If you have been before, you probably have developed an itinerary that's good for you. However, its easy to end up doing the same thing each year, so here is our guide to what a vintage race week should probably include (at least once!).
If you are arriving today, its probably because you have a lot of setting up to do - take your time and enjoy the experience of building your home away from home. Don't forget to send someone off to Carrefour before the sun sets to get the basics in. You probably wont have time for too much else today.
We would be surprised if you had everything sorted - you will probably be off shopping again, perhaps to Carrefour (for almost everything) and Leroy Marlin (DIY/garden). Once these chores are done, take advantage of the quiet day to get out and about.
If you are feeling fit, today is a great day to walk the track (all 8 miles of it!) - or as much of it as you can. On foot, bike, scooter or goped, you will get to understand what the drivers see and the order of the circuit that will impress your friends!
How about a trip out somewhere for a proper meal today? There are hundreds of great restaurants in the Sarthe region. We favour La Chartre sur le Loire, where the Hotel De France serves a great lunch (it was the one time base of the Jaguar team in the 1950's). Tours or Angers are also good, but if you want somewhere a bit closer to home, then the centre of Arnage has several reasonably priced restaurants.
Recent years have seen Beermountaineers congregating at nearby Jannine's Bar (Au Portes du Circuit) In the afternoon. Beermountaineers from across the globe get together for a beer or two in preparation for the AGM.
A trip to the ACO museum close to the main entry point in the grandstand complex is a must do - allow about an hour to wander around.
Between 2 and 5pm Beermountaineers gather for the Official Annual Gettogether - the Beermountain AGM. This is held at a venue close to the circuit. Check the forum threads for this year's arrangements.
Today is also the last day of qualifying, so tune in your radio and watch the teams put down the fast times as day turns into night practice.
The campsites are mainly full now, and its likely you will be off to a few parties with your neighbours later on!
Often the last practical day to get supplies for the weekend, as you do not want to be doing this on Saturday morning!
Lunch in the village can be fun - also a chance to do some shopping in the memorabilia shops - the best ones are behind the grandstand on the opposite side of the track from the pits.
On the roads around the track the "Mad Friday" culture emerges - take your super soaker and have some fun (but don't upset anyone too much, especially the CRS!). The best places are on the road behind Maison Blanche campsite, and on the road that goes around Houx Annexe.
Its the Drivers parade 18.00 - 19.00 in the city centre. Not to be missed if you have never done this before. Its busy, but this trip can be combined with lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants. We recommend Taverne De Maitre Kanter in the Place du Jacobins - right where the parade starts.
Alternatively enjoy a lively evening at Jannine's before retiring early in preparation for 36 hours awake.
Get up in good time for the warm up at c9.30 am (hopefully without to big a hangover). Its a great day to wander in the village as the atmosphere builds for the race.
Brunch at your base then head off to where you are going to watch the race from - no need to get there too early - unless you have a grandstand seat in the start/finish straight there will not be much to see before 14.22 when the start sequence commences.
Maybe after watching the first hour or so take a wander to several viewing points - the best walk around the main village area is from the Dunlop Bridge, either down the outside towards Tertre Rouge, or walk the other way towards the Porsche Curves.
Once the sun is setting we recommend a trip out to Arnage - take the car or better still a bike and you are treated to one of the best views of le mans - cars breaking hard, disc brakes glowing, and flames shooting out the back as they corner Indianapolis and accelerate off again. Awesome!
Sunday can often seem a bit flat as people have been up all night. Try and get some sleep if you need it and check all your gear is ready to be packed up if you are leaving today. If you did not get out to Mulsanne or Arnage, there is still time to do so today, but get back before the finish if you want to avoid the traffic.
Once action on the track is finished, the gates will be opened and you can walk onto the track and down to the finish - the prize giving is on the podium above the line.
If you are staying over on Sunday night, its a chance for a "goodbye BBQ" - make sure all the beer gets drunk. There are often some fantastic firework displays on each campsite - make sure your tent is not the fall out zone!
Clear up, clean up, and maybe say goodbye to the city with a pit stop at McDonald's before heading home. Don't just speed back to the Channel though - take a cultural excursion! We often visit some of the WW2 sites in Normandie, and try to have a nice meal before getting on the ferry.
We suggest you should be back to work - earn some cash so you can afford some better fireworks for next year!
Let us know your "must do" things during race week and get restaurant recommendations in our forum.