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Le Mans Classic 2018

Le Mans Classic 2018

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wsn03

270 posts

26 months

Monday 31st July 2017
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Voldemort said:
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.

That's really helpful thank you. I love classic stuff, but not the classic scene too much if that makes sense, seems to be a parade day for the incredibly wealthy. I hate that normal and decent motors become worth enough to pay off some countries national debts, all seems a bit screwed up.

The Friday sounds perfect. Short flight, train, day watching old stuff...then home for the start of the weekend.


gt6

1,028 posts

110 months

Tuesday 1st August 2017
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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
As already stated, they were in a support race on the saturday in 2016 but not part of the classic itself. so only raced once early on saturday

stevewak

263 posts

55 months

Tuesday 1st August 2017
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Random thoughts from a regular:

Many French go for one day - the Saturday. You get some very smart people there from Paris and family weekend houses.

I have never seen dress code enforced but - as above - it's not the usual unwashed, football shorts and 1978 Renault Le Mans T shirt brigade.

I have parked inside most times (behind main grandstands) and not have had any issues with traffic. You do need to get the lie of the land and the hang of the little roundabout by the exhibition centre which may/may not lead onto a bypass and next stop Geneva. .

Paddock pass essential. A VIP package advisable.

The Gp C race was very good - worth getting into the circuit on Saturday morning for that.

They usually run the races in year order and start at 4pm. So the pre-War stuff starts first. If you like GT40s, Porsche 935s etc it's a long wait and the modern Porsches and Renaults might not appear until after midnight. You go back to your hotel and then when you get to the circuit again... it's the pre-War cars. So if, like me, you've had enough at lunchtime on Sunday, you do tend to see the same races again and again.

Driving out at 2pm on Sunday is a doddle.

It attracts more of a 'hotel' crowd, like Goodwood. They will all be booked now. Just looked at an Ibis in Le Mans - £1787.60 for two nights...

The 'racing' is not like Goodwood Revival. It's the spectacle and the sight of rare cars racing on the original(ish) circuit you go for. I once watched Johnny Herbert drive a (hot) D-type - at the end of the first lap he was about 30 secs in the lead.

A one day trip might be Saturday: Gp C race, look around paddocks, watch until 01:00am then drive away to a pre-booked hotel some 50-60 miles away.

Hope this helps.



Calza

Original Poster:

1,354 posts

40 months

Tuesday 1st August 2017
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Thanks for the info.

Plan is actually to camp over on the Saturday night!

K50 DEL

7,488 posts

153 months

Monday 13th November 2017
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wsn03 said:
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
I'll second that... I'm ending a big Euro road trip with 3 days at the LMc in 2018 (my first ever time to LM) I'm hoping to book with PH and end up camping with some folk who know more than me and will enjoy a beer or two but any and all advice for a solo traveller is greatly appreciated.

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Ranger 6

5,511 posts

174 months

Tuesday 14th November 2017
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All very useful info. Please keep it coming.

I'm going with a couple of friends and will be staying in Le Mans itself. We're all quite close to motorsport events and are treating it more like a boys weekend in Le Mans with a bit of classic activity to watch.

Some of the group are flying in to Paris and train from there, I'm taking the Eurostar and then to Le Mans from Lille. We will be using the tram to get to the circuit and also spending some time exploring the restaurants and bars in the town.

Any more info/suggestions would be most welcome.

lowdrag

8,620 posts

138 months

Tuesday 14th November 2017
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As one who lives here, if you haven't already been then you are really too late; the best days have sadly gone and I have been to them all. Partly the event is a victim of its own success, partly it is avarice and greed that has taken over from the passion. But here are a few tips if you are planning to go.

If you want to have a good day then internal parking is essential. If you are unsure if your car qualifies, then the LMC site gives a definition of cars that do. And don't forget that the cut-off date is for car in production a that date so if yours is one listed but a later year (for example a V12 1973 E-type) you can still get internal parking. They oversell the parking spots too, and in the last two events my particular spaces were already taken so beware.

Do pay for the paddock passes. You cannot see inside the paddocks from outside and the most enjoyable part for me is to wander round all the paddocks.

The dress code is observed in the breach. I have press passes and we have the same rules to adhere to, but my shorts and sandals have always got me where I want to go regardless.

As said, Saturday is the worst. Make it your rule to arrive at the circuit before 8.15am or else you will get caught in the jams, and I have seen too many cars steaming by the roadside. I try and get there for 7.30, do my rounds of the paddocks, then leave for home and a beer with my friends over lunch. I do not like paying £15 for a slice of pizza nor £7 a pint at the circuit. My route home take me along the ring road, and I have, at 11am, seen five miles of traffic at a standstill on the Saturday. Leaving Sunday afternoon can be as bad too.

Next year I plan to do as already mentioned. I'll go to the circuit on Thursday and Friday, but for the rest it will be lunches here and there, trips to Arnage and Mulsanne bars, and generally take in the atmosphere, watch cars passing, and talk to like-minded people. If you want to watch the racing, then Arnage and Mulsanne are probably the best.

Whatever your choice, I hope you enjoy the event.

rdjohn

2,560 posts

120 months

Monday 20th November 2017
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I got the impression that the quality of the grids had gone down in 2016 from previous years, especially grid 6.

Perhaps owners have been there, done that and got their T-shirts, and so are now just content with their investments.

wsn03

270 posts

26 months

Monday 20th November 2017
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lowdrag said:
As one who lives here, if you haven't already been then you are really too late; the best days have sadly gone and I have been to them all. Partly the event is a victim of its own success, partly it is avarice and greed that has taken over from the passion. .
Where else can I see the same impressive collection of cars if I don't go to Le Mans Classic?

If I do go it will just be for the Friday - see the whole mix out in practice in that day? That would be good enough for me, just a chance to see a load of classic cars at Tetre Rouge and on the Mulsanne straight.

Edited by wsn03 on Monday 20th November 13:46

Calza

Original Poster:

1,354 posts

40 months

Monday 20th November 2017
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We found a beautiful Chateaux in the end, about an hour from the circuit. Pictured with an xj220 outside so I think some petrol heads have been there before!

Getting a little worried about the camping situation now. The plan of drive in Saturday, mince around camp etc then drive out Sunday is sounding more difficult!

lowdrag

8,620 posts

138 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
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wsn03 said:
lowdrag said:
As one who lives here, if you haven't already been then you are really too late; the best days have sadly gone and I have been to them all. Partly the event is a victim of its own success, partly it is avarice and greed that has taken over from the passion. .
Where else can I see the same impressive collection of cars if I don't go to Le Mans Classic?

If I do go it will just be for the Friday - see the whole mix out in practice in that day? That would be good enough for me, just a chance to see a load of classic cars at Tetre Rouge and on the Mulsanne straight.

Edited by wsn03 on Monday 20th November 13:46
Er, Goodwood perchance? You can walk the whole circuit and watch the racing whereas here you are limited to specific places and the Mulsanne is off limits. Even we photographers are limited to the 1st and 2nd chicane nowadays. Your best viewing is now the new Arnage/Indianapolis complex.

wsn03

270 posts

26 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
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lowdrag said:
Er, Goodwood perchance? You can walk the whole circuit and watch the racing whereas here you are limited to specific places and the Mulsanne is off limits. Even we photographers are limited to the 1st and 2nd chicane nowadays. Your best viewing is now the new Arnage/Indianapolis complex.
Presume you are talking about the revival? I didn't realise such a collection of cars would be out on track there - I guess I should try and get to it next year.

Appreciate what you're saying about access at Le Mans - when I refer to Mulsanne I mean at the Hotel Arbour, but I know exactly what you mean.

If I go to the classic it will be a bit of a day trip, fly in to Paris, hire car drive down for Friday afternoon, watch a few cars, have a walk around, couple of meals, hotel somewhere en route back to Paris, next day fly home. Trying to work out if its worth the effort, bearing in mind I'll have just been to the 24 hrs a couple of weeks prior. It is tempting, but I don't want to end up disappointed.

Rick101

5,216 posts

75 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
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I'm considering Classic for next year. Will be my 3rd 24hr visit and Mrs is chuntering about not having had a holiday for a while so I suggested the Classic. Surprisingly she didn't swear at me!

I opted for ACO membership this year so makes sense to make the most of it and get the discounted tickets. There doesn't seem to be the huge demand and inflated prices from what I can see on the ACO website, or is it that all that is left is the unwanted stuff?

We will be camping. When do the sites open and close? I'll like to arrive Thursday and depart Monday. Any recommended sites? I've stayed on Blue North (PH) and Houx open before.


Re the Paddock pass, am I looking at the right thing on the grandstands page? Listed paddock at 39 /15 Euros?
Nice to see stands much cheaper. Might try out Tribune 18 too.

Thanks

Edited by Rick101 on Wednesday 22 November 08:15

lowdrag

8,620 posts

138 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
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Well, as someone who lives at Le Mans I'd go through one of the companies offering packages such as 1st Tickets or Team Langoustine, Both are on secure sites and offer various packages including tickets etc, and more importantly have their own toilets and showers. It will make your trip less stressful by far.

Rick101

5,216 posts

75 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
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Stayed on the 1st tickets/ PH site in '14. Whilst nice, I was also happy on my most recent visit on a public site.
I think the only real benefit for me is security and even then locking valuables in the car is no bind.

The big positive for me with public/ACO is the cost saving. I have friends who stay on Thomas Cook for the main event and their trip costs are eye watering compared to a DIY trip which I actually found to have a better atmosphere.

RickRob

33 posts

38 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
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I am hoping to go to the Classic next year. Just waiting for my friend to make his mind up.

The information above is useful.

I went to the 24 Hours this year, camped for 4 nights Thursday through Sunday on Beausejour, which was OK. Apart from Sunday night, when a lot of the toilet and shower blocks were closed, the showers actually contained very hot water.

The downside was that I nearly overdosed on carbohydrates - the food onsite was very poor, almost exclusively baguettes and chips. This made me think about camping on a site that has a food option. However, Whilst the food looks good and is not too much, you do pay a big premium for the ferry/tunnel crossing and camping. I estimate that premium to be about £150 each and I don't think that it's worth that much.

Looking forward to July 2018 already!