More newbie advice!!!

More newbie advice!!!

Author
Discussion

850R

Original Poster:

61 posts

67 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
Guys and girls, since I was around 15, now 37, myself and some friends have longed to do LeMans but each year came and went and we never got anything sorted, (life seems to get in the way and throw a curve ball)this years it's finally on!!

We are getting the ferry early Friday morning and heading home Monday, work is getting in the way of coming any earlier which is a shame but should arrive around 10-11am on Friday, any advice would be appreciated, we are camping and have pretty much everything we need for camping etc.

The use of toll roads, fuel stations, supermarkets etc, where to go and what not to do, 5 eager (idiot) brits abroad!

Already half packed, we were going to travel in two cars, my red 96 855R and my friends Daytona violet M3 but we are going all boring and coming down in our V70D5 boo I hear you say (or not)

Can't wait now, any info much appreciated

Thanks!!!

The Leaper

3,103 posts

142 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
Presumably, you have everything booked?

Ferry
Campsite
Parking
General entry tickets
Any other tickets eg grandstands

The one essential is a pocket radio of some form plus headphones so that you can listen in to Radio Le Mans for the several days it is on, all day.

R.

850R

Original Poster:

61 posts

67 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
Hi mate thanks for the reply, yes we've everything sorted. Ferry, camping and tickets!!

Will get that radio sorted!!

Cheers

FredericRobinson

1,544 posts

168 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
Which campsite? Some will be easier than others to find space on arriving that late

MadMacMcMad

1,214 posts

190 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
OP. If you have not booked your ferry / crossing yet, I strongly advise a Thursday night over night.

Travelling on Friday means you will miss a chunk of a brilliant day. So much happens on friday, it would be a shame to miss any of it.
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850R

Original Poster:

61 posts

67 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
Again thanks for the info, I can't remember which site we are on but all I know is we have a 2 pitches allocated to us on our site.

We are changing the ferry to an earlier crossing, Dover - Calais, looking at 5-6am crossing which would be better, had a look and it's a 4.4.5 hour stint down

Thanks again

FredericRobinson

1,544 posts

168 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
Some sites have reserved pitches, some don't, worth checking when you say you've got 2 pitches 'allocated' to you, much better for you if they're reserved arriving Friday.
4 to 41/2 hour journey from Calais is about right, don't be tempted to push it to arrive earlier, there'll be plenty of gendermes happy to take your cash on the way down.

Output Flange

16,151 posts

147 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
Some thoughts:

1. It's usually easiest to stop at a supermarche outside of town to stock up on your way in, so you can pitch the tent, crack a beer and relax. Depending on what kit you're taking, you can buy blocks of ice at most supermarkets which will help keep beer cold for a while.

2. Check which campsite you're on - if it's one inside the circuit then you run the risk of having glass bottles confiscated. It doesn't always happen, but it has happened. If you can buy cans, do. If you're outside the circuit (Beausejour, Bleu etc) then don't worry.

3. Bring a portable FM radio, each. You can pick them up on Amazon for around a tenner, and it'll be worth every penny. It's quite hard to follow the race without it.

4. Enjoy it! Don't try to do everything on your first trip - you WILL be back.

5. Pack for all seasons. In the 10 years I've been going I've seen torrential rain, heatwaves and everything in between. Sometimes in the same day.

delta0

1,089 posts

42 months

Monday 19th February
quotequote all
I stay at Beausejour usually and they do check for glass also, although it is not exactly difficult to hide. You are next to Porsche Curves and can walk straight up the embankment and get a fantastic view.

Last year was glorious weather. It certainly gets you out of your tent early as you begin to cook. I normally assume heavy rain and scenes from the Somme especially when the night activities pick up across Beausejour.

My tips:
Enjoy the Friday, get onto the pits and walk a bit of track. Then get yourself to Le Mans town. You may or may not get to see the parade but you can enjoy the atmosphere and some beers. Grab some food maybe a bbq later in the evening with a few more beers. Last year we met up with great guys after we found one of their mobiles on the floor. They plied us with a lot of ice cold beers and gin and tonics. We talked about racing RX7s late into the night.

Relax before the race starts. There will be some pre races before the 24 hours starts in the afternoon. It is busy at the start and finish of the race so I recommend getting grandstand seats.
I was in Lagache last time and the noise was immense. I’ve been to Dunlop before and that is great.

After a couple of hours go for a walk around to Tetre Rouge. Get around the track a bit to see the race from many different places. There is a bus to take you around which is useful to get to Arnage and Mulsanne viewing points. As the day gets late enjoy some great night time racing. I prefer to take it easy on the drinking on Saturday so I can get up and head around to Arnage and/or Mulsanne to watch the racing at Sunrise. I saw some fantastic pictures this year at Dunlop so I might do that this time.

Sunday watch the race until it finishes. There will be a lot of cars that have crashed by this point. I saw a few going off last year.

Sunday night relax as you watch some rush off after the race knowing Monday you will get a nice clear run away. You will get kicked off the site by midday.

Edited by delta0 on Monday 19th February 23:00

ukcobra

203 posts

174 months

Tuesday 20th February
quotequote all
Output Flange said:
Some thoughts:

2. Check which campsite you're on - if it's one inside the circuit then you run the risk of having glass bottles confiscated. It doesn't always happen, but it has happened. If you can buy cans, do. If you're outside the circuit (Beausejour, Bleu etc) then don't worry.
We had to hide even the cans last year, as they were stopping all alcohol, presumably to stop loss of business to the bars. We had to develop smuggling techniques.

chasingracecars

1,366 posts

33 months

Tuesday 20th February
quotequote all
Best idea is to have a fridge or coolbox, they will search there first either put a couple of surrender beers in there or two a caravan then they can't be arsed to search it :-) (Well haven't for the last two years)

850R

Original Poster:

61 posts

67 months

Tuesday 20th February
quotequote all
Thanks very much to you all so far!!!

Much appreciated, gutted about the beer situation, might have to find some convenient stash in the car if they are doing that, are BBQs are permitted??

Was hoping for great atmosphere great racing, beer and BBQ with friends and likeminded enthusiasts!!!!

FredericRobinson

1,544 posts

168 months

Tuesday 20th February
quotequote all
BBQs fine, if you've got camping gear for 5 you'll have plenty of space to stash beer, it's luck of the draw whether you'll be searched on your way onto the site, once you're on it's fine, it's not like there's patrols checking what you're up to on the sites

Printertosh

474 posts

104 months

Tuesday 20th February
quotequote all
Officially they banned gas bottles a few years ago so if it's a gas bbq you need to hide the gas bottle and beer biggrin

(officially gas bottles are ok fixed in caravan or motorhome gas cupboards)

chasingracecars

1,366 posts

33 months

Tuesday 20th February
quotequote all
Printertosh said:
Officially they banned gas bottles a few years ago so if it's a gas bbq you need to hide the gas bottle and beer biggrin
Which makes me laugh as most campsites in France will not allow charcoal bbq’s because of the fire risk!!

What do they do about us caravan and motor homes with 2x 7kg cylinders on board.

DMN

2,503 posts

75 months

Wednesday 21st February
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A few things can make you a lot more comfortable:

Ear plugs for sleeping - because someone will be blasting Euro ste till 4am.
Baby Wipes
Hand Sanitiser
Immodium - in case the worst happens.
Fold up bikes - makes getting around a lot better.

E36GUY

5,768 posts

154 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
MadMacMcMad said:
OP. If you have not booked your ferry / crossing yet, I strongly advise a Thursday night over night.

Travelling on Friday means you will miss a chunk of a brilliant day. So much happens on friday, it would be a shame to miss any of it.
Totally agree. Back in the day my gang used to get the ferry at about 10pm, night drive it and arrive at dawn. Few hours kip then you can enjoy the majority of Friday.

fatboy18

15,548 posts

147 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
The toll roads are fine, there are some overhead gantries with cameras on them so don't go mad, French speed camera signs mean there actually is a Speed camera ahead, these look like oblong boxes and can be either in the central reservation or to the right of the car on the verge ahead. So take care wink

Toll booths, Look for the one that takes bank cards or credit cards, you will get through those much quicker,
Just insert a card, no need to enter pin number, card will read and then be released back to you. Easy as that. takes seconds.
Watch out for rozzers, they sit in the usual places, slip roads, past or on Bridges and have even been known to hide in fields with speed camera guns then when you reach the next service area or toll booth they will have your car details.
If its wet, stick to the reduced speed limit, they are quite strong on that one!

By Law you need to have Hi Vis vests and a warning triangle, if you drape a hi vis vest over the back of the driver or passenger seat the rozzers will spot it and it will be one less thing to pull you over for if they decide to do any random inspections

I have also noticed now on some of the old A roads I use now and again that the rozzers will set up road blocks and do on the spot breath tests and other spot checks! So Be careful.

Printertosh

474 posts

104 months

Wednesday 21st February
quotequote all
chasingracecars said:
Printertosh said:
Officially they banned gas bottles a few years ago so if it's a gas bbq you need to hide the gas bottle and beer biggrin
Which makes me laugh as most campsites in France will not allow charcoal bbq’s because of the fire risk!!

What do they do about us caravan and motor homes with 2x 7kg cylinders on board.
Here's the thread about the banned list from a few years ago:

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

In it I quote an official response about gas bottles:

ONLY BOTTLES CONNECTED AND SECURELY LOCKED TO CARAVAN / MOTORHOME SYSTEM WILL BE ALLOWED!!!

We've had our 2 bottles locked in the gas cupboard and they've never been queried. We've added a quick release connection on the side the motorhome for the gas BBQ and outside hob/grill which works really well. We just switch off the bottle at night to be safe.

The gas bottle problem apparently started (according to the 'rumours') when some crazy fool threw a gas canister on a Sunday night bonfire jester
(This may or may not of happened)

Edited by Printertosh on Wednesday 21st February 14:46

Downsy

14 posts

82 months

Tuesday 27th February
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I've not booked yet but am talking to tour operators. It would be my first visit and I wanted some honest feedback before taking the plunge:

Im looking to stay on a private, secure site with numbered pitches, however:

I hear the toilets are less than sanitary, no loo seat, broken loo seats...
The showers generally won't have hot water
Your neighbour may do anything until 4am from setting off fireworks, throwing buckets off water, blasting out loud music etc etc
I might have to protect my pride and joy from drunken idiots

Now I'm no party pooper but I'd rather know in advance and be prepared, than turn up and and get the right hump!

Any real life experiences and warnings would be greatly appreciated.