Plans for the GT40 Enthusiasts Club trip to France 1997
by: Ken Saunders
from: Fortification - November 1996

Fortification is the Club Magazine of the GT40 Enthusiasts Club
Copyright: GT40 Enthusiasts Club 1996

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Plans for the GT40 Replica Club trip to France 1997

I am organising another trip to France in 1997 to tour France and attend the 24 hours at Le Mans. Some of the details of the trip have to be finalised and may change to suit the availability of accommodation etc. and to take in other places of interest To give a guide to what is on offer the anticipated programme for the 1997 trip is as follows:

Saturday 7th. June - Early morning - Ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre and then motor to Le Mans were we will stay over night.

Sunday 8th. June - Travel to the Val de Vienne Hotel at Le Vigeant near Poitiers where we will stay until Thursday morning. This hotel is three star grade and has its own restaurant, bar, patio, sun lounge and swimming pool.

Val de Vienne

Monday 9th. June - Day of rest or visit to Poitiers, Futuroscope & wine caves.

Tuesday 10th. June - Half a day on the Circuit Val de Vienne.

Wednesday 11 th. June - Day trip to Cognac and Vineyard.

Thursday 12th. June - Motor down through the Loire valley and visit vineyards, wine/champagne caves and the chateau at Saumur. On Thursday evening there is a round of the qualifying sessions at Le Mans which we can attend. (Or alternatives) On Thursday night we will stay at a hotel in Saumur.

Friday 13th. June - On Friday we travel up to La Fleche or Sable sur Sarthe were we will stay on Friday night Once we have booked in we will visit Le Mans and take in the happenings at the Chinese Cafe on the Mulsanne straight, tour the circuit, visit the museum and generally take in the atmosphere.

Saturday 14th. June - On Saturday morning we will travel into the Le Mans circuit and attend the entertainments and pre race presentations. The race itself should start at 4pm, if they don't change it again. Accommodation on Saturday night has not been reserved but is available as an optional extra (Not in Le Mans).

Sunday 15th. June - We will remain at the Le Mans circuit until after the race and the winners presentations. We will then make our way to our Hotel in Le Mans for our last night dinner and where we will stay overnight.

Monday 16th. June - We will make our way back to Le Havre where we will take the ferry back to Portsmouth and then back to our respective destinations - Home.

What is included:

The package will include return ferry for car, driver and one passenger from Portsmouth to Le Havre, two or three star accommodation (bed only) based on two people sharing a twin or double room for eight nights (Saturday race night not included). Breakfast and other meals will be available at the hotels but the cost of this is not included in the package. A continental breakfast will cost 30 FFR (4) per person and a full breakfast 45 FFR (6). The standard evening meal at the hotels usually cost between 65 and 115 FFR (9-15) per person but eating out can be as little as 40 FFR (5.50). On previous years we have had one evening out at a good restaurant to try out the best cuisine, with wine this usually costs around 225 to 300 FFR (35-40) per person.
The package also includes the cost of half a day on the track at the Val de Vienne circuit. It includes a reserved car parking space at the Le Mans circuit, general admission ticket for two people which will allow you into all viewing areas around the circuit for the qualifying sessions and race and for the elimination round earlier in the year (if there is one in 1997). Details of a trip to attend this elimination round which will probably be in April will be sent out to all booked on the trip. The package cost is per person but is based on two people per car sharing accommodation.
Unfortunately I have been unable to get the cost of the transport over or under the channel deferred as I did in '96 and of course the Hotel at Val de Vienne is three star and consequently slightly more costly than on previous trips but I am sure that it will be well worth it A better backup facility is also being provided than on previous years and these together with general price increases have increased our costs, however I think that the price of this package is as competitive as it can be and represents very good value for your money.
The price of the package is 380 per person. I will require a deposit of 150 per person by the end of January 1997 to reserve your place, [Deposits by the end of November '96 would be safer for your peace of mind]. I cannot guarantee hotel bookings after this date. I anticipate that the interest in this trip will be high and it may therefore be necessary to limit the number of places on the trip due to the availability of accommodation. I would therefore recommend that you reserve your place as soon as possible. This trip is available to all members with or without a GT40.

Grandstand Seats.

Seats are available in the grandstands at the circuit for the race and qualifying sessions. We will have a block booking in the Jaguar grandstand directly opposite the pits entrance and start/finish line. These seats are available at 69 each and must be paid for in full when you book your trip.

Support Vehicle

A support vehicle, a 35cwt van, and GT40 compatible trailer will be on the trip and will carry one piece of luggage per person and any special tools and spares that you may require. It will also be equipped with a full set of tools, jack, air line etc. and some spares in case of brake down. Space will also be available in this vehicle to carry a small amount of wine or other goodies for each car..


Some of the GT40's that are coming on the trip have space for a passenger. These places are on offer on the basis of sharing costs equally. If you are interested in taking one of these places please contact me as soon as possible.


Some members may prefer to travel via the channel tunnel or travel on different dates or routes from that of the main group, or stay at alternative centres. Most alternatives can be arranged and I will be pleased to provide you with details to suit your requirements. Please contact me with your requirements, but please make this as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
If you require accommodation on the Saturday race night please contact me for details, please note that there is no accommodation available in Le Mans at this time.


Any cancellations may be subject to payments in addition to the deposit should it not be possible to cancel your bookings. Deposits will only be refunded if we are able to make cancellations and receive refund from the providers. Any refund will be less any costs incurred in administration.

Find out more:

The club's Le Mans trips in 1995 and 1996 have been most enjoyable events and I am sure those who have participated will confirm this. I anticipate that many of those who have been on the trips in '95 and '96 will be coming on the '97 trip as well. If you would like to see what you might be letting yourself in for a video of the '96 Le Mans trip has been prepared by Ron Fanner and he is making this available at 20 a copy.
Order yours from Ron Fanner. Three Gables, Woolfardisworthy, Bideford. North Devon, EX39 SPZ. Please make your cheques payable to Ron Farmer and include P&P of 1.50 per copy.


Reserve you place on the 1997 Le Mans trip by sending your deposit to Ken Saunders. 'Tamarisk' Tetbury Lane, Leighterton. Glos. GL8 8UP. Please make cheques payable to K.A. Saunders If you require further details or alternatives please telephone or FAX me at Tel/Fax : 01666 890307 or E-Mail

Ken Saunders

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