanks and I will read with interest


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Hi Tony, Last year was the first time that I had attended Le Mans. Once you have been you will be hooked, it's a petrol heads dream. We are the Somerset area so a fair way from you. We leave on the Portsmouth ferry on the Wednesday night crossing. Arrive at La Havre Thursday morning and then drive down to Le Mans. We get there around lunch time, set the tents up and get everything sorted. There is some practice on the Thursday and a lot on the Friday. All the stands are open to all on the practice sessions but as soon as the racing starts you will need a pass. Le Mans is a lot more than just a race track, its massive with nearly every car you can think of present. It really strange but at 16.00 on the Sunday it's like someone has flipped a switch. Thousands of people just seem to vanish so quickly. We dont leave Le Mans until Monday morning, this gives the mad rush time to go on the Sunday. The club have their hospitality marquee, bar and we have an English chuck wagon.

I can't comment on the picnic basket as I dont know anyone who has had one. There is a Lidl and Carrefour very close to the track. Once we are set up we go and do some shopping. Hope this helps.



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Thanks for your reply Martin

I think Portsmouth will be a bit of a trek so I was hoping for someone to reply from he orthern regions (coming down country) or a group  that we could meet half way down to Dover. Failing that Hull/ Zeebrugge may be worth considering

I will take what you have said on board and keep it in mind though





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And do make sure you get paddock passes. You get to wander around the areas where all the teams are working on their cars, some you can walk around and speak to them if not busy.

We arrive Thursday late morning, set up tents, go and buy supplies for the next few days, supplemented by daily trips for top ups of bread/cheese/ham/croissants etc. Then have a wander about. Friday the practice really gets going, and later in the day qualifying. From then on racing is happening 24 hours a day more or less, so watch what you want to, take in the event,  socialise, drive out to Arnage or other viewing areas. We normally spend a few hours there on the Saturday nightSunday morning when it is good and dark, very atmospheric.

As above, once the racing is over it is time to shower up and head off for a decent dinner, then Monday we head home.

This year some of us are leaving for France on the Monday, and spending a few days touring WW1+2 stuff in Northern France before bashing on down to Le Mans. Some do tour after, but it all seems self organised as far as I can make out, nothing formal.

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I live in Lancashire, and plan to go.     I prefer to take my time, see the countryside and detour to visit places of motorsport significance, such as the old Rouen-Les Essarts (on the way) and Reims-Gueux race circuits ( long detour, widely around Paris, but gorgeous countryside - and champagne!) Both are now public roads.     There are others I'd like to visit, such as Montlhery, but that's more difficult to get into.  I'd be glad to team ujp with others who wnat to make similar visits.

The Lancashire, Cumbria and Manchester Local Groups may have convoys going.

What happens during the day?   It's Classic Le Mans!!!   Have you looked for a webpage about this event? http://www.lemansclassic.com/language/en/timetable/ 

In short, six grids (plateau) each for cars of the (roughly) decades from the '20s to the '80s.  They practice on Friday-Saturday, both day and night sessions.     Racing starts at 1600 prompt on Saturday, each grid having three sessions in the next 24 hours, day, dusk and night.     Some grids will have a "Le Mans start" (qv) which is today a prelude to a 'green flag' parade lap and a rolling start, for safety.    Do not miss the night races, in fact, stay up the entire 24 hours for best enjoyment!      

  On Friday, if you want and buy the ticket, you can join a parade lap of your own to drive twice around the legendary circuit with other period cars (it's VERY crowded these days).  If you buy another ticket, you have more access to the paddocks than in any other form of motorsport above club racing, and a further ticket to use the grandstands (tribunes).   But respect the dress code!    You are requested not to appear in shorts, baseball cap and a T-shirt, but something appropraite for the period.   Think Goodwood Revival, although some of the fancy dress there is excessive.     A flat cap is good which I wear with white mechanic's overalls - tres de rigeur! -  but also cool and Cool.   Le Mans can be very hot!  Many classic clubs will have their own areas to congregate, but Triumph has the whole of the Tertres Rouges camp site, the best for viewing on the circuit.     

There is a massive Village, of market stalls at enormous prices, exhibitions,displays and other entertainments, if you are bored with motorsport (or Life?)

If you do stay up for the 24 hours, then wind-down and straight to bed after the 1600 Sunday finish for restoration time, and drive home on Monday.  Some do that, some tour France on the way home, if they haven't on the way to Le Mans.  If you are in a group and want that comfort, then you'll need to follow their plans.    But book your Channel ferry and plan accordingly.    The Club booking includes the P&O "5 day and over" option for a small premium.

You'll have to ask the Club organisation what the "Picnic Basket" includes.     There are enormous supermarkets (Carrefour, Intermarche etc.) just down the road into Le Mans city, and peopler do their shopping there.     Or, in previous years, the Club has arranged on-site caterers to provide all meals for all in the Club compound and Bar, if you prefer not to cook for yourselves.


Le Mans fan John


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Pas du tout, Colin, mon choux!

Here are some pics of the Millers Oils team at CLM 2016, with the wonderful TR3A-s of Pual Hogan

Le patron on the left with Tony Jeanes, Yours truly, Frank Richardson and John Sykes, one of our drivers.

That red and green arm band, "Assistance", that gets you into the pit lane with no questions asked, is a treasured souvenir.

Also, in the pit lane.



Composite team pic.png

Country horizon.jpg

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To be honest, I've beene too busy to even think about it recently, but clearly I must get my Tertres Rouge booking in ASAP!

I'd plan to take an "Over 5-day" return Dover-Calais, because the Calais crossing is so much more flxible that the others, if you are.   Several occasions, I've rolled up at the wrong time and "no probs, get on the next one!", which is NOT true of the others - an 'anytime ticket on the Chunnel is over £200.

Perhaps you would PM me, so we can discuss by email, or even phone, rathe than take up thread space here?  

If anyone else would like a motorsport flavoured journey to Classic Le Mans, there and back, please do the same?


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