Circuit des 24 Heures — The circuit is also known as Circuit de la Sarthe and Le Mans circuit. It’s world famous as the track for the 24 Hours of Le Mans held in June. The race is organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and is split into the Prototype category and Grand Touring category.
Bugatti Circuit — Bugatti Circuit is a permanent race track located within Circuit des 24 Heures and is the base for Pescarolo Sport. The circuit hosts the 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle race, a round of the MotoGP Championship and French motor club races.
Little History — In 1906 The French held the very first Grand Prix for manufactures over a 64-mile course near Le Mans. Of the 32 cars that started the race 11 remained after 12 laps split over two days. The winner was Ferenc Szisz, a Hungarian, driving a 90hp Renault (plus ca change!).
The first sports car race was held on Le Mans Circuit de La Sarthe in 1923, 17yrs later. This circuit is part of motor racing folklore and legend, and the place will make the heart of any car enthusiast beat faster, particularly during the 24hrs race, when both the quantity and variety of machinery on offer (as enthusiasts camp out with their pride & joy) beggars belief.
One of Le Mans’ many contributions to motorsport is the classic “Le Mans start”, which refers to the manner in which the cars would be lined up across the track from the drivers, who would then run to their cars & jump in once the race had been started. Although frantic and potentially dangerous, this practice is still employed today for the Classic 24hrs of Le Mans.
Location — The Circuit de la Sarthe is located in Le Mans close to the Loire Valley, approximately 130 miles west of Paris in France.
Opened — 1967
Address — Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Circuit des 24 Heures, 72019 Le Mans Cedex 2
Circuit Length — 4,180 km
Spectator Capacity — Around 100.000
By Car — Paris is 2h away by car via the A12. The A11 L’Oceane highway runs from Paris to Nantes via Le Mans, and the A81 from Le Mans heads West to Rennes.
By Train — The TGV train stops in Le Mans train station. There is a connection from Paris Montparnasse railway station hotels every hour. There is also a direct TGV service from Charles de Gaulle Airport area hotels. There are also frequent train connections with Lille for for Eurostar connections to and from London St Pancras International Station.