I'd love to hear about the members who drove to Le Mans

I'd love to hear about the members who drove to Le Mans

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Discussion

MckRob85

Original Poster:

82 posts

5 months

Wednesday 1st August
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Hi all.

As I am planning a big driving event for next June, I am looking for all the good bits/bad bits about the journey down, not specifically the route, as mine won't be in France, but what parts of such an undertaking were most enjoyable, what little things made a big difference, what bugged you, what you would add/change/remove all together.

I know a bunch of guys drove to the event together, so thats right up my alley.

Any tips/suggestions that I might be able to consider/incorporate for enjoyment/remove for annoyance would be very helpful. Also, its just great to hear about your adventures!

Adventure is the name of the game, right?

wsn03

406 posts

35 months

Thursday 2nd August
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The journey to Le Mans is nothing special, highway, tolls fuel stops. Knowing you're going to Le Mans is very special. Seeing stickered up cars heading the same way is pretty cool.

If you're not going to Le Mans I'm not sure what information you're looking for? The journey to Le Mans from Calais otherwise would be little different to a journey up the M1 for me

davidd

5,842 posts

218 months

Thursday 2nd August
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The fun bit is doing it with friends, walkie talkies, a slightly interesting route off the motorways with a few good stops.

toasty

5,020 posts

154 months

Thursday 2nd August
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Le Mans is a bit of a slog these days since the French Government clamped down on speeding.

Take your time, stop frequently, take some good music or listen to local radio.

If you've the time, avoid autoroutes as the A roads (or equivalent) are much more interesting.

MckRob85

Original Poster:

82 posts

5 months

Thursday 2nd August
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Thanks guys, naturally I won’t be looking at any motorway stretches unless it’s totally unavoidable or teams want to make up a bit of time and catch up by driving at (ahem) 70 for a bit.

Our cars will have stickers and we will certainly have a few cars, so that’s that box ticked, mostly A roads throughout Wales, England and into Scotland. Check.

Can’t really add in the CB Radio link although believe it or not we did discuss that idea and even brought a set for testing distance! Cost essentially killed the idea but also traffic... we are aiming for 80 teams, that’s a lot of static biggrin

So far so good, ticking the right boxes then.

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Kev_Mk3

708 posts

29 months

Thursday 2nd August
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Generally I have a few stickers if a few of us go together and use walkie talkies to speak saves phones and being on phones.

We always stop at baie de somme as it has a nature reserve and is nice for food then stop a few hours later.

I enjoy the drive down the roads are so much nicer than the uk and more relaxing

MckRob85

Original Poster:

82 posts

5 months

Thursday 2nd August
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Well my event is U.K-based, I’m posting in the Le Mans section as I know you guys all have a bit of fun on the long drive and stay over - exactly the experiences I am seeking to learn from.

ellroy

5,437 posts

159 months

Thursday 2nd August
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As has been said it's the people you with and the experiences you have that makes the trip. You can't manufacture them, they're organic, and acquire iconic, almost mythic status if you do the same trip with the same people for a number of years, as we do at LM.

It also helps if you've got some people in ropey unreliable junk. They're a story waiting to happen.

As an aside if you find one of the group has a car that reads out texts, ideally in a slightly posh female accent, that can certainly help the miles fly by, especially if your level of humour is somewhere below the gutter.

wsn03

406 posts

35 months

Thursday 2nd August
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OP
Im not into cars and find most journeys tedious despite being lucky enough to own an XKR used for special occasions. Im a biker, hence cars dont do it for me.

HOWEVER Le Mans is off the scale for being special and a sense of occasion. If you want an adventure why not go? There's a lot to be said for it, the buzz of the journey is priceless alone. I just cant see driving around for the sake of driving around being that good, but then im a biker so probably dont get it

Le Mans is a wow for anyone who likes cars im sure

Kewy

523 posts

28 months

Thursday 2nd August
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My advice would be not to over-plan the adventure, which may be a bit difficult if there is so many of you.

Personally I like to only book a couple of days accom and then see what happens – if you find somewhere you like then there is no rush to get to the next stop.

Whilst you might not be able to do with with the accomodation as there is lots of you, maybe don't plan the POI's so strictly. Have a bunch of good spots on route that you 'could' stop at, but don't plan on doing them ALL.

Use 'my maps' in Google maps to plan a route.

Lots of stops, even if its just 5-10 mins in some lay by with a view.

Let the adventure come to you, don't try and fabricate it smile

Kewy

523 posts

28 months

Thursday 2nd August
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P.S. I've never been to Le Mans – but done lots of road trips biggrin

Currently planning my Alpine tour for April-May 2019.

MckRob85

Original Poster:

82 posts

5 months

Thursday 2nd August
quotequote all
Totally agree on Le Mans, and I will drive there, possibly next year for an event, be it the 24 hours or Classic Le Mans.

My events’ route starts from West London and heads west towards Wales, then into the South and onto the North of Wales where we arrive late afternoon and let the nightly-festivities commence. It’s back up and out the next from Borth Wales back into England, heading North through the Lake District and furthur on towards Glasgow, stopping for the night again at our site on the Scottish Coast close to Glasgow. Again a night of fun before the next day heading North towards Skye, not driving on to but camping very close and very remotely near there. Awaking for our last day, we slice East across central Scotland and towards Edinburgh where we have a final party and awards evening.

The route isn’t 100% decided as I am letting locals and experienced drivers guide me when planning the greatest route, and most of not all will be A roads.

I figure it’s best to set an ‘official’ stop halfway through the day but generally leave teams to do what they want, perhaps mention a few POIs along routes, and then that allows for variations in the stories that people have from their day of an evening.

MrC986

2,117 posts

125 months

Saturday 4th August
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You could always have a stickerage competition as the thing that causes almost as many laughs as the general "craic" is the stuff that people put on their cars either in homage to motorsport or akin to weird advertising/spoof driver names etc. If you looked back about 5-6 years in stickered up for Le Mans there was a car liveried with a Fanny Orange theme & when you opened the doors (& it obscured part) it read entirely differently.

Hammond1073

106 posts

45 months

Tuesday 14th August
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Le Mans is unique. The journey down as a group, meeting up with so many other like minded people at every place you stop between Calais and Le Mans. The sense of occasion in every service station and then finally the destination. To me, the journey is as much a part of Le Mans as the race. However, the journey wouldn't be anything without the destination.

That's my concern with these Funball / Gumball / 8Ball rallies. There is no sense of destination. The drive to Le Mans is special because of Le Mans. Without that, its just a drive with a bunch of people you don't know whose only aim is to get pissed every night. And even that is risky as you have to drive the next day...

I don't believe it is possible to emulate the Le Mans atmosphere without the event. I've done Le Mans many times. I've done roar trips to Spa and Nürburgring. I've done UK trips to Brands and Knockhill. Nothing can compare to Le Mans because you simply can't recreate the spontaneous camaraderie Le Mans offers. over 60,000 brits on a mission to the same place for the same reason.

No UK road rally will ever come close

MckRob85

Original Poster:

82 posts

5 months

Tuesday 14th August
quotequote all
Totally agree! That final sense of arriving at Le Mans would be unbeatable, and that’s probably why it’s such a huge occasion and always draws a huge crowd.

In regards to the rallies, I don’t think any of them are trying to emulate the feelings of arriving at Le Mans, I think it’s about participating in something, feeling part of a group and getting out there and enjoying driving in a way that you wouldn’t do on a daily commute.

For me it’s about bringing fun back into driving, associating that fun with other fun things like socialising, camping, few drinks and some music, rolling it all into a big ball and making it something great to be a part of.

I asked about those who drive/drive to Le Mans as I just wanted to know specifically what makes people take on the journey, and it seems that it’s the event itself. Haven’t heard much praise in regards to the roads driven, seems all about getting there - which is great, I was just wondering if there were other drivers behind the decision to go every year.

MckRob85

Original Poster:

82 posts

5 months

Tuesday 14th August
quotequote all
Thanks to all who chipped in. I want to get everything spot on before my event next year and a huge part of that is feedback on things that work, things that don’t and things that could be slipped in to enhance the experience.

Thanks guys.

Killboy

1,247 posts

136 months

Tuesday 14th August
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It is such a waste to just drive direct. Take that week off, and make an interesting roadtrip out of it. Best years I've been are the ones where we spent 2/3 days getting there.

slartibartfast

3,643 posts

135 months

Tuesday 14th August
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Make sure you arrange camping at Le mans, I can recommend White rabbit racing and of course Pistonheads camping
a little bit of research will tell you what you need to know.

Great Dane

2,207 posts

100 months

Wednesday 15th August
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I make a music programme on the SD card with specific LM album label. Great music plus the obligatory naff songs like the Smurfs etc.....

MckRob85

Original Poster:

82 posts

5 months

Wednesday 15th August
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Clearly the buzz around Le Mans is a huge one! Look forward to taking the journey myself.

Just to clarify, I started the thread to ask what made the trip special to see what I could use from that and incorporate into my own event.

You have all been very helpful, it has helped shape my event and although I dare not mention my own event as I have been removed several times, those who enjoy driving trips and a spot of camping are more than welcome to join.

Thanks again to all those who contributed.