PistonHeads.com Forum

Le Mans 2018 - rough costs and what to do?

Le Mans 2018 - rough costs and what to do?

Author
Discussion

Ganan

Original Poster:

39 posts

49 months

Monday 13th November
quotequote all
Hi All,

I am keen to drive to Le Mans in 2018.

I have been looking online and from what I can find tickets are already for sale. I have never been before so please bare with me if I ask some obvious/simple questions.

1) Does the Grandstand ticket cover the entire weekend? Is it worth getting the grandstand ticket and then a camping ticket or better getting a camping ticket.
2) Most people camp - the camping options I have been given seem awfully expensive. I am going with a group of about 10 cars with about 12 people, would it be cheaper to stay in a hotel? I don't want to miss the experience of it all though
3) Is there a PH group travelling out?
4) I was hoping to do a bit of a trip before hand - is it best to be there on the Friday at testing. I have kindly been told on the motorsport group that there is a hi-jinx on Friday and testing is actually on Wed/Thurs
5) Rough costs - I'm planning to set aside a budget

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Ganan

Hammond1073

68 posts

34 months

Monday 13th November
quotequote all
Hi Ganan

Lots of questions. So here goes but I'm sure many more will add their thoughts. Ickes are indeed on sale. You will need a general admission ticket as well as a grandstand ticket. These will over the whole weekend and well worth it. We always go for a grandstand ticket. Either Panorama or Dunlop but they sell out quickly.
We don't camp. Prefer to get at least a bit of sleep!!!

If you are camping hen you will need a campsite booking. If going for a hotel then you will need to book car parking as well. Bear in mind, hotels book up quick so you may be a drive away.
As for when to arrive, in my opinion Friday is one of the best days. There is no racism no but usually a car show at the end of the Mulsanne (you can also drive the Mulsanne on the Friday). There is also the Great British Welcome show, pit walks and driver parade so latest to arrive is Thursday.
Cost is a hard one. We have a hotel booked, channel tunnel crossing, grandstand seats and general admission is about £350 each.

surveyor

12,256 posts

107 months

Monday 13th November
quotequote all
Camping through the 'groups' is expensive. Bought direct from ACO it is dirt cheap, especialy on the more basic, but adequate sites.

IME Friday is too late. You will find space on the camps getting expensive, traffic busier and you will miss some good events on the Friday. We travel down on Wednesday. Thursday is watching some qualifiyng / practice getting setup, and Friday Great British Welcome..

There is no racing/practice/qualifying on Friday.

Grandstand tickets are optional. I have never bothered so cannot really advise.

PH run their own campsite. It is expensive, but you get better stuff for it. You pays your money and takes your choices.


MrC986

1,829 posts

114 months

Monday 13th November
quotequote all
OP, it depends how much effort you want to put it whilst you're there, is there someone who'll take the duty of "organiser"/honorary dad & get things sorted for the trip?

We've always in the 5 yrs I've been going, travelled with the help of 1st Tickets as the PH partner - they offer both private campsite & public camping pitches & can also organise crossings for you if needed as well. We've always taken the private campsite option with regularly cleaned facilities, very small queues (if at all), security on-site, catering facilities & things like wifi/phone charging etc.

Ultimately it's down to how much you want to do catering wise & running around to support the daily chores vs having a break?

If you stay in a hotel or guest house, you're recommended to get looking/booking now as anything worth staying in will be booked up well in advance. Have a look at the Beermountain guide as well online.

micky metro

130 posts

109 months

Monday 13th November
quotequote all
If its any help we camped at blue nord on a 7mx5m pitch which cost £84 this year and its very close to where you need to be, good loo,s and showers but sometimes a queue, most groups book multiple pitches together, "speed chills" is a good site for tickets. You dont need a grandstand ticket (very expensive) but you do need a general admittance ticket, around £80 if i remember correctly. ferry from dover/calais was £140 for a flexi ticket including occupants albeit for a 3am crossing on the wednesday returning monday 8pm, flexi gives you 4 hours each side of your designated crossing. To say camping is expensive is totally wrong. Book it, you will have a great time, we did.
Advertisement

surveyor

12,256 posts

107 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
You have to watch out for the flexi com in ferries.

It’s only flexi if they are not full. Which they usually are on Le Mans week. We had to do a mixture of stroping, blagging and pleading to get an earlier ferry despite having flexi...

davidd

5,689 posts

207 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
We always aim to get there for about 4pm on Thursday after a leisurely drive down. Stay with PH on Blue N and have seats in Dunlop.

Cost is about £550 - £650 per head that's with tunnel and flexiplus.

There are lots of ways to do it at different budget points, I worked out that we could go for not much over £150 per head if we had 4 in the car on a public campsite. (plus fuel, beer, food etc, etc).

If you are on a public site be careful with your belongings!

D

//j17

2,834 posts

146 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
1. Grandstands
A lot depends what you're going down for.

If you're not hard-core motorsport fans so only likely to watch a couple of hours racing across the weekend then don't both with grandstand tickets - there's plenty of standing space you can use with just the general entry ticket. If you want a spot at the front with a good view of the start/finish of the race, especially on the start/finish straight expect to get there early and have to stand for a few hours.

If you're more hard-core/don't like wasting time/have trouble standing for long periods then you might want to go for a grandstand seat. It's extra, non-essential spend but does mean you can turn up 30min before the start of the race and know there's a seat with a view waiting for you. Most of the stands on the outside of the circuit are covered too so unless you're unlucky on wind direction/seat position you've got shelter from the sun/rain.

2. Where to stay
The big choice is on-site vs. off-site.

Off-site prices tend to drop the further you are from the track, but then you have the hastle of getting to and from the track and miss some of the atmosphere. Personally for your first time I'd go on-site.

If you stay on-site you have a range of options and prices. Cheapest are the general ACO sites down by the Porsche curves, as they have the longest walk to everything. Moving closer to the start/finish area tends to increase price, as does going for a "private camping" option (someone like PistonHeads reserves a large block inside an ACO campsite and puts up their own fences/security*/shower and toilet facilities/offer food, etc). You can then go for something corporate or hire a 'villa' (cargo container).

  • All sites have security, but on general ACO sites they are basically just there to stop VEHICLES getting in who haven't paid for camping passes. Private camping security are there for your safety and security and to stop PEOPLE getting in who aren't 'residents'.

Nigel_O

1,233 posts

142 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
I went to LeMans for the first time in 2015 and got hooked pretty much straight away. First trip was with my youngest son and 2016 and 2017 were with both of my sons

We could have done it for much less than we actually spent, but we take a lot of camera kit and we definitely wanted half-decent facilities. So, we used Travel Destinations at their Porsche Curves site. Considering its just a temporary campsite, its all pretty civilised, with on-site bar and catering and the all-important clean showers and toilet facilities.

Cost this year for the pitch and three of us in a tent was £1250, Weds - Mon - this includes the tunnel cost and 3 x general admission tickets. TBH, I would much prefer even better facilities, but the jump in cost would be more than I'm willing to pay. Also, being right next to the track has definite advantages. Porsche Curves is a great site, as it has its own viewing bank, so we could stagger out of our tent and be seeing cars within less than a minute.

By the time we'd factored in travel costs, spending money and new kit (we bought a tent and generator this year), the total cost was around £3k

I reckon it could be done for a quarter of this if we were willing to slum it, but I really don't do camping and if I'm forced to spend five days under canvas, I want it to be just slightly civilised

PS - to the OP - if you want to get around easily, take pushbikes. We happily cycled to and from the main circuit in just a few minutes and then down to Indianapolis on Saturday night - FAR better than walking or waiting for the free bus / train


The Leaper

2,728 posts

129 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
Being going with my son since 1996 and usually keep an accurate spreadsheet of all costs.

Last time we went the all in costs for the two of us were about £1430, broken down as follows:

Hard costs: £670

Eurotunnel
GE, grandstand seats (Raccordament), and parking tickets (Parking Blanc), and mailing
Hotel in Falaise for two nights (sleep in the car on Saturday)

Other costs: £760

ACO membership
Travel insurance
Extended car insurance to cover son driving my car
All meals
All drinks
All fuel
All tolls

Note that a quote from a well known LM24 ticket organisation for the identical hard costs was £1270, so a big saving when DIY.

R.

Ganan

Original Poster:

39 posts

49 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
This is amazing - thank you all for your great responses.

That has clarified a lot for me. I have got in touch with someone who is organising the PH group visit this year - I'm waiting to hear back from them.

I have a few more questions?

1) Does the general admittance cover the Great British Welcome - so I've posed the idea to some of the guys and I think they want to stay off camp. (Slight pity as I wanted to camp)
2) If people have used hotels - any recommendations?
3) Parking - if there any coaches or shuttle buses from town to the race track or is that me being optimistic.

I have organised a trip to the Nurinburgring & Spa and have always used Flex Tickets - one of the chaps had a crash on the ring so that was dead useful.

I was thinking £500 per person was a realistic target. I am a big fan of motorsport - but some in the group really want to get their cars outside of London!

I'm going to start looking for tickets now.

davidd

5,689 posts

207 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
I think £500 per person will be fine (depending on how thirsty you and the cars are wink)

The GBW is a separate event but there is no charge for entry.

D

Ganan

Original Poster:

39 posts

49 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
davidd said:
I think £500 per person will be fine (depending on how thirsty you and the cars are wink)

The GBW is a separate event but there is no charge for entry.

D
Thanks David - much appreciated

FredericRobinson

1,267 posts

155 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
Ganan said:
3) Parking - if there any coaches or shuttle buses from town to the race track or is that me being optimistic.

.
Not sure about buses, but the tram runs direct to the circuit, you could park further away & ride in, although as you're likely to be some way out of town if you're planning on finding a hotel I'd just buy a parking ticket for one of the circuit car parks if I were you.

lucido grigio

31,213 posts

86 months

Tuesday 14th November
quotequote all
Don't need a ticket for Great British Welcome,it's a separate informal event at St Saturnin in a different but not far away location.

//j17

2,834 posts

146 months

Wednesday 15th November
quotequote all
What's this Great British Welcome people keep talking about? Is it a competitor event to the Classic British Welcome that's been running for years in Saint-Saturnin...

Hammond1073

68 posts

34 months

Thursday 16th November
quotequote all
[quote=Ganan]This is amazing - thank you all for your great responses.

That has clarified a lot for me. I have got in touch with someone who is organising the PH group visit this year - I'm waiting to hear back from them.

I have a few more questions?

1) Does the general admittance cover the Great British Welcome - so I've posed the idea to some of the guys and I think they want to stay off camp. (Slight pity as I wanted to camp)
2) If people have used hotels - any recommendations?
3) Parking - if there any coaches or shuttle buses from town to the race track or is that me being optimistic.

I have organised a trip to the Nurinburgring & Spa and have always used Flex Tickets - one of the chaps had a crash on the ring so that was dead useful.

I was thinking £500 per person was a realistic target. I am a big fan of motorsport - but some in the group really want to get their cars outside of London!

I'm going to start looking for tickets now.[/quote


Regarding hotels, you will be hard pushed to find a decent one at a good rate nearby as they go pretty quickly. We tend to stay in Saint Saturin or somewhere similar as the costs are more reasonable.

OvalOwl

802 posts

54 months

Thursday 16th November
quotequote all
Hammond1073]anan said:
This is amazing - thank you all for your great responses.

1) Does the general admittance cover the Great British Welcome - so I've posed the idea to some of the guys and I think they want to stay off camp. (Slight pity as I wanted to camp)
2) If people have used hotels - any recommendations?
3) Parking - if there any coaches or shuttle buses from town to the race track or is that me being optimistic.
1) The Great British Welcome is actually the Classic British Welcome and is a free event held at St. Saturnin which is in the northern suburbs of Le Mans. There is a bus route.

3)The tram is the best way from town to circuit: the last two stops are an easy walk to two entrances, by Terte Rouge and The Dunlop Bridge. It runs through the night during the race.

Shuttle buses run to the distant corner spectator areas at Arnage and Mullsanne.

Potatoes

3,485 posts

93 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Wear fancy dress


surveyor

12,256 posts

107 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
OvalOwl said:
1) The Great British Welcome is actually the Classic British Welcome and is a free event held at St. Saturnin which is in the northern suburbs of Le Mans. There is a bus route.

3)The tram is the best way from town to circuit: the last two stops are an easy walk to two entrances, by Terte Rouge and The Dunlop Bridge. It runs through the night during the race.

Shuttle buses run to the distant corner spectator areas at Arnage and Mullsanne.
Don't rely on the busses to Arnarge and Mullsanne. If you are lucky enough to get there you may well struggle to get back.