Le Mans isn't just a motor race, it's an all-out event - and here Audi's Allan McNish previews the big race, plus we've compiled a list of must-dos for all race goers.
Don't forget to use the forum section to let us know what we've missed out.
Autocar's top tips:
It’s a Le Mans with a Le Mans start – so enjoy it
For many years Le Mans has started without a Le Mans start – as in the ‘run across the track to your car, start it and drive off’ affair that caught so many people’s imagination all those years ago. This year the cars will be lined up in herringbone formation across the track from all 168 drivers taking part. The lead driver will then run to the car… but won’t start it, as the event proper will still begin with the cars rolling. It’s a nice bit of drama, though.
Don’t miss the start
Apparently there’s a football tournament starting this weekend, so the start of the race has been moved forward to 3pm in order to avoid any clashes of interest.
Visit as the pit straight at night
One of the greatest joys of a 24-hour race is watching the cars after dark. The pit straight is a great place to have a seat and catch up with the running order, enjoy seeing the cars lit up and at full tilt, whilst also taking in the various dramas that are guaranteed to be unfolding in the garages.
Talk about the Mansells
Go on, every other English-speaking person will give at least a cursory glance to Our Nige’s entry in a Ginetta with sons Leo and Greg, so you might as well too. They won’t win their class, and given Nigel’s propensity for drama it’s hard to believe he’ll stay out of trouble for the whole race, but it’s still a story that’s hard to ignore.
Visit the museum
It’s not a must-see collection of cars, but it is very fine. If you’ve never been, go. If you haven’t been for a couple of years, go again.
Go to the funfair
After all, there aren’t many places you can watch a motor race from a big wheel.
Resist the lure of charming French ladies
Some of them are very lovely, of course. But the ones stripping off in the back of trucks near the funfair only love you for your money…
Watch the sun come up
Even if you haven’t drunk your own body weight in beer and eaten one too many undercooked sausages on the barbeque you’ll be struck by profound thoughts as the sun rises over the circuit. That said, 18 hours of racing car drone may also have addled your brain.
Go for a walk in a campsite
Marvel at the sights, sounds and smells of Le Mans campers getting up on Sunday morning - especially if you’ve avoided getting a hangover on Saturday night. Just don’t trip on one of the many mountains of stacked beer cans – you may not be forgiven for the ensuing noise.
Have a good breakfast and stay until the end
Even the most hardened race fan can find watching the entire race a trial of endurance, so recharge yourself for the final push. If you make it to the end of the race, then it is obligatory to spill into the pitlane and cheer the winners home. There aren’t many races where you can share a little bit the winner’s euphoria so easily.