The jewel in motorsport’s triple-crown, the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans is an opportunity for exclusive travel like no other. Spectators from around the world flock to see this endurance racing extravaganza every year, with some of the world’s best sports cars on display alongside VIP experiences and luxury indulgences unlike any other.
Before you jump into the driver’s seat for this year’s romp around the Circuit de la Sarthe, it’s a good idea to be abreast of some key details to truly make the most of your experience. When was Le Mans first held? How did it come to be? What does the race entail? Most importantly, what’s the best way of getting there?
This article will dive into all of these questions and more, leaving you in pole position to make the most of your experience at the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and having you witness the chequered flag in the utmost style and comfort.
To truly get the most out of any experience – especially one as momentous and renowned as Le Mans – it’s important to appreciate exactly what you’re seeing. This is doubly so when it comes to events with as rich and storied a history as this unique race.
First conceived as an alternative form of contest to Grand Prix Racing, which emphasised speed above all else, Le Mans had a singular requirement: endurance. Drivers and manufacturers of racing cars were pressed into considering this aspect of their machines above all others, and it soon became clear that this would necessitate a rethink at the design stage.
This requirement is doubly so when you consider the winning conditions for the Le Mans 24 race. Unlike in normal motorsports events, the prototype cars that take part here aren’t judged on their winning time, but how much distance they’ve covered after the 24 hours have elapsed. This means that speed is necessary, but fuel efficiency, reduced weight, and mechanical reliability all feature prominently too.
Whether you’re a mechanical buff, want to see the future of commercial vehicles that will trickle down from the cutting-edge technology on display, or are simply looking for a world-renowned event to attend, one thing is clear: Le Mans has it all.
The Race Itself
Held at the Circuit de la Sarthe under the Automobile Club de l’Ouest since it was first staged in 1923, Le Mans – alongside the French Grand Prix – can claim a rich heritage as one of the sport’s oldest contests. Since its initial inception, little has changed – apart from the technology on show and the speed at which the cars are driven, of course!
Other than moving the staging of the race forward a couple of months to now take place in June – capitalising on the warm summer weather and the favourable conditions it provides – the only major changes over the decades have been to the track. These modifications have enhanced safety for spectators while reining in speeds, as the technology had advanced so far by the 1980s that drivers were exceeding 220 mph in places!
After the 24 hours of Le Mans have elapsed, the distances that the cars have travelled is calculated and the winner – the team who has covered the most ground – is crowned. The record for this feat was set in 2010, when an Audi team completed 397 laps, totalling 3,362 miles!
Looking ahead, the 2024 iteration promises drama, with Ferrari having achieved victory in the centennial event last year only slightly ahead of Toyota. Will they retain their crown? Will Toyota close the gap? Will a new challenger emerge? Most importantly, will you be there to see it?
A Spectator Sport
The experience of attending a high-profile, luxury event like Le Mans isn’t solely about the action. That plays a part, of course, and those looking to see a thrilling spectacle won’t be disappointed, but under the surface of this motorsport event lies a world of luxury and indulgence.
Take the opportunity to experience a gridwalk, for example. Here, keen spectators can get up close and personal with the action by mingling with the cars and drivers up to an hour before the race begins. There’s also paddock access available, meaning that VIP guests who really want to get a feel for the palpable sense of excitement that fills the air can jump straight into the heart of the action.
If being down in the thick of it isn’t quite your style and you’d rather stay above the cut and thrust of the fray, then why not do so literally? Exclusive helicopter rides over the track offer the perfect vantage point, allowing you to take in the sheer scale of the spectacle while at the same time taking part in a unique experience that really emphasises why so many revere this event.
Beyond these experiences, there are also a range of traditional VIP choices that one might expect from any elite event of the calibre of Le Mans. Hospitality tickets, gourmet catering, luxury accommodation – whatever you can think of, there’s someone at Le Mans who is keenly aware of the demand for it and will cater to your every need, making this a truly unique occasion.
Arriving in Style
With that level of luxury on offer, it might seem difficult to match the experience of attending Le Mans with the experience of getting there. Anyone who’s ever seen true luxury travel will scoff at this assumption, though, as the world of private aviation turns the dial of indulgence up a notch further.
Exclusive rental with a private jet charter provider like Skyllence is the perfect way to accentuate an experience that promises so much in the way of luxury, while at the same time bookending your trip with an unmatched level of convenience, flexibility and personalisation. This allows you to tailor your travel plans as precisely as you need, fitting in flights around the action and ensuring that you never miss a beat.
Seeing VIP transport solutions and private air charter as the cherry on top of a one-of-a-kind experience is not uncommon, and anyone who’s ever flown on a private flight knows first-hand of the exceptional levels of service on offer. Perhaps less frequently discussed, however, is the notion that these perceived indulgences can also be practical.
Take just one aspect of what they offer – personalisation, for example. If you fly commercial, you’re left at the whim of travel itineraries decided months in advance. Do you really want to have to omit extra days from your schedule, arrive at awkward hours, and potentially land in an airport that might require a lengthy transfer afterwards? No? With private air travel, the solution is straightforward enough: simply don’t.
Instead, inform your provider of your plans and let them tailor the trip to minimise downtime, saving you stress and tying everything together so that you’re where you want to be for exactly as long as you want to be there.
The world of private jet travel can seem a like a mystical domain populated by the ultra-rich and inaccessible to most. When you book with a provider like Skyllence, though, these myths are dispelled, and it quickly becomes apparent that it’s all a little more down to earth.
Simple solutions, good logistics, and a focus on the client are what make any service worth using, and private air charter is no different. There are certainly bells and whistles, with gourmet catering, sumptuous interiors and unmatched levels of in-flight service, but when boiled down to its fundamentals private aviation is about getting the passenger exactly what they want.
If you’re attending Le Mans and looking for luxury, reliability, and convenience from your travel plans, then there’s no better way to make certain than to contact Skyllence. Their common-sense solutions get you exactly where you want to be exactly where you want to be there – with minimal fuss, maximal luxury, and room for you to personalise the trip along the way. According to Vilma Vaitiekunaite, Skyllence CEO, this is why they encounter so many repeat clients.
“In short, we put a lot of effort, expertise and energy into making what we do seem effortless. Clients simply let us know what they need, book with us, and then board their flight – if we’ve done our job properly, then they should be entirely unaware of all the work that goes on behind the scenes. We suspect that our determination to keep thigs hassle-free throughout is what keeps them returning, but who knows – it could just be the taste of the in-flight champagne!”