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Le mans Classic 2014

By Mark Kidman

Plans had been coming together for this one, we had linked up with the French Viper club ‘Viper Passion’ and this was also to be the 2nd Viper Euro event with members from all 3 Viper clubs.  VOA, VCA and Viper Passion.  Sadly again Adrian could not be with us for this one, so Neil and I made the trip to Le Mans with the Ladies.

It was a glorious day on the Thursday and after meeting up at Clacket Lane services on the M25 we headed off to Eurotunnel to get the Train to France.

Now being as we had the wives in tow I thought it best that we stay in a Chateau for the Thursday evening before joining our European friends the following day.  We hit the toll motorway down to Rouen then had a bit of a mare getting around the detours due to the bridge being closed, I did have a route planned but sadly the detours were in place before my planed exit!

Still, we made it through and continued on our journey to the Chateau ‘Domaine De Villeray’ What a fantastic setting.  There is the main Chateau, then just down the hill is the old watermill which has also been converted into an annex hotel with bar and restaurant, hearing the word Bar, we decided to stay at the mill.



A lovely sunny evening with outside fine dining and one or two bottles of wine saw us off to sleep well ready for the next day.


Friday, we skipped breakfast and headed straight to our next hotel at Saint Calais where we met Michel and waited as the rest of the European Viper owners arrived.

 

Then after a short meeting and hello’s we set off in convoy to the La Sarthe circuit, what a convoy!


As you can guess it was hard to keep everyone together, but we made it to the circuit and parked the cars on the club stand. After walking around the circuit village and soaking up the atmosphere we made our way back to Saint Calais where there was a dinner being put on for us and the local town folk welcomed us including the mayor.


Dinner lasted long into the evening and the weather had taken a turn so we did not bother going back to the circuit, and looked forward to our parade laps the following morning!

Saturday!  Oh boy it was wet, we were due on track at 8:30 the weather was dreadful but that did not put us off, we managed two laps of the circuit before the marshals pulled us off.

Then we headed back to the club parking.  Picnic hampers had been provided for members and we sat around for much of the day eating and drinking.


Another little surprise on the club stand was this!


The 53 Oreca car from the 2000 24hrs Le mans race…..Coor!

The rest of the weekend was spent doing more of the same, watching some of the classic cars racing (and trying to stay on track), diving in and out of the rain, and walking around the various stands.  Dinner on the Saturday evening was back in saint Calais so again we enjoyed the company of our Viper friends and did not bother going back to the circuit.

Many Vipers caught my eye but there were a couple of special ones. The first Gen V in Europe


Also Souls Viper Exchange 7:12:13 Nurburgring 2010 record breaking Gen IV Viper….The actual car!


The rear wing is signed by the drivers and the team….Very cool!

Next years plans are in the making, we are all off to Spa in Belgium for a Viper weekend event in May


Bye for now Mark.