Everything from Blower Bentleys to Porsche 917s will be pounding around the Le Mans circuit this weekend… it can only be Le Mans Classic. And we’re getting excited about it here at Goodwood Road & Racing, not least because we’ll be setting sail this afternoon to head to La Sarthe ourselves. You’ll be able to keep up with the action on the site over the weekend, but in the meantime here are some of the things we’re looking forward to seeing…
Plateau 1 (1923 to 1939)
This year sees a record-breaking grid of 58 cars from the very earliest Le Mans era. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the blower Bentleys that dominated the era, and the numerous Bugatti Type 35s.
Plateau 2 (1949 to 1956)
This was Jaguar’s era, and the C- and D-types will be out in force again. This year marks 60 years since the D-type’s first win, which will be a focal point. Keep an eye out too for several Mercedes-Benz 300SLs and a gorgeous Maserati A6 GCS.
Plateau 3 (1957 to 1961)
This is the grid that contains such beauties as the Ferrari 250 GTO and Lister Jaguar ‘Knobbly’. The slightly less beautiful Deep Sanderson is also in action.
Plateau 4 (1962 to 1965)
What would Le Mans be without the Porsche 911? A mainstay of the GT classes, this is the earliest grid in which the rear-engined coupe appears. There are also big-capacity V8s in the form of GT40s and Cobras… and it’s worth looking out for Lotus Elevens driving right round the outside of much more powerful cars at Arnage corner.
Plateau 5 (1966 to 1971)
Porsche 917s and Lola T70s. Two of the great cars to have hit Le Mans… need we say any more? We’ll be stood next to Mulsanne Straight to feel them drive by, never mind see them.
Plateau 6 (1972 to 1979)
The most modern era to appear at Le Mans classic features all kinds of sports prototypes… Lola T929, Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12, Sauber C5. But it’s not all prototypes, as witnessed by the M1 and ‘Batmobile’ BMWs that add to a varied grid.
Each class has three races, starting at 5pm Saturday and ending 24 hours later, so you can (more or less) see everything racing through the dark hours as well as in daylight. And you will want to do that… sleeping is cheating, after all.
Camping is the only way to do Le Mans… so we’ve packed our tents and we’re setting off soon. Our wheels for the journey? The Festival of Speed Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe course car, sadly sans its flashing orange light bar.
Make sure you say hello if you see us!