For those of you still unconvinced by the merits of motorsport, the Le Mans 24 Hour could be a bit of a game changer. It might seem strange to suggest that if you’ve already little or no interest in watching car racing then you might like to sit and watch it for a whole day and night. Well, sitting in the sun with friends whacked out of your face on barbeque beers as hulks of incredibly noisy metal whizz past your face is curiously addictive.
A Hard Day’s Night
Le Mans 24 Hours is a weekend party which also features a lengthy motor race but that’s not to say the sport becomes an afterthought. As you wobble your way around the circuit mixing with thousands of men wearing exactly the same floppy sun hat, you’ll find yourself growing more obsessed with the race positions of teams which you’d never heard of. Every year thousands of British spectators make the pilgrimage with usually rather glamorous cars, staggering out of hypermarkets with boxes of booze.
A day in the life
The format is always the same; load up your family estate car with a few similarly inclined friends, pack the bare essentials, leaving room for your body weight in beer and then drive your car through the French countryside like your hair is on fire. Arriving at the campsite, throw the tent up and then sit on the grassy banks of the Mulsanne Straight watching like minded individuals hooning up and down. In the evening you can wander around the bars and cafes set up around the track.
10:15 on a Saturday Night
The start of the race on the Saturday is awe inspiring stuff as mid afternoon all the machines burst into life and cars from all the different categories begin the a race of over 3000 miles. Then you and your group of friends can wander the course watching the cars hammering around the track and as the daylight fades marvel at the glowing disc brakes, blur of headlights and ear splitting exhausts. It’s intoxicating stuff, feeling like you’re going to be wiped out by a passing is hard to beat.
This year it kicks off on the 16th June and there are 100 teams taking part in 4 different categories. The weekend usually ends with sunburn, extreme fatigue and at least one British car upside down on a roundabout on the way home. Great stuff.