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Le Mans 24hr Newbie

Le Mans 24hr Newbie

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DottyDog

Original Poster:

1 posts

Saturday 3rd February
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I'm finally getting the opportunity to tick Le Mans 24hrs off the bucket list this year with 5 friends. We're all time poor so will leave Manchester crack of dawn on the Friday and leave on the Sunday before the race finishes to get home before midnight. As we're so limited for time I naturally want to make the most of it at all times.

I'm looking for some general advice and guidance if anyone is willing to share what has worked well for them - and also what hasn't. For example, should I stay on site the whole time or venture out to Le Mans itself? Any particular things to see and do and best places to spectate in your opinion? I'm also interested in anyones advice re beer! Am I facing long queues for example throughout or is there options?

We've got 3 cars travelling down in convoy. If anyone can recommend any particular routes (not autoroutes) then that would also be great. Perhaps a nice restaurant en-route to stop off at?

Thanks in advance!

Pericoloso

32,420 posts

89 months

Saturday 3rd February
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You are not going to have much spare time to go into town with that timetable.

Going by recent races,leaving before the end is a big mistake.

delta0

893 posts

32 months

Saturday 3rd February
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2017 the best part of the race was the last lap!

Le Mans town is easy to get to using the tram near the top of the circuit get on at Antares and get off around Republique (if I remember correctly). I’m probably going that way on Friday. It is the parade day and the town has a great atmosphere that day.

If you’re camping you may not find any difference in price to book more days. I think generally the price you pay covers about 5 days on the site even if you request fewer days.

Thursday to Monday is my intention this year as I did last year. Catch the qualifying at Porsche Curves on Thursday, the pits and Le Mans town on Friday then racing for the weekend!

There is a cheap supermarket at Super U Arnage. This year I’m tempted to head to the bars at Arnage as I’ve never been there other than when driving through.



Edited by delta0 on Saturday 3rd February 17:08

FredericRobinson

1,357 posts

158 months

Saturday 3rd February
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delta0 said:
2017 the best part of the race was the last lap!

If you’re camping you may not find any difference in price to book more days. I think generally the price you pay covers about 5 days on the site even if you request fewer days.

Edited by delta0 on Saturday 3rd February 17:08
Camping on the public sites is Sunday to Monday, there used to be an extra charge if you turned up before Wednesday but there's been no sign of that for the last few years, mind you, if you said 'non' they'd normally not bother to enforce it anyway

Cass63

46 posts

45 months

Saturday 3rd February
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That really is a tight timetable, we are going on the Wednesday this year instead of Thursday so we can get more things in, the drink normally takes over the first day so Friday is a washout.
I want to try the Arnage bars this year.
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chasingracecars

1,033 posts

23 months

Saturday 3rd February
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I think nearly everyone that needs to be back Monday morning leaves just before the end of the race. That’s a lot of people. I would wait until a couple of hours after.

Avoid the tunnel as heard of huge waits for trains the weekend.

wsn03

277 posts

27 months

Saturday 3rd February
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With such a tight timetable I'd rather fly in, I did that one year and stil think it was one of the best ways to do it. I will do that again im sure

The one thing i wouldn't want to miss is the end of the race, all part of the show, and sometimes a real nail biter too

RickRob

38 posts

39 months

Saturday 3rd February
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With the schedule you have I would have thought that the only sensible way to get there and back will be on the autoroutes. The N roads are great, but a lot slower.

Don't assume that you'll do a huge speed on the autoroutes. The gendarmerie use Le Mans weekend to fine lots of Brits.

If you're a photographer the Guinness place near Terte Rouge is about the only place where you can get pics without a mesh fence between you and the cars.

The food inside the circuit is aweful. The bars at Arnage are OK, but obviously busy.

Cass63

46 posts

45 months

Sunday 4th February
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If you’ve already paid for your campsite , travel across the channel and entry ticket, add on the fuel and get all your food from the hyper market and it can be a cheap break, I would spend extra on a longer stay.dont eat or drink at the track it’s a rip off.
6 of us are spending 6 days there for £340 each and that’s everything paid for apart from spending money.

Leptons

3,684 posts

102 months

Sunday 4th February
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I’m looking into organising it this year for a few cars. Will try and catch the first ferry Friday morning, head back on Monday.

Just trying to work out some rough costs - £200 per car fuel, £60 PP Entry and camping? £100 per car Ferry. I reckoned on about £350 each plus spending money, is that there or thereabouts?

delta0

893 posts

32 months

Sunday 4th February
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Leptons said:
I’m looking into organising it this year for a few cars. Will try and catch the first ferry Friday morning, head back on Monday.

Just trying to work out some rough costs - £200 per car fuel, £60 PP Entry and camping? £100 per car Ferry. I reckoned on about £350 each plus spending money, is that there or thereabouts?
Check the toll costs if you are using autoroutes. That is similar to my budget plus I usually get a grand stand ticket so end up nearer £500

Leptons

3,684 posts

102 months

Sunday 4th February
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delta0 said:
Check the toll costs if you are using autoroutes. That is similar to my budget plus I usually get a grand stand ticket so end up nearer £500
Tolls, good shout hadn’t thought of that one!

4cEvo2

26 posts

19 months

Sunday 4th February
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Definitely use the autoroute to just get there as soon as you can, much more fun there than bumbling down the local roads. And catch a tram into town for some food at about 7pm. Take in a World Cup match whilst sampling the local bierre then get back to the circuit. I guarantee the hairs on the back of your neck will be on end as you get off and hear the cars, then walk into the circuit and see them belting around TR in the pitch black. There’s nothing like it first time. Try and stay up or get up for the sun rising as well, only managed it once and it was well worth it

Kev_Mk3

450 posts

21 months

Monday 5th February
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Check your toll costs here - http://www.autoroutes.fr/index.htm?lang=en

I have a toll tag pull up and beeps off I go. End of the month takes the money via direct debit out my bank nothing to worry about.

If you can share the driving down to Le man as you will be cream cracked. Friday you can get the tram into town and see the drivers parade. Saturday / Sunday is the race and if you leave before the end just remember roads are closed and traffic is mad.

Also depending on driving don't go mad on the booze as if your stopped and tested youll be in trouble!

FredericRobinson

1,357 posts

158 months

Monday 5th February
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Kev_Mk3 said:
Also depending on driving don't go mad on the booze as if your stopped and tested youll be in trouble!
And remember, the French alcohol limit is lower than the English

Philip-8km5h

9 posts

9 months

Tuesday 13th February
quotequote all
delta0 said:
2017 the best part of the race was the last lap!

Le Mans town is easy to get to using the tram near the top of the circuit get on at Antares and get off around Republique (if I remember correctly). I’m probably going that way on Friday. It is the parade day and the town has a great atmosphere that day.

If you’re camping you may not find any difference in price to book more days. I think generally the price you pay covers about 5 days on the site even if you request fewer days.

Thursday to Monday is my intention this year as I did last year. Catch the qualifying at Porsche Curves on Thursday, the pits and Le Mans town on Friday then racing for the weekend!

There is a cheap supermarket at Super U Arnage. This year I’m tempted to head to the bars at Arnage as I’ve never been there other than when driving through.

Edited by delta0 on Saturday 3rd February 17:08
Bars at Arnage? Can you give a bit more info please?

I went to Le Mans in 2016 and had an amazing time, and am going again this year with the missus and my best mate. Am definitely looking at exploring more this time around...

Truckosaurus

6,188 posts

210 months

Tuesday 13th February
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Philip-8km5h said:
Bars at Arnage? Can you give a bit more info please?...
There are a number of bars lining the main road through Arnage village. Most of them install covered outside seating areas on the pavement, so plenty of room for drinkers.

It is somewhat of a trek on foot from the circuit, these days it is easier to just get the tram into the City Centre.

chasingracecars

1,033 posts

23 months

Tuesday 13th February
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Truckosaurus said:
It is somewhat of a trek on foot from the circuit, these days it is easier to just get the tram into the City Centre.
Yes it take about 45 minutes stroll from the Ford Chicane, go between Blue Sud and Blue Nord and follow the road. At the T junction left over the railway crossing.

However in relation to the tram into town. These small pubs make more money on Le Mans week then the rest of the year. If we don’t go there they will close. Then we will wish we had gone there.

Aside from the financial side you can sit outside where people drive past in their pride and joys. It’s lovely to sit out there for hours. In town it’s just another bar in another town with your mates.

Philip-8km5h

9 posts

9 months

Tuesday 13th February
quotequote all
Truckosaurus said:
There are a number of bars lining the main road through Arnage village. Most of them install covered outside seating areas on the pavement, so plenty of room for drinkers.

It is somewhat of a trek on foot from the circuit, these days it is easier to just get the tram into the City Centre.
We're going to have bikes this time, so I imagine we'd cycle.

Is this close to the circuit, or more of an event for the Friday?

//j17

2,885 posts

149 months

Tuesday 13th February
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DottyDog said:
I'm finally getting the opportunity to tick Le Mans 24hrs off the bucket list this year with 5 friends. We're all time poor so will leave Manchester crack of dawn on the Friday and leave on the Sunday before the race finishes to get home before midnight. As we're so limited for time I naturally want to make the most of it at all times.
Assuming you haven't booked ferries yet have you looked at the Portsmouth Caen/Le Havre options? Yes they are more expensive but you've got a shorter run down from Manchester, with none of the joys of the M25. Both routes offer over-night crossings (22:45 Caen/23:30 Le Havre) so, especially if you can all duck out of work an hour or two early, do-able for a Thursday night dash. You're only a couple of hours from Le Mans when you get off the other side, maximizing your time.

Coming back you're looking at the 16:30/17:00 crossings, so still missing the end of the race - but again only a couple of hours driving between Le Mans and the boat.