20th July 2017
Our trip to Le Mans 2017
Recently, some of the Vasstech team decided to take a road trip to attend the Le Mans 24 hour race. Le Mans is the world’s oldest active endurance sports car race, held annually since 1923, near the town of Le Mans in France. It’s something we’ve been attending for the last few years… so, despite some busy times at our garages (including the prep for a new ramp at our Teesside garage), 2017 was no different.
Le Mans tests the endurance and ability of each manufacturer to build sporty yet reliable cars. At the time when Le Mans began, Gran Prix racing was the dominant form of motorsport, but Le Mans offers something a little different.
We began our journey to Le Mans at 5.30am on Thursday 15th June in two VW Touaregs and a Ford Mustang, complete with custom branded decals (because why not spread the Vasstech brand to France?!). We fuelled up at Leeming, then hit the road south, on route proving we could get an extra 60 miles from the tank – thanks to the Tunit products we had fitted to one of the Touaregs.
Next stop was the Eurostar at 11.40am to take us under the Channel and into Calais. The 2-hour trip was the perfect pit stop to get us ready for the second refuel in France and the 4-hour drive to Le Mans.
Arriving at Le Mans was once again pretty exciting, especially after the long drive… it was now time for us to relax! Our tents were pre erected in the track side Porsche Curves campsite, (unfortunately, being great mechanics means nothing when it comes to our tent building skills!) meaning we could get straight into the event. We were more than happy to spend another year on the Porsche Curves, arguably one of the best places to camp, complete with private viewing bank and 24-hour refreshment marquee, and of course TV’s showing the race plus other sporting events – meaning we didn’t miss a thing all weekend!
Although there aren’t any races on the Friday of Le Mans, there was still plenty for us to do. It’s the final day to do a pit walk, and get close to the cars and teams. The annual driver’s parade also takes place on the Friday, where the drivers involved in the races could cruise around the streets of Le Mans in some incredible classic cars.
Saturday, we woke bright and early in the French countryside to the blissful sound of revving engines, ahead of a busy morning of warm up sessions (each team is afforded a 45-minute warm-up session on Saturday morning to complete any final bits of set-up and get used to the track).
The race then begins, and each team must complete a minimum of 257 laps for classification, the event ends (as the name suggests) after 24 hours, meaning we had a full day, and night, to take it all in.
The Porsche team took the victory on Sunday after performing a remarkable comeback, making the way for our final night at Le Mans where we opted to kick back and relax in the marquee, with a pint, of course! The next morning, it was time to set off back to the UK and we spent the journey looking back on a great weekend! Roll on Le Mans 2018!