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Le Mans Classic 2018

Le Mans Classic 2018

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Calza

Original Poster:

1,335 posts

38 months

Monday 24th July
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Chaps,

Thinking about basing a family event around this next year. I'd have preferred the main event but dates aren't as good.

Rough idea is get a big Chateaux for a few days somewhere remotely near, then those interested ship off to the race for 24hrs and camping for the night.

So I guess my first question is, does this seem workable? Anything I should consider?

Secondly... looking on the website, I've seen something saying shorts aren't allowed! That sounds a bit uptight for my liking, is classic really that bad?

VladD

6,995 posts

188 months

Monday 24th July
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That sounds like a fine plan to me.

I'm not sure about the no shorts thing. I know they like trying to make the Classic a bit more civilised than the LM24, so maybe you could try lightweight trousers instead of shorts. Of course you could take shorts and see what happens. I doubt they'd turn you away if you were in smart shorts. I wore jeans when I went in 2012, but that's just because my legs spontaneously combust at the first hint of sun.

gt6

1,013 posts

108 months

Monday 24th July
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Well plan seems ok but warning a fair percentage of the people competing at the classic as well as slightly richer spectators will be staying in the same sort of accommodation that you are looking for so expect anything local to have long since been booked.
As for the shorts, been to all but the first le mans classic and never worn anything but shorts, but always wear smartish ones not swim shorts or tatty ones, also usually wear polo or collared shirts not scruffy t shirts.

Another tip is order your tickets, grandstand etc early and you usually get paddock passes free.

old'uns

155 posts

56 months

Monday 24th July
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gt6 said:


Another tip is order your tickets, grandstand etc early and you usually get paddock passes free.
this is the ACO you're talking about.... laugh give things away!!

Paddock Passes are or were a limited number available last few times i've been, General Access are available at door with no restrictions on numbers, the more the merrier for ACO.

http://www.lemansclassic.com/language/en/ticket-sa...

dress code isn't strictly enforced but most do make an effort, tailored shorts are OK

Mellow Yellow

643 posts

185 months

Tuesday 25th July
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As gt6 says, anywhere decent nearby will most likely have already gone. We rented large farmhouses for 2010, 2012 & 2014, booked as soon as the dates were announced (about a year in advance) and still ended up 30-40 min drive away. There isn't a massive amount of holliday accomodation around Le Mans as it's not really a touristy area, what you do find tends to be targetting race goers and hence the prices can be vastly inflated.

There is more accomodation on the Loire, about 20km South of the Le Mans. Be prepared to have book for a fortnight though, as most French holiday lets are Saturday to Saturday.

As for the shorts thing, don't worry about it, it's France, nobody follows the rules, plenty of people wear shorts.

Good luck


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Calza

Original Poster:

1,335 posts

38 months

Wednesday 26th July
quotequote all
Excellent thanks for the replies. Being an hour or two away (in theory) isn't a problem, as we'll be camping the race night anyway. Already lining up various places, probably backing away from the £5000 a night ones laugh

Final question (I hope) - for a bit of fun I was thinking about getting some stickers on the cars attending the race (probably 3 cars loaded up). Nothing excessive maybe some numbers on the doors (it's my birthday) and some sort of crest or logo on the bonnet. I'm still gauging the mood of classic so don't know if this is frowned upon or will be okay. Classic race cars had stickers too I'm sure!

VladD

6,995 posts

188 months

Wednesday 26th July
quotequote all
Calza said:
Excellent thanks for the replies. Being an hour or two away (in theory) isn't a problem, as we'll be camping the race night anyway. Already lining up various places, probably backing away from the £5000 a night ones laugh

Final question (I hope) - for a bit of fun I was thinking about getting some stickers on the cars attending the race (probably 3 cars loaded up). Nothing excessive maybe some numbers on the doors (it's my birthday) and some sort of crest or logo on the bonnet. I'm still gauging the mood of classic so don't know if this is frowned upon or will be okay. Classic race cars had stickers too I'm sure!
I'm sure that'd be fine.

Calza

Original Poster:

1,335 posts

38 months

Thursday 27th July
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Smashing thanks.

I'll come back with any questions I have in the next 11 months!

lowdrag

8,531 posts

136 months

Saturday 29th July
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A 30 seconds google came up with these:-

http://www.classic-car-tours.com/chateau-de-moulin...

http://www.classic-car-tours.com/chateau-de-dobert...

Not exclusive choices, just a quick idea, but if I was you I'd get in quick if you are really sure you want to do it.

Now the event; I live five miles away and I've been to every one from 2002 and they have been trying to ape Goodwood for years but the french won't have it. Jeans and oxford shirt are about as far as they'll go. I am a press member and have never worn anything but shorts and boat shoes, usually with a t-shirt since I am carry a lot of camera gear. Never ever been refused entry to anywhere. Who knows though? Will they get tough? I very much doubt it. An angry red-faced froggie spitting garlic is not something a minimum wage uni steward during his holidays will bother to try and cope with.

Stickers; they won't give a monkey's whatsit as to what you do as long as you have your tickets.

Parking; interior parking for classics, the list being on the Le Mans Classic web site. Once again, get in early because we press members have been slung out and are bussed in to make room for paying customers.

Traffic; on the Saturday morning at 8.30 there was already a big queue to get in to the circuit. Not something that will please classics, as my E-type, even with modified cooling, demonstrated.

Paddock passes; please remember that this is not an ACO event. It was described to me that the ACO lock the doors and flip the keys to Peter Auto who make all the money. The tickets you buy from Peter Auto, or did last time I looked.

Finally, if a chateau is not what you want, I hear rumours that the uni are renting out the students' rooms for the Classic next year. Nearer and much cheaper!

Edited by lowdrag on Saturday 29th July 16:33

delta0

842 posts

29 months

Saturday 29th July
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Does anyone know if the Mazda 787b will be at next years classic?

gt6

1,013 posts

108 months

Sunday 30th July
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The mazda is to late as are all the group c cars for the final plateau which includes the porsche 917 era cars,

delta0

842 posts

29 months

Sunday 30th July
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gt6 said:
The mazda is to late as are all the group c cars for the final plateau which includes the porsche 917 era cars,
Group C cars are in the 2018 classic for the first time. Cars up to 1993 can compete. I saw an an entry list here http://www.lemansclassic.com/language/en/close-to-... it doesn't look like Mazda is there.

Voldemort

3,264 posts

201 months

Sunday 30th July
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delta0 said:
Group C cars are in the 2018 classic for the first time. Cars up to 1993 can compete. I saw an an entry list here http://www.lemansclassic.com/language/en/close-to-... it doesn't look like Mazda is there.
I hope they're there again in 2018. That link was from 2016 - they were awesome to see.

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0X5n8hH4dMHZm

Voldemort

3,264 posts

201 months

Sunday 30th July
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I’ve been to five classics and am happy to pass on such knowledge and wisdom as I possess on the subject.

The racing itself is the least best thing. It’s like watching a millionaires trackday. The different groups encompass such a disparity of machinery coupled with ‘priceless’ cars means that people are there to have a good time, not to win. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all - I keep going back! - but be aware if a first timer that it really isn’t about the racing.

If you have even a small drop of petrol running through your veins you will have your mind utterly blown by the scale, variety, quality, rarity, value, and sheer sexiness of the cars all around you.
Two examples:
One year we stayed in a hotel about 25 miles away - we were a party of six Lotus cars - and the rest of the hotels rooms had been taken by Bentley Owners, one of whom was driving the actual LeMans winning car of 1930. You what? He parked £10,000,000 worth of vintage Bentley on the street in front of the hotel, unscrewed the radiator cap, threw a tarpaulin over it and secured with a bungee. Chatted for hours whilst we got hammered in the hotel bar.
Another year - another perfect motoring moment - it’s Monday and we’re heading out and are navigating the merging roads, flyovers and tunnels when I see coming down a suspended slipway a 288, F40, F50 and Enzo moving as if tethered together by tractor beams and trying to achieve escape velocity. It was fking awesome to behold.

Parking will be as parking will be, as Forrest might have said. If you’re going in one of the infield eligible cars you’ll think all is going swimmingly until you are fed into the biggest field snake queue you’ve ever seen as tickets are checked and people enter through the single track lane leading to the bottom of the Bugatti circuit. To avoid the queue, especially on Saturday, you’d need to be at the circuit by 0600, or leave it until after 1100.
If you’re coming in an ineligible car you are at the mercy of general parking and I have no experience of that.
When I was there last year, I camped from Thursday to Sunday. I’m not a fan of camping but the ability to walk to the village in 10 minutes (your pitch location may vary!) coupled with the ‘freedom’ to enjoy the odd beer or two made it an even better event for me.
Also, since I first went the city has put in a tram line which gives you the option of parking near any of the other stations and using the tram.

In my experience the dress code is not enforced, but access to the stands and paddocks is. Key to your dress will be the weather, not the ACO. In terms of making an effort it’s not like Goodwood with fat men in military uniforms and barefooted women drunkenly toting their stilettos. I wear linen trousers - or jeans if it’s wet - and a shirt. Zero effort because that’s what I would be wearing anyway if I were on holiday in France. If I were younger I might change my death metal t-shirt for a plain one or something motoring related. I do however ponce about in a Panama hat because when it’s hot at LM you quickly notice the almost total lack of shade and air conditioned bars.

You’ll want a tribune (stand) ticket. Pick one with a roof, so you get some shade if it’s hot and some shelter if it rains…
Also you must watch at least one of the LeMans starts. Saturday afternoon watching the drivers leg it across the track, start up and roar off is absolutely fantastic. Worth the admission price by itself. Of course it plays no part in the race. The cars, having sped off the grid then slow down and re-assemble in ‘qualifying’ order. They lap the circuit in formation and have a rolling start to the ‘race’ as they come round again.
Using sensors in the cars and on the track the winning Porsche in this years 24 put in a lap that the state of the art digital time recoding equipment from Rolex measured at 3.19.782. The ’35 MG in Plateau1’s lap times are recorded with chalk on a blackboard by observing how far down the candle has burnt.

Get a paddock pass.

If you can afford it, get a VIP pass. I did last time as a treat with some money I’d inherited. I wouldn’t do it again for the weekend but I would for just the Saturday. You can man math it by offsetting the benefits of the VIP parking area which have a fleet of vintage busses and citroen 2CVs to shuttle you from car park to village and around the circuit. You also get access to the terrace bar situated right at the end of the pit lane. The breakfast is all pastries and croissants. Lunch and dinner are in the dining room below and were mighty. All booze is included. Champagne for breakfast bucks fizz is a great way to start the day.

You can spend a long time queueing for food and liquid refreshment: take a picnic lunch with you and as much water as you can bear to carry. The food and drink range available will suit any taste but expect event/festival prices...

My favourite day is Friday.

Find your own favourite coffee shop outside the circuit (mine is in Arnage) and spend Sunday morning sitting by the roadside with a hot one and a croissant and watch the cars go by.

Some pics: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0XGrq0zwGIUyp...


delta0

842 posts

29 months

Sunday 30th July
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Voldemort said:
I hope they're there again in 2018. That link was from 2016 - they were awesome to see.

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0X5n8hH4dMHZm
That's good. So the 787b might be on the 2018 entry list. I hope so!

gt6

1,013 posts

108 months

Sunday 30th July
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i think there is a group c support race on the saturday rather than them being in any of the classic races, but at least we will see them

wsn03

262 posts

24 months

Sunday 30th July
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Voldemort said:
I’ve been to five classics and am happy to pass on such knowledge and wisdom as I possess on the subject.
What a post! Thanks for typing all that, brilliant insight. Im toying with the classic myself at some point in the future

Calza

Original Poster:

1,335 posts

38 months

Monday 31st July
quotequote all
Agreed - thanks for all the info!

wsn03

262 posts

24 months

Monday 31st July
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Voldemort said:
My favourite day is Friday.
Why?

With the 24 HR I want to see the race from start to finish, for me its about following the race. But I like to make a long weekend of the whole event.

With classic events a day of seeing the old stuff is usually enough, so for Le Mans Classic I might just fly in / train to get my one day fix. I'm trying to work out which day to choose, so interested to know why your favourite day is Friday.

Voldemort

3,264 posts

201 months

Monday 31st July
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wsn03 said:
Voldemort said:
My favourite day is Friday.
Why?
The CLM website said that 2016 was the best attended classic yet - 113,000 people through the doors, iirc. They don't break it down by day but I'd guess 1/6 of that number came on Friday, 3/6 (or half, if you prefer) on Saturday and the rest on Sunday. If you did Friday only you'd see all the cars that you wanted on track in their qualifying attempts, 99.9% of the exhibitors are on site and running and well over half of the 'privileged few' are littered around the site.

Conversely Saturday is rammed. The only things you get that you don't on Friday is the LeMans starts and some race laps and a virtually full complement of eligible cars in the club car parks. However this doesn't often increase the quality of eligible cars, just the quantity. And if you've seen one 911 you have, literally, saved yourself the bother of looking at 799 more of them.