Preparations are in full swing to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
he teams are settling in in the paddock, and the whole interior of the legendary circuit is being dressed in its most beautiful attire to welcome spectators! The final touches are being put to the festivities to celebrate this anniversary race.
A quick round-up of the not-to-be-missed events...
Final viewing in Epau this weekend!
This travelling exhibition, whose private viewing took place yesterday evening in the presence of Jean-Marie Gevaux, President of the Sarthe General Council, and Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, was on show in La Ferté-Bernard, Le Lude and Sablé-sur-Sarthe. The exhibition is now in the Abbaye de l'Epau in Le Mans until tomorrow evening.
Eighty official posters or programmes are on show in the magnificent 'dortoir des Moînes.' Admission is free and this operation has been organised in partnership with the Sarthe General Council.
Open-air projection devoted to the Le Mans 24 Hours - 15-23 June
Every evening from 22h00 onwards a film and photos retracing the greatest moments of the race since 1923 will be projected onto the façade of the Eglise de la Visitation, Place de la République, in the centre of Le Mans (in partnership with the town of Le Mans).
Scrutineering - 16-17 June
During scrutineering and admin. checks on the Place de la République, decorated in the colours of the 90th anniversary of the race, the town of Le Mans will put on an exhibition of the history of scrutineering linked to the different places where it has taken place since 1923.
Winners’ handprints - Monday 17th June
Since 1991, the handprints of the drivers pay homage to the outright winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours. This year the posing of the 2012 plate will take place at 18h30 place Saint-Nicolas in Le Mans, with last June’s winners: Benoît Tréluyer, André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler.
Autograph session - Tuesday 18th June
Between 17h00 and 18h30 spectators will be able to meet and talk to the drivers entered in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours on the pit lane. They can take advantage of this opportunity to get a close-up look at the cars, which will be on the starting grid a few days later.
Return to 1923! - 18-23 June
In partnership with the town of Le Mans, the Pontlieue hairpin, which brought the race into the centre of the town, will be recreated exactly as it was during the five years it was part of the circuit with the advertising hoardings of the era, fencing, footbridge, etc, including the café that still exists redecorated in the 20s’ style! A big party will be held this coming Tuesday and the reconstitution will be on show until 23rd June.
Funfairs - 19-23 June
The perimeter of Maison Blanche on the exterior of the track is devoted to the Le Mans 24-Hours Funfair with merry-go-rounds and thrills guaranteed! The Big Wheel gives an exceptional panoramic view of the second part of the Ford chicane and the pits straight from a height of more than 35 metres. Another Funfair will be held at the Dunlop tyre.
Homage to the cars of the legend - 19-23 June
Homage will be paid to the 11 cars that have written the history of the race, which were elected at the start of the year by the surfers and the special jury. An exhibition centre for these legendary cars, brought to Le Mans from all over the world for the occasion, will be open to the public in the Le Mans 24-Hours village from Wednesday 19th to Sunday 23rd June.
During the pitwalk (pit lane open to the public) on Friday 21st June they will be lined up on the track on the slope leading up to the Dunlop Footbridge that will be decorated in an eye-catching fashion. At the top of this symbolic climb the Trophy will be displayed in its new case made by Louis Vuitton.
Drivers Parade - 21st June
The Drivers Parade will start from place de la République at 17h00 and will finish on the place des Comtes du Maine at 19h00. This exceptional festive rendezvous usually attract a crowd of around 150 000 enthusiasts.
Return of the Trophy - Saturday 22nd June
At 12h35 the 11 cars will do a full lap of the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit: they will then set off again at 13h15 for a second parade to bring the Le Mans 24-Hours Trophy to the President of the ACO who will put it up for victory again.
The prestigious concerts - 19-20-22 June
Do not forget the three concerts at 20h00 beside the Dunlop Footbridge starting on Wednesday with Puggy (first part: Sharon & Tracy), Thursday 20th June Asaf Avidan (first part: Jack & Lumber) and on Saturday evening Earth, Wind and Fire Experience Feat. Al McKay a eagerly-awaited group preceded by Big Wireman & White Cigar Boy and Dallas Frasca!
Without forgetting the Le Mans 24 Hours Village
The village in the centre of the circuit will also be buzzing with action with numerous boutiques and entertainment on the programme. The central square of the Le Mans 24-Hours village will hum to the rhythm of choirs, fanfares and acrobatic spectacles. The crowd will be able to take advantage of numerous events, participation, introductions and demonstrations that will delight all generations!
This year there will be a real attraction park for children between 3 and 7 years of age in the village with a team of qualified staff on hand to look after the kids, so that the parents can enjoy the race with their minds at rest!