I’ve never really been massively into motorsport unlike my brother who loves and works for F1.
I do however love a roadtrip, camping in the van and a chance to hang out with two of my best buddies.
The trip to Le Mans was organised as a stag do for Neil Thatcher who is marrying my best mates twin sister Carli and Neil very kindly invited me along to share this auspicous occasion with himself and his pals.
At some silly time on Friday morning we converged at Dover and set sail to Calais with pretty much a boat full of cars heading to the race.
The best man, Andrew Browne organised the whole trip and did a stirling job, we were going to the race with a company called travel destinations, it wasn’t massively expensive and we got a free crate of beer for each vehicle modelled by Neil below.
The crossing didn’t take too long, we got off the boat and made our way to the track which is about a 4.5 hour drive, the drive is a fairly uneventful affair thats made all the more interesting by the high end sports cars making their way to the race, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Porsches, even a classic Bentley, if you love cars it’s a great trip to take.
Once you get to the track it’s mobbed and a top tip, wind your windows up otherwise you are getting done by a super soaker water gun! After some sketchy directions including failure to spot a quite obvious bridge we arrived at the gated travel destinations camp site.
On arrival we all received wristbands and a goody bag that contained a tea mug, radio to tune into the race and something else, can’t remember what it was!
The site itself was well laid out, decent toilets and showers, bar\food\chillout and watch the race area as well as plenty of washing up stations for campers, there were some quite exceptional camping efforts including in my eyes the hands down winner of the weekend pictrued below..
I’ve since learned the above tent arrangment originated in Australia, it’s purpose to stop crocs getting at the tents occupiers whilst camping in the bush, i don’t know how true that is.
As I mentioned earlier, we were in the porsche curves site and our pitch was right next to a massive mound of grass, the other side of this was the actual porsche curve on the track, a great spot unless you wanted to sleep, it’s a stag do, who wants to sleep!!!
The race started at 3pm and for the next 24 hours cars whizzed past our camp made the most amazing sound, I never got bored of them towing it past!
There is a tradition on stag do’s that is upheld by all who attend, what goes on tour stays on tour and with that in mind i’m not going to detail everything that happened, just a few little highlights.
On the first night we all donned official stag do t-shirts that Neils brother Ian organised.
We also took a walk (one of several over the weekend) to the race village where myself and Kev ate the most expensive burger I think i’ve ever had and Rob bought a 10 euro pint of Guiness….
On day two Neil wore a lovely new pair of shorts and we had a nice hat made for him, he wore it all day, I also got very drunk, hopelessly lost but was the only one to make it to the Dunlop stage that was rocking some proper techno on my arrival.
Neil also wore this for the evening…
On Sunday after the race finished, Neil found a flag (amongst other things), spent a couple of hours dragging it round the track and then attached it to the van.
We also tied Neil up for a short while…
and then the heavens opened and the sky looked like the world was going to end
When the race came to an end there was much cheering and then the exodus began, quite a few people who were camping chipped off there and then as well as quite a few private jets from Le Mans own airfield.
We didn’t sail till the Monday so the majority of us chilled in the bar, watched some cricket, the England game (we won) and those who were driving laid off the booze and retired at a sensible time for an early start the following day.
Those that weren’t driving stayed up till silly o’clock at the bar egging the band on for one more way past when they should of finished and busted out some quite epic dad dancing, they deffo played a couple of songs twice.
We left Le Mans at 9am and headed for our ferry which we missed, we got on the next one no worries.
I had an awesome weekend, met some top blokes, got quite drunk, hung out with my best mates, got a bit of a tan and really enjoyed the motorsport, the van did well and made it there and back without a hitch although I have concluded the split charge system is rubbish and will be replacing it immeadiately.
Would I go again, most definitely and with Travel Destinations, I thought they were very organised and provided a good secure area with great facilities, my compadres for the weekend were a top bunch of blokes too, I’m honoured to have been invited and looking forward to catching up with you all at the wedding!