Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

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Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby FFF » Sat May 13, 2017 8:08 am

Every once in a while all of the travel that I do for work turns some what in my favor...

I have long considered the two best types of automotive racing to be Rally and then Endurance (in that order). I've also had various sport bikes my entire life so Moto GP and the Isle of Mann are at the top as well!

Both require a different level of preparation and teamwork, whether it is between driver / co-driver in rally or the overall team strategy with multiple drivers operating a car over a extended period... The ability to go very fast and keep your car together is an art (IMO) that many drivers in most other series don't... Well I'll leave it at that. Not taking away from other race series as I enjoy watching / driving anything.

I find myself in France in mid June... So, I've extended my stay, flying my wife over and we are going to attend the 24 hrs of Le Mans. I don't really save anything other than a plane ticket for myself of course but being there at the right time made this bucket list race decision very easy. We've been to France before and done most of the tourist things including going to see Normandy and many other historic sites.

Question for everyone - has anyone been to Le Mans? Any recommendations for the race? Anything else of particular interest that you consider must do's? We are likely travelling back and forth by train to the venue as we are way behind on booking rooms locally (finalizing that this weekend).
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Re: Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby FFF » Sat May 13, 2017 8:09 am

Hit submit a couple of sentences too soon...

Disappointing that Audi is out this year, Porsche is in and of course Ford is back! Would have been epic to have the three icons in this season - ahh well.
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Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby Foscora » Sat May 13, 2017 7:27 pm

FFF wrote:Question for everyone - has anyone been to Le Mans?

Yup, I was there yesterday.
< I live around there :lol:

FFF wrote:Any recommendations for the race? Anything else of particular interest that you consider must do's? We are likely travelling back and forth by train to the venue as we are way behind on booking rooms locally (finalizing that this weekend).

Well ... If you wanna enjoy the race :

1 - Get ready to WALK. There's a lot to see, at different spots, you better have a decent set of shoes, most areas meant for the crown outside the village are "rocky-gravely-sandy" and there aren't much grandstands at the bests spots which are around the Dunlop Curves. In addition to the shoes, bring a light bag so you don't get exhausted by it.

2 - Have some waterproof stuff, clothes, etc Every year it rains. Sometimes it's a brutal storm, sometimes it's sunny 99% of the event, but you never know. There arent much places to get covered once it rains so ...

3 - You've already been to France so you probably know that most french people are terrible in english, so it's a good thing to get ready for some french basic sentences. Don't be afraid tho, around the track, there are a shitload of brits so the most people you'll talk with are familiar with english but you never know ...


Now, what are your plans on staying around the track ? I didn't get your sentence, you plan to come by train and go back the same day ? The next day ?


About the sweet spots, I made u a map (mspaint :thumbsup:)
Image
In the blue square, you'll find 95% of the usual places people lay around.
Blue dots are the grandstands
Green dots are the best spots for attending the race (technical curves/braking zones).
Yellow dots are the village (food places, shops, nice things to see, old LeMans cars from the museum exposed, etc)

The pink dots are my personal favorite places, now if you're not motorised, this may involve a long (30mn) and an even longer walk (I don't even know lol).

1 - The top one called "food places" are 2 "regular" restaurants (a nice one & a fast food) which are outside the "main stuff". You'll have to get outside the village/track, cross all the parkings and camping spots to get there. Not appealing right ? That's not a cool walk BUT you'll get a unique spot for grabbing a bite and seeing cars accelerate through the Hunaudieres (long straight).

Both restaurants has 2 floors so if you get a chance to go in the upper ones, you'll be able to spot the cars easily. At ground floor, it's less easy (yet still fun to hear the cars "this close" from you).
To give you an idea, here's what I shot last year in "Le Mans Classic" at the ground floor of the restaurant. I just stood up from my chair lol



Obviously those places are crowdy at food hours (even tho I think they are extending their services over night), so plan on eating early if you want to go there.

2 - Place number 2 is in Indiapolis/Arnage curves. By foot, forget it, I know there's some kind of bus going there but IDK how and where you can pick it up, and it's probably by day time. I always did this by car so IDK how "non-motorized people do" :lol:

This place is outside the track yet still a paid one, your basic 24HLM ticket will do. Definitely a place to go if you want some action (these curves are very technical aswell). You'll be even closer from the cars at this spot. No grandstands there but there are still some food/drinks you can buy.



Now as for me, for now I don't plan to go watch the race (I may work this day + I'll only go if a friend can give me his free ticket + I may not stay too much there).
Get in touch with me a few weeks/days before the race begins, I'll be able to tell you if you have an Audi taxi from the trainstation to the track + track>Arnage or not ;)
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Re: Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby FFF » Sat May 13, 2017 7:47 pm

Fantastic information!

We have seats at the Dunlop corners....

I'll have to double check once we figure out our hotel but if I recall correctly the last train into Paris is around 10:30/11. We were planning on staying until the last train likely and then coming back out around 8 AM or so to watch the rest of the race (I'll pre purchase tickets for the train to ensure we don't get stuck...)

Input is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby Foscora » Sun May 14, 2017 9:41 am

No problem.

About the Paris>Le Mans>Paris train thingy, do you think it's the best option ? All hotels nearby are already booked by now ? Too bad I can't promise you to be there otherwise I'd recommand going for a small bed & breakfast by the countryside and I'd taxi you there ... :roll:

AFAIK, it's a ~2 hours train ride + ~45mn in the overcrowdy (during the event) tram and/or bus/by foot from the train station to the track.

Btw here is the complete bus/tram map : http://www.setram.fr/upload/plans_2017/ ... V2.pdf?935
Ctrl+F : "Gares" for the train station & "Circuit" for the track.
As you can see, track is "off the grid" for buses/tram. I tend to guess there's an exceptional bus line going near from the track during the event but around the track it's getting very very very crowded + awful traffic so I don't see how buses can go there easily.

Here's a tram map I edited :
Image

I think the fastest way (and requiring less walking) would be to take the Tram Line 1 (T1) and then switching to bus (line 3, painted green here) and finishing up by foot (that'd be quicker than going by car/bus anyway lol).

Otherwise, you could consider taking the Tram line 1 til the end of the line but once you're there, IDK how you get to the track but that's a longer walk. I guess they'll bring buses here aswell but I don't recall seeing'em there + that'd be awful traffic aswell.

But yeah, the back & forth train+tram+bus ride over night will be very exhausting/painful. Even more if train fails (french railroad company is a mess for that).

I'll talk to a friend about it, he goes there every year and there's a lot of small bed & breakfast / hotel near from his place (40mn by car to the track), it would be great if he could S6 Plus you there 8-)
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Re: Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby audifreakjim » Sun May 14, 2017 1:05 pm

This is awesome, I want to go now!
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Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby Foscora » Sun May 14, 2017 2:45 pm

Imo the best experience for this is doing the "full experience", like going there 2 days before the race :
- watch the qualifications
- do some carspotting around the city/track
- visit the awesome 24 hours of Le Mans Museum
Image
- the parade which features actual 24hLM cars in the actual street of Le Mans. Every year they (hopefully) bring the Mazda 787b, pure eargasm :drool:
Image
- (my personnal favorite & unknown to 99% of visitors) visit a small city 60km away from Le Mans which is a historical "milestone" for back when actual racecars & drivers came to the track by themselves, to spend the night in a hotel. It's still done today even tho cars are brought by trucks & so, but still it's a unique experience. Lots of (former or not) drivers, famous 24HLM lay around here every year. I love to go there.

For example, back the 60's, GT40's were standing there and serviced in a small garage behind the hotel :
Image
and drivers/team were sleeping in a "regular hotel" which still exists and reprensents today this legacy
Image
Image

Last year there was a awesome amount of real GT40's, replicas & GT there ... Ford even brough the actual race car there.
Image
Image

Aston Martin & Porsche did the same :
Image
Image


I shook hands with Jacky Ickx (6 wins with GT40's & Porsches), Derek Bell (5 wins, alongside Ickx) and other drivers I'm ashamed I forgot their names at this place.
Definitely a place to go ...


- And finally yeah attend the actual race !
First time my parents brought me there I was 7 lol, 1998, I still have the Toyota GT-One poster signed laying somewhere 8-)

Now to be honest, I'm getting a bit bored by the 24 hours. Now my real favorite show there is 24H of Le Mans Classic, which is occuring once every 2 years, on the actual track.
Image
Image

This is by far my favorite event. You get to see a lot of awesome & famous LM cars which are driven like if they were stolen :lol:
On a plus side, it's way more intimate & car guys oriented, you can walk among the pits and the racecars while they are racing, less crowdy, AWESOME SHITLOAD OF CLASSIC CAR PORN laying everywhere around the track, etc

Too bad it's once every 2 years ... gotta wait for 2018 now ... :bangshead:
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Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby lorge1989 » Mon May 15, 2017 5:51 am

Wow, I need to get out more. That sounds like a blast.
1988 Audi 90Q 1.8T 20v megasquirt'd and Holset'd
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1978 GMC High Sierra

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Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby FFF » Sat May 20, 2017 8:27 am

Excellent. You don't actually name the town 60 km away. I'm hoping to finalize some accommodations this week. I'm sitting in the sun in Madrid right now looking at options. We are also looking at staying South of the track based on your comments on the train back to Paris.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby Foscora » Sun May 21, 2017 2:45 pm

Woops ! Here you are !
https://goo.gl/maps/9yrjRDo45ik

La Chartre sur le Loir

FFF wrote:We are also looking at staying South of the track based on your comments on the train back to Paris.

Cool, you'd enjoy the stay even better ! My best advice is to get there Friday, rent à car, check out what's going on around the track & hit La Chartre sur le Loir by the end of the day (so that all of the exotics cars are back from the track), grab a bite there, then sleep to your hotel and get ready for the race the next day !

On the plus side of renting a car, you'll be able to go in Arnage easily !


Enjoy el sol de Madriz 8-)
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Re: Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby FFF » Fri May 26, 2017 7:47 pm

Just home from Kuwait...

Okay so we are going to stay in Angers - train back and forth...
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Re: Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby Foscora » Sat May 27, 2017 12:20 am

Okay. That's already closer. So far I think I won't be able to attend the race because of work :(

I'll update this post if I have a change of plan, that'd be cool to atleast do the taxi to Arnage for you ... But I dont expect to be available ...
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Re: Re: 24 HR of Le Mans

Postby FFF » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:59 pm

Great thanks!
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