DAY 1 Before I left the Wirral I Cleaned the car, Had it serviced and refurbed a wheel. Unfortunately I snapped a wheel bolt when swapping my 17s to 19s. Turing the packing on day 1 I then locked my keys in the car near Stanstead ...So there would be no Vec in the convoy.
We set off at 07:30 for the Chunnel. The convoy was to consist an E class merc, C220d Merc and CLK and a BMW Z4.
When we arrived at the Chunnel, the car park was full of hardware to make any man drool:
One of our group took a shine to this:
This was to be my ride:
And I wouldn't recommend it!!!:frusty:
We were delayed for 2 hours in Folkstone, But eventually I got my first ride on the Chunnel :rockon: I couldn't get over how fast it went through the tunnel!
The first thing just about every one did when we reached France was to stop for fuel:
Then we set off.
Our delay meant it was unlikely we'd make mad Friday and the Driver parade through the town so wer stopped for some supplies in Rouein(?)
It was dusk as we approached Lemans:
It was dark by the time we reached Le Mans and the beer was well and truely flowing. Unfortunaltely it meant there were alot of idiots around the campsite who wanted us to do donuts and the like. We Were'nt in the mood for that. By Midnight we had the tents up and had a first view of Le Mans
The partys were loud and the beer was free flowing. We did a rece of the site and found some potential viewing spots for the race. Fireworks were going off left and right. Eventually by 3 am it quietened down.
With sore heads from the night before and with sore legs from sitting on the z4 for 5 hours I hobbled over to the track on Saturday morning for the wwarm up. This was my first taste of Serious motorsport. I wasa told to wear ear plugs but i'm deaf already and I'm glad I Didn't. Armed with the camera the first thing that struck me was the lack of clear views. This became my nemesis over the weekend as you will see below. The crowd is held behind a small fence, About 1-2 meters infront of that is an 8 ft high safety fence built after some people in the crowd were killed by wreckage..in front of that is a 3 ft wall. At ground level some of the cars are not visible over the wall, Shooting through the fence was impossible as you can see. However nothing prepared me for the speed and the sound...It was awesome!
After the warmup was done we had a few hours to kill so we went exploring... Something I really liked was the way you had all these exotic machines and all around were ordinary joe blogs cars. Apparently it is 100 years since the french flew across the channel landing near Le Mans.
Unfortunately I missed the Group C Race which were older 1980s cars!
Last bit before I start trawling for race picks.......And itl'll make you smile!
The main reason for going was a stag do.....You may have noticed the blue shirts on day one. The plan had been to smurf up once we reached France but the late arrival messed that up! Sothe plan was changed to smurf up for the start of the race. We eventually based ourselves in the tented village and what a storm....The French love the Smurfs and as a result we got our photo taken every 20 seconds or so! Parents wanted their kids to be photographed with us...Kids wanted the parents in the shot. Media types, came over and we ended up in the local paper. We also got an interview with talk spport and 5 live. It got so manic that our 15-20 minutes walk back to the tents took 2 hours! The groom is smurfette! His dad is papa smurf.
Right Dressed as smurfs we tried to get to the first bend which is meant to be worth seeing...However so did 10,000 humans! So we headed to the Dunlop Chicane. THe crowds and the fence were really annoying me now, However at the chicane, A French man offered me his vantage point. So I stood on a hand rail and poked my 400mm lens through a 10 inch hole in the fence. It was hard to catch cars doing over a tonne, whilst trying not to break my neck, but I got this:
Then we moved onto the Esses where I was able to get the lens up against the fence. Although I had 6 inches of soil to stand on and a 20 foot drop behind me! However I did get these:
I was jealous of this guy for so many reasons...
Next stop:Tetre Rouge....This was a great spot bar for that damn Fence:
We soon realised that a good view would be hard to find so we retired to the bar....Wher ethe TV and Radio interviews took place. Then we had a BBQ consisting a hole in the ground and and grate! :thumb: As the sun went down we de smurfed and went back to the circuit:
One of my goals was to get the brakes glowing in the dark. This was as good as I could get!
The Esses again:
2am at the Dunlop chicane!
Eventually the body secame to the fatigue so back to bed....For a couple of hours. This was the only time I got ticed off when a large group of pish heads decided to have a loud conversation about nothing and chose to urinate on our cars! Any way back in a mo with Sunday!
Sunday began with Rain..lots of it. So, I stayed in bed until my bladder objected. Once relieved, Revenge was exacted on the Saturday Pish heads!
So After an english breaky from an english burger van! I headed for the Porsche curves. I was not up to another trek to Tetre Rouge! The cars were not as shiney as the were...Some detailing was required!
We then went for some refreshments..Afterall we were feeling a little delecate:
And there we sat until the last hour...I didn't take any more of the race till after the end:
After the Race My brother in law tried to walk the circuit...All 8 miles of it. After trying twice and finding out we couldn't..legally, I decided to visit the Le Mans Museum.
This Bentley was in the same condition as when it crossed the finnish line. It hasn't even been cleaned!
After the museum we headed back to the tent....The Brit exodus had begun...I fell in love with this Mustang!.. the driver stopped for a few minutes while I took this!
the 4th R8 I saw this weekend (along with 2 Murchenlagos)
Back at the camp site, Pyromania had started. Most people didn't want to take all their kit home. French "pikeys" were comming into the site robbing any thing they could. The party was coming to a rapid end.
Some French peeps took exception to the pyro mania near by!
Pretty quickly, the Z4 needed Fuel...Again. However by the time we reached the services, The Z4 was on Air. the Aircon was off, the radio was off and anything else that cost fuel! As we filled up, I played spot the Brit:
Back on the road there was an endless stream of Brits heading home!
At last a vec!
I'm pretty sure these three apaches and Lynx were british too! The flew over at our second p-stop!
Once again...Spot the Brit. We dropped the roof of the Z4 for some overtaking shots....
All the cars on our side here are Brits! Nothing comming the other Way!
Finally I tried to get a shot of each car overtaking while I wasa hanging out the car! I Can't thing who gave me that Idea!
However my battery Died after the first car. As we were late for teh Chunnel Stopping to put the spare in was not an option....We finally got back to Essex at 5 pm and I got home at 930 PM...Knackered
And that was my trip to Le Mans! If you're still awake, Thanks for reading!
Yes and no. For 3 night camping, entry over the Friday - Sunday and the Chunnel I paid £135. You then Add on your petrol (2 tanks of diesel) Then the beer/food/souvieners which are extortionate! Most people go to the supermarket when they arrive where beers and so on are dirt cheap. Then if you bring you own camping stove youre sorted. A baseball hat was 30 euros, an aston martin T shirt 130 Euros!!!!
If you want to go in the stands, thats another ticket but I don't know the cost.
On;y just got internet access now, still being in Belgium. That looked awesome. We had a 12 hour race going on at Spa, got a gorgeous pic from Au Rouge in the nighttime. When I return to old blighty, Ill post it up