How to win at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is unquestionably one of the great spectacles of any sport. The 8th running of the round-the-clock sports car classic will this year take place over the weekend of June 15-16 on the traditional Circuit de la Sarthe near the village of Le Mans, around 200km south-west of Paris.
From its very first running in 1923, the 24 Hours has been so much more than a motor race: quite aside from the feats of human and mechanical endurance taking place during almost 400 laps of the 13.6-kilometre circuit, the event’s 250,000-odd spectators enjoy a major cultural event through a non-stop weekend of live bands, a huge variety of open-air bars, restaurants and boutiques, an incomparable motor racing museum, open-air cinemas and the circuit’s signature ferris wheel.
According to Le Mans folklore, another of the race’s attractions in an earlier time was that it was the sole weekend on which French families might allow their teenagers to stay out all night. Although, since the 1920s Le Mans race has also been regarded as “the biggest British motor race in France” – attracting Brits in their tens of thousands.
Aston Martin first contested the 24 Hours in 1928, going on to win outright in 1959 and for the past decade or so, competing in the production-based GT classes with cars directly derived from its road-going models. Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage GTE took victory in the GTE class at Le Mans in 2017.
There’s perhaps no better way for Aston Martin fans to truly experience the magic of Le Mans than the brand’s own range of hospitality packages.
These begin with VIP Hospitality for the actual race weekend of 15-16 June, for those who’ve made their own accommodation arrangements. The £2500 adult/£1500 children (around $4500/$2700) ticket provides access to the circuit with VIP parking and shuttle, a welcome reception and opportunity to meet the drivers, access to the team’s VIP pit lane suite and a range of guided tours to vantage points around the vast circuit. Glamping with Aston Martin at Le Mans
A more authentic experience awaits those who opt for the Glamping tour (£11,500 or $20,500 for twin-share, includes two VIP Hospitality tickets, or £6000 or $10,700 single package), which provides three nights’ accommodation in Aston Martin’s luxury campsite, with all towels and toiletries provided.
For the crème de la crème of Le Mans weekend, there’s the Aston Martin Art of Living Experience, at £15,750 (around $28,000) per couple. From 14-17 June, headquartered in luxury accommodation at the Château de Saint Paterne, guests enjoy the finest of local cuisine and wine, helicopter shuttles to and from the circuit, private garage tours and intimate team briefings from senior Aston Martin Racing personnel, all the benefits of the VIP Hospitality and Pit Suite access and an exclusive post-race reception at the Château.