Tuesday, 11 June 2013

One week and counting.....Roll of Honour 2013

7 days to go before, once again, we set off on our trip to La Sarthe.

LM2012 was a special year for Sniffer as it was his 20th trip (a further thanks to Chadders for the limited edition t-shirts) - however this year is Sniffer's 21st.......another momentous achievement.

So, without further ado...

The Roll of Honour 2013
Sniffer - 21 
Chadders - 18 (now in second place by virtue of alphabetical order !!)
Pikey - 18
TechSupport/Sydney 1K/King Louis - 13 
JT/Bright Eyes - 12
Dr Dick - 4
DT - 4
J. Holmes - 4
Lofty - 3
Sooty - 3
Neil - 2
Joey - 2.8
D'Arcy - 1
Dobby - 1
JimmyG - 1
Pie Boy - 1
Watkins Eddie - 1
BigMac - A big FAT Zero (although his camping gear scores 1)

There are significant advances in the quantity and equipment being presented on this year's trip but we do not want to peak too soon and spoil any surprises.......patience is a virtue (apparently !)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

In car breath test kits

The much delayed change to the law in France that insisted that all drivers carry two breath test kits has now been withdrawn for the moment, it seems problems with them and a reduction in road deaths have both played a part.

Chadders - your teetotal driving won't be affected, obviously!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Next year's Le Mans 24 Hours is moved back a week after FIA request

The 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours has been put back a week to 22-23 June.

Race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest had originally announced that next year's endurance classic would take place on 15-16 June.

The date change has been requested by the FIA.
An ACO statement said the move had been prompted "in order to harmonise the world calendar of motor racing events".

The Le Mans test day has also been pushed back and will now be held on 9 June.

Next year's Le Mans will once again be the flagship round of the FIA's new World Endurance Championship.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Dates for the diary 2013

The dates for the 90th Anniversary of Le Mans have been confirmed to be 15th and 16th June 2013.

So, that would mean that our journey would begin on Tuesday 11th June with our usual overnight ferry.

I won't insult Chadders by asking if he is attending but the question does go out to other previous attendees.....

HRH - are you in?

American Dave - can you prise yourself away from the new missus and child to join the throng once more?

2013 will take the level of luxury and decadence up another notch as Sniffer has many enhancements planned and organised - well it is my 21st outing after all!!

The campsite and grandstand tickets are provisionally booked (and deposit paid) so we are confirmed but I can always tweak the numbers.

Look forward to your comments....

Sunday, 24 June 2012

20 Not Out!

I decided to take a slightly different tack this year in terms of blogging LM2012 and make it more of a photo blog rather than text.  The plan was to update things whilst we were there but, as always, alcohol and the craic (as the Irish say) got in the way…..

In terms of attendance, this year was a very special year for Sniffer as it was his 20th trip to Le Sarthe – who would have thought it all these years ago in 1993 when taking the Page & Moy coach across the channel?

The Roll of Honour 2012 has been updated and now reads:

Sniffer - 20
Pikey - 18
Chadders - 17
TechSupport/Sydney 1K/King Louis - 13
JT/Bright Eyes - 12
Dr Dick - 4
DT - 4
J. Holmes - 4
Lofty - 3
Sooty - 3
Neil - 2
Joey - 2.8
D'Arcy - 1
Dobby - 1
JimmyG - 1
Pie Boy - 1
Watkins Eddie - 1
BigMac - A big FAT Zero (although his camping gear scores 1)

No changes in position from last year although Chadders is breathing on joint second place for next year.



This year also had a number of firsts:

  • Only two attendees – KL has taken a sabbatical to go on holiday with the family – hopefully he’ll be back for 2013?
  • Internet access on the Houx campsite – no, the ACO haven’t gone mad and given us ubiquitous Wi-Fi across the circuit but Sniffer procured an unlimited French 3G Data Service for the trip.  Irony is that we did not update the blog whilst we were actually there !!
  • A real live sound system – OK, not quite…. but Sniffer brought a rather amusing 80s-style ghetto blaster which we plugged in an iPod and had some fantastic tunes blasting out across out pitch
  • No Jenny! – we decided to bite the bullet and take no form of power backup – so no huge, noisy device and no smell of petrol everywhere.  Sniffer brought a whole host of power connections, splitters, extensions etc which worked marvellously!


The Journey

Chadders turned up at Sniffer Towers at the traditional mid-day rendezvous travelling exceptionally light this year.  As Sniffer had meticulously loaded up the little lady the night before it took us a matter of minutes for Chadders to pack her up with his own gear.

Other than a blown fuse when plugging our fridges in we were off by 14.00.

IMG_0417 The boys – ready to go!

The run to the port was smooth and event free with almost no problems with traffic – Sniffer tried to break the habit and not have a drink all the way down (as Chadders was driving and that is just rubbing his nose in it) but the temptation was too much and with 90 minutes to go he broke the seal and had a cheeky cold beer from the fridge.

IMG_0418 You can almost taste how cold it is!

We didn’t stop at all on the way down, deciding to get to the passport queues at Portsmouth before having our traditional pie and peas dinner.

IMG_0419 Yum!

The usual boys and their vehicles were in the queue – some looking like they had not actually been back home since the previous year.

IMG_0420 The Gloucester Boys – another trip !

We squeezed the little lady onto the ferry (missing the roof by 5cms according to the guy who let us on !), traipsed into our suite, had a nice bottle of ice cold cider and got some shut eye.



Another record time from port to LM followed with us being in our usual supermarket by 10.00. 

IMG_0421 The before shot……

We had to make two trips with a trolley each - firstly, loading up with beer (and cheese), and then wine to take home – before being at Houx by mid-day.  We rapidly setup camp and sat down for our first beer of the day.

IMG_0422 The first of many

As is the norm we drank far too much on our first day (have we ever not done ?) after first preparing our fizzy drinks cabinet.


Shampoo anyone ?

Our evening meal of Prawn and Pea Risotto was delicious, washed down with a nice cold bottle of white wine !

IMG_0424 Enough to feed an army !


How civilised!

We retired into the East Wing to finish off the bottle and drink more Desperados……

IMG_0428 Cheers!

………before raising a glass for absent friends :o(


Sniffer had a fight with his bedding (which resulted in a traditional LM drinking injury which wasn’t noticed until the follow afternoon) before the boys retired to bed.




A typical start to the day of a strong coffee with a winky………

IMG_0429 Breakfast of champions

…..with Chadders wearing a very apt t-shirt showing exactly how to operate once you’ve had a coffee with alcohol…..

IMG_0430 … a refresher course !

Breakfast with champagne followed (it’s the future !)…..



Drinking in the East Wing

….before settling down to an afternoon of music and aperitifs at on ‘our land’

IMG_0433 All ours !

An old favourite of Jungle curry followed for our evening meal with Chadders eating like he’d missed a meal !


Please sir, can I have some more ?



After a short breakfast we actually wandered off into the circuit and trotted round the village to see the gorgeous Delta Wing in glorious technicolour.



Is it a bird, is it a plane……

The heavens opened late afternoon and after having a bloody expensive pint in one of the bars in the village (We are still smarting about it now !) we swiftly trekked back to our camp to settle in for the evening – Chicken Chimichirri, Noodles, and England V Sweden on our satellite TV setup.

As always, watching England made us angry and drink even more than we had planned……at least we scraped through !


The Race Weekend

On the morning of the race it was still chucking it down so we dressed for the occasion, some of us more prepared than others, and headed to our grandstand seats to see both the Group C  race and the Aston Martin race (with Rowan Atkinson – who actually drove pretty well !) before the big event started.

IMG_0439Monsoon season !

It was a great start to the race and after spending a couple of hours in our pre-booked seats we wandered into the bar in the grandstand for a (much cheaper than the previous day) beer.

There was a moment of excitement when, due to the wind, a menu board flew of the wall and almost broadsided Sniffer (much to Chadders’ amusement) and knocked his drink on the floor – Pah !

Some photos of our grandstand view….





Sunday was the grand unveiling of Sniffer’s Anniversary T-shirt (Chadders – you are a legend !) – only two in existence……..now a collector’s item !

The race was as exciting as ever with Audi’s eventually  ruling the roost  and after our Corned Beef Hash evening meal we packed up, headed back to the port and home – the end of another great year !

See you in 2013!

IMG_0445 20 Not Out !

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Maybe if you can find him....

you can stay with Martin Brundle in Le Mans:

Staying in a lovely house 10 minutes from the Le Mans circuit. Serene countryside, feels like Norfolk.Perfect LM24 base

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Even more 2012 Guides

Here is an independently written guide for the 2012 race which is pretty good.

You just can’t get enough guides for the race !