Grandstand Opinions

Grandstand Opinions

Author
Discussion

LawrieC

66 posts

54 months

Thursday 30th January
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This may be a bit pre mobile phones working in France, but grandstand seats were always a good meeting point - you could all wander off (or not) and you knew where to meet up

DanStirl

Original Poster:

20 posts

12 months

Friday 31st January
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Thanks to all who contributed their opinions.

We have decided to go for T23 and will be staying in the Pistonheads campsite.

I was hoping to ask a few more questions about the facilities at the event.

Whats the food and beer availability like? Very Pricey?

Is is easy to get about the circuit and see other corners that aren't near the main grandstand/pit area?

Is it worth going into town on the Friday evening for the drivers parade?

Is the go-kart track open during the event?

Are there cash machines on site?

And any other advice that people think would be worthwhile knowing as first time visitor, we would be grateful to hear!

Again, many thanks for peoples contributions so far.

Dan

RobbyJ

859 posts

172 months

Friday 31st January
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DanStirl said:
Thanks to all who contributed their opinions.

We have decided to go for T23 and will be staying in the Pistonheads campsite.

- Good choice, we’ll be there too down in the bottom corner of the site nearest T23 in the well lit gazebo, stop by for a cold one.

I was hoping to ask a few more questions about the facilities at the event.

Whats the food and beer availability like? Very Pricey?

- At the track, yes, it’s pretty expensive but generally we only snack there and do the main eating in the PH Marquee.

Is is easy to get about the circuit and see other corners that aren't near the main grandstand/pit area?

- Certainly within the confines of the track you can walk you can see loads of corners, we always walk end to end a couple of times throughout the race. At night we walk up to Tetre Rouge and go to the Cafe Du Tetre Rouge (just outside the track)for chicken and a drink before walking back. I love doing the walk at night when it’s less busy and getting back to the campsite around 3-4am. You get such a great perspective on other corners at night. Others will be advise better on the journey to other corners outside of the main area.

Is it worth going into town on the Friday evening for the drivers parade?

-Yes, lots of threads on this topic if you search.

Is the go-kart track open during the event?

-Hell yes, we always go 2 or 3 times, it’s great fun.

Are there cash machines on site?

-Yes but there’s usually a big queue so best to take what you need with you. There’s a couple in the village and by the start finish stands.

And any other advice that people think would be worthwhile knowing as first time visitor, we would be grateful to hear!

-Again the search is your friend, so many threads on this but I’d just say go and work a lot of it out for yourself, there’s so much to see and do.


Again, many thanks for peoples contributions so far.

Dan
Some answers in line above, make sure you pop over and say hello, Rob

ferrus

26 posts

12 months

Saturday 1st February
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Whats the food and beer availability like? Very Pricey?

Pricey, and can have incredibly long queues at peak times.
Drinks are best in the campsites, in town, or smuggled in.

Is it worth going into town on the Friday evening for the drivers parade?

I'd say yes. General consensus is, it's a must see for your first visit, many don't see it after that.
I enjoyed it on my first visit. Goes on quite a long time. I remember leaving after a while, going for dinner, and returning to see it still going on.

Are there cash machines on site?

Yes, but haven't used them. My campsite has individual secure lockers - so I take money out in the town at the start of the weekend, and leave it there.

And any other advice that people think would be worthwhile knowing as first time visitor, we would be grateful to hear!

Le Mans town is great, and beautiful. The trams are cheap and frequent. People queue for food longer at the track, than it takes to get to the town.
Took me a couple of visits before I started going more often.
Lots of ATMs, no queues/charges. Lots of cafe's/restaurants, tasty, cheap, no queues.
I now go every morning after breakfast, for a decent coffee - instead of the horrible stuff in the campsite.

Take portable radios. Analogue FM type so the battery lasts all weekend - no modern DAB types, with a 2 hour battery limit.
Radio Le Mans is a big part of the weekend for many. Don't know how people keep up with the race without it (unless they're only there for the party/atmosphere).

Not sure how this works on your camp site - or whether you're in a tent etc, but if your campsite has a charging station/power points - they're usually full.
Take a multi-USB charging plug, share, be considerate, and a portable battery is always a good idea.

You've got the grandstand seats already - so you're weatherproof for the race. That's would be my other advice.


Those are just a few of my observations. Over to everyone else.

Stellartois

62 posts

69 months

Saturday 1st February
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T19 for us again, had then last year and they were great, allowed for all the build up but we were also able to get up and stretch our legs for a bit and not lose our place as had always been the case when we were sat on the terrace below. £140 odd each if I recall correctly but worth it for the all the beginning and closing action

delta0

1,236 posts

56 months

Sunday 2nd February
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ferrus said:
You've got the grandstand seats already - so you're weatherproof for the race. That's would be my other advice.
It’s worth noting that not all grandstands have roofs and so could be exposed to sun/rain.

RL17

783 posts

43 months

Sunday 2nd February
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Le Mans ticketing site is good for stands as does have a virtual 360 deg view of track and the stand, seats and roof.

Other things: Drive down the D304 to the Hotel de France if you have time on Thursday or Friday.

FM radios - found the battery radio (and dial tuning) with earphones a pain. Would recommend ear defenders with a built in FM radio and LCD frequency display/aux input. Under £20 online in UK (LM branded ones were Euro 75 plus a few years ago). Also good for when next door tent is full of snorers louder than chainsaws.


JT3K

280 posts

80 months

Tuesday 4th February
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DanStirl said:
I was hoping to ask a few more questions about the facilities at the event.
Whats the food and beer availability like? Very Pricey?

Food is mostly "controlled" by the ACO and is pricey. It's ~€15 for a sandwich/frites which generally is a fairly grim rock-hard baguette. You might do it a couple of times but I wouldn't do it often. It's also €9 for a beer (incl a €1 refundable cup). There's a kebab stall outside Maison Blanche that is a bit cheaper/different.

However I think the real prize is just behind the grandstands opposite the pit entry on the Maison Blanche side where a family sell croque monsieur. They've been there since the 70's and have a grandfathered agreement with the ACO as one of the last truly independent food vendors inside the circuit. Their food is cheap enough and bloody tasty.

If there are three of you, consider buying an ACO membership as food/drink in their areas are cheaper. One ACO member can pay a small uplift to register two guests (splitting the lot 3-ways) and you can easily save that money back on beer, plus you get cleaner toilets, dry places (if raining) and some viewing areas.

Is is easy to get about the circuit and see other corners that aren't near the main grandstand/pit area?

Hell yes. It's easier than ever over the past few years as the road-trains actually run and they've put more of them on. I would suggest going a couple of days early if possible so you can get your bearings whilst it's quiet. With a GE ticket in normal entry, you can walk uninterrupted with a clear view of the circuit from the bottom of the Porsche Curves to the top of Terte Rouge (on the "outside" of the circuit) and from Karting to the same Terte Rouge (on the "inside") with plenty of good viewing areas. You can also walk/cycle/road-train to Arnage but won't be able to get near the Mulsanne straight barring a couple of key places (such as the KFC).

Is it worth going into town on the Friday evening for the drivers parade?

Depends who you ask. I've done it a number of times but it's very busy, always "late/delayed" and I don't feel I get much from it. With kids, you may get more. They're always throwing free stuff out but you likely won't get it!

Is the go-kart track open during the event?

Usually. A couple of years ago, Nissan annexed it for hospitality and I was livid. It's a fairly good circuit with fairly good karts and you're doing well if you can break a minute. €15 for 10 mins (IIRC)

Are there cash machines on site?

Yes, although queues are hideous by Friday lunchtime. There are also cash machines at the local Carrefour if you're down that way.

And any other advice that people think would be worthwhile knowing as first time visitor, we would be grateful to hear!

There's a good list at r/LeMans for this - https://www.reddit.com/r/lemans/wiki/what_happens

delta0

1,236 posts

56 months

Tuesday 4th February
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With the questions about going into the town I would suggest once you get off at the main square have a look around and soak in the atmosphere for a bit but then move on to the old part of Le Mans town into the back streets. You will find interesting restaurants and pubs everywhere

LM240

3,113 posts

168 months

Tuesday 4th February
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For me the ACO stand (18), ticks all the boxes.

Short walk from the main entrance, covered and mostly protected in terms of the usual wind direction, decent view of pit lane and a big TV and there are food and toilet facilities contained within it.

What you lose in cornering action you make up for with the pit lane activity.

Other stands on the straight towards Dunlop are okay. View of pit lane becomes more limited, but still have a big TV to watch.

Dunlop was good one year.

Other one I might try is 23 Raccordement one year.

However ACO 18 acts as a good base for us. Booking more than two seats together is a right pain though.

One I wouldn’t bother with is above the pits. No big tv and if it is hot you are getting baked all day and have sun in your eyes towards sunset.

The Leaper

3,590 posts

156 months

Tuesday 4th February
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LM240 said:
For me the ACO stand (18), ticks all the boxes.

Short walk from the main entrance, covered and mostly protected in terms of the usual wind direction, decent view of pit lane and a big TV and there are food and toilet facilities contained within it.

What you lose in cornering action you make up for with the pit lane activity.

Other stands on the straight towards Dunlop are okay. View of pit lane becomes more limited, but still have a big TV to watch.

Dunlop was good one year.

Other one I might try is 23 Raccordement one year.

However ACO 18 acts as a good base for us. Booking more than two seats together is a right pain though.
the motor spoort---
One I wouldn’t bother with is above the pits. No big tv and if it is hot you are getting baked all day and have sun in your eyes towards sunset.
I've had seats in both T18 and T23. Personally, I think that T23 is best for watching the action....Ford Chicane, pits entry, good view up the pits straight, large TV opposite....but it does not have the facilities of T18. T23 also has a roof and the rear is filled in so good for weather protection.

T18 comes into its own for the Classic LM because of the regular grid formation for the different classes every hour or so, and the pit action for so many cars.

I agree that the grandstand above the pits is much inferior: you cannot see the pits anyway from there unless you are in the front row of seats and lean over.

R.

E36GUY

5,875 posts

168 months

Thursday 6th February
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17 Le Mans in a row and I've still never sat in a grandstand. I don't think it's a requirement but each to their own.

ellroy

6,145 posts

175 months

Thursday 6th February
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Missed one year with a Grandstand, lucked out as it was dry and warm, but seeing much of start/finish was hard.

If it’s baking hot, or slashing down, they’re a must needed expense.

I reckon the OP made the right decision in getting seats.

FredericRobinson

1,923 posts

182 months

Thursday 6th February
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17th for me (and 24th 24 hour race), never had a grandstand seat, each to their own

LM240

3,113 posts

168 months

Thursday 6th February
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E36GUY said:
17 Le Mans in a row and I've still never sat in a grandstand. I don't think it's a requirement but each to their own.
17 in a row for me also... would not go without a grandstand now!

Did the crush of the start/finish for a couple of the early years, never again. I like having a definite place to go, especially for start and finish.

Like you say, each to their own. One of the reasons I love Le Mans is because of the variety of ways you can enjoy it and do different things year in year out. Everyone enjoys different aspects of it and doing things their own ways, but everyone is there for the common love of the place.

FARP

95 posts

108 months

Friday 7th February
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Cheap food at the circuit, If your just looking for a cheap sandwich and a cold drink nip into the cafe at the museum, there’s well stocked vending machines in there where you can grab a sandwich and a drink for about €8.