Le Mans and the Nissan Note, June 2007

Le Mans is one of my favourite places.

DSCN3621A city in France, located on the Sarthe River, traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans and part of the Pays de la Loire region.

Le Mans has been host to the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race since 1923. And that is why we come back every year.

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Le Mans flickr

2007 was my initial outing, setting off in my treasured Porsche 964, but arriving in the mighty Nissan Note.

The end of the line - 80 miles north of Dover

Sadly the Porker fell to bits 80 miles north of Dover.

DSCN3688Failing to get there was not an option, a Nissan Note was hired and the Porsche went off to Porsche Centre Colchester where a new alternator and fan was fitted under warrantly – it has to be noted that after this dismal display 4 months into ownership, this car behaved itself for a further seven years and 25,000 miles, surviving a further five trips to Le Mans.

DSCN3566This trip was to be my introduction to camping at Chateau de Chanteloup, a tranquil camp site 15 km away from the noise of the circuit at Sille-le-Phillippe.

Stuffed with car nuts and a very late opening bar, this amazing venue is always very busy at Le Mans 24 weekend in June, being the home to some beautiful machinery and run by a top chap; Dominique Souffront, and his team. http://en.chateau-de-chanteloup.com/

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The sports car show on Friday night before the race is always good fun.

DSCN3534The race itself was an overall win for Audi, ahead of two Peugeot’s – a wet affair that was no fun to watch after my beloved Flyling Lizard Porsches in 911 RSR’s had gone out, leaving Aston Martin to win in GT1

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Its not always beer and sunshine, sometimes its beer and rain…

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This Audi R10 #2 with a certain Mr McNish at the wheel was to set the fastest lap but drop out after 262 laps, its stable mate Audi R10 #1 taking overall victory, completing 369 laps crossing the line with Frank Biela at the wheel.

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If you love motorsport, you should go here; if you don’t, you should still go at least once. This is a special place for a crazy weekend of noise, fun and sport.

I will be returning to Le Mans every year, and a lot of fun will be had.

The photos will get better, I promise – this first year was I think all recorded on a small Leica C-LUX 2, I will return with a Nikon D200 in 2008.