Le Mans Classic – The Journey of Two #FemaleEnthusiasts Day 2, 3 and 4
15 July, 2016
Day 2 – Friday 8th July
Friday 8th all the action began!
From Le Lion Verd, the ladies took a drive to Le Mans through the lovely French countryside where Charlotte now wants to live!
They found their camping site Porsche Curves and met their camping neighbours who turned out to be from just up the road in Kidderminster - what are the odds? They had a beautiful collection of classics – an Alfa Romeo Spider, Austin Healey 3000 and a Jaguar E-Type.
Shortly after this, things started to unravel in the 30 degrees heat. Charlotte and Julia had to re-book their ferry home as the motorhome was too large to go back on the original planned ferry. From there on, bad luck clung on to them like a bad smell. The unthinkable happened to the ladies. They realised the generator wasn't going to work. It was 120 volts rather than 240 volts; better suited to a building site than camping.
They tried to reason with the situation until they remembered that this meant no phone chargers, hairdryers or straighteners for the weekend! At this moment, all reasoning flew out the window. However, the crisis was short lived as they decided to indulge on the cream cakes they picked up from the patisserie on the way down to the camping site.
In the evening they headed to the viewing bank to watch qualifications and the club parades with a cheeky shandy (hard-core) until the sun went down. After a long day, the ladies headed back to the motorhome looking forward to a good night’s sleep until they realised they were situated right next to the track and racing went on until 3 in the morning – what a day!
Day 3 – Saturday 9th July
First thing the ladies did was pop to the supermarket to get a few essentials, which meant on the way back they were able to drive back through Le Mans and see lots and lots of beautiful classics along with high end performance modern cars too. The journey had a few classics being pushed through the traffic - the journey must have been too much for them!
After filling themselves up with bacon and sausage sarnies, they headed up to the Le Mans circuit in a ‘disco train’. The train took them to the circuit while blasting disco music - Julia loved it. They spotted a couple of youngsters who obviously weren't classic car fans and had been dragged there with their parents; spend the day riding up and down the ‘disco train’.
Once inside Le Mans, the first stop was the club area, which consisted of the MG Club of France, a classic caravan club, and Mercedes Benz Club to name a few. A lot of people were milling around this area taking lots of snaps. It was also situated right next to the circuit so there was a constant roar of the race cars in the background.
EFG International also had a base in this area that had a Bentley on the stand. The same Bentley the ladies had already spied on, on the ferry as it travelled from the UK.
After leaving the clubs area and walking under the underpass, the ladies found themselves right in the thick of things. There was an abundant amount of race cars, support vehicles, scooters, coaches etc milling in and out of an excited crowd that Charlotte described as ‘manic’ and said “we didn't envy the traffic control people at all. It was a slight free for all”.
The ladies were drawn to the stalls at the village that were selling everything from mechanical equipment, vintage hats and coats, classic car insurance, little classics for the younger riders, hairdressers and a barbershop. They even rain into our good friends from Beaulieu there.
It was 30 degrees at this point, so they headed into the food court area to stock up on water and a cheeky sorbet. Of course it wouldn’t be a classic event without some retro music. There were lots of retro singing and dancing in this area which really pulled in the crowds - especially the Rock and roll dancers.
From the village they went into the paddock, which was a lovely change to get up close and personal to the race cars. It was so hot a lot of the race support teams were snoozing in their deck chairs haha!
Next stop was the Porsche section of the show which was filled with Porsches of all ages. The ladies described it as “breath-taking and quite a sight to see. We have never seen this many Porsches all together in one place in the UK before”.
After a very hot but very enjoyable day, the ladies hoped back onto the ‘disco train’ back to the campsite. After delicious steak fajitas (courtesy of Julia), they headed up to the viewing hill and watched some night racing. The night was very socialable with lots of beer and wine flowing. The racing went on all through the night.
Day 4 – Sunday 10th July
The ladies woke up bright and early to the sound of roaring race cars that had been at it all night. They prepared and headed for the grandstand for the first time as they had only seen the racing from the viewing hill on the campsite all weekend.
Once inside Le Mans, the ladies headed straight to the grandstand, where they were happy to get some shade and breeze. The village and paddock were proving t be too hot to withstand for the ladies.
They saw lots of racing, but the highlight had to be the Grid 4 1962 - 1965 classics race, which had a Le Mans start! This got everyone up and out of their seat; even the spectators who were mid-lunch with their hampers had to take a pause. After taking in the racing for a couple of hours, Charlotte and Julia took a trip back to the village to have one last nose at the trade stands, although they missed a turn and got slightly lost.
Upon exiting, Julia spotted her favourite classic; a red MG Midget and Charlotte spotted her dream car; a Mercedes Gullwing 300 SL.
The ladies’ last few moments in Le Mans were spent packing away and preparing for the long journey home. They pitched up a campsite near the port to spend the night. It turns out a lot of enthusiasts had the same idea, as they spotted a lot of classics on the drive back.
The next morning the ladies waved Le Mans goodbye as they headed back home!
Check out the Le Mans photo gallery to see what the ladies got up.