The official ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) press conference took place as usual on the Friday of Le Mans week in the Restaurant du Welcome in the North West area of the circuit. The ACO took this opportunity to look forward to next year's ...
The official ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) press conference took place as usual on the Friday of Le Mans week in the Restaurant du Welcome in the North West area of the circuit. The ACO took this opportunity to look forward to next year's centenary and outline the planned changes to the circuit facilities.
Jean-Claude Plassart, President of the ACO, started by explaining how much he was looking forward to this year's race. "This coming Le Mans is going to be one of the most exciting in recent years," he said. "I am very much looking forward to see if Henri Pescarolo can succeed in the 'French challenge'."
He went on to talk about the forthcoming changes to the circuit. "In 2006 it will be the 100th anniversary of the club and next year we will celebrate this in due style. Over 100 years things change and next year you will not believe your eyes at the transformation that is going to happen."
Roland du Luart, President of the mixed syndicate that owns the circuit, talked about the changes in greater detail. "A total of 15 million Euros will be spent over a 4 year programme covering the welcome for the spectators and safety for the competitors. This year we have already added two new tunnels and improved the flow of spectators at the end of the pits. We will completely renovate the village and paddock for the 2006 race spending 6.5 million Euros.
"In 2006-7 we will renovate the pitlane, increasing it to 55 garages allowing more cars, more attraction and more spectators. We will reduce the speed of bikes in the Dunlop curve by pushing the corner outwards, and at Tertre Rouge there will be a much bigger run-off area. In 2007 we will work with Le Mans and there will be a tramway for pedestrians."
The increase in the size of the pitlane by 2007 will allow five more cars to take place in the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans.