The Le Mans 24 hours is not only a 24-hour race - far from it. Alongside the action on the track, there will also be plenty of entertainment in the race village and around the circuit. For as long as anyone can remember, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has always been synonymous with fun for all and this year will be no exception. The ACO organises a funfair, rock concerts and a race village with new exhibitions and activities each year. With such a jam-packed programme, the 24 on site app will be your best friend during the week’s festivities.
Driver autograph session
From 5pm on Tuesday the pit lane becomes a pedestrian zone. Spectators will be able to meet and chat with racing drivers and leave with a signed poster, photo or postcard. The sixty cars entered for the race will also be on display and fans can see them up close and take photos from all angles.
Tuesday 14 June, 5-6.30pm for all 24 Hours of Le Mans ticket holders.
Trackside music on three nights
The trackside concerts at Le Mans are always very popular. On Wednesday, come and listen to the catchy melodies of British indie group Shake Shake Go. Another Brit Julian Perretta will take the stage before the night practice on Thursday. The Shoes and The Avener will provide the musical backdrop to the growls of the engines on track on race night.
In all, eight groups will take it in turns on the stage located on the outside of the circuit opposite the Dunlop footbridge.
Wednesday 15 June: Naked (in the sphere) + Shake Shake Go
Thursday 16 June: Retrospective + Julian Perretta
Saturday 18 June: DJ Loran (Pop Rock Live) + Kazi Lambist + The Shoes (live) + The Avener (Dj set)
The Virtual Room: a unique experience
For the first time at the race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has a Virtual Room where fans can experience virtual reality at its very best. Take the wheel of a prototype and experience racing at Le Mans. This total immersion is possible thanks to virtual reality technology from Oculus Rift. Once they have completed a reconnaissance of the circuit and its racing line, learner racing drivers can pit their wits against each other in the gaming area. There are prizes to be won! Winner or not, everyone will be able to stand on the top step of the podium in the selfie zone. The social wall reflects activity during the race. Tens of thousands of fans around the world share their race experience live in the #VirtualRoom24.
Virtual Room – in the race village
Open (free of charge) on Wednesday 15 June (16:00 – 00:00), Thursday 16 June (19:00 – 00:00), Friday 17 June (10:00 – 18:00), Saturday 18 June (09:00– 00:00) and Sunday 19 June (09:00 – 14:00).
Le Mans Passion Share - Armée de l’Air (French air force): experience life as a fighter pilot.
As you might imagine, racing drivers and fighter pilots have plenty in common. The ACO and the French air force have formed a partnership to pool their experience and expertise. The new Le Mans Passion Share - Armée de l’Air pavilion in the race village is sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys thrills and spills. Race fans can try their hands at flying an Alpha Jet plane. A dozen simulators enable race spectators to step into the shoes of a fighter pilot. The pavilion exhibition provides the opportunity to learn about the air force, pilots and mechanics thanks to the 705 air force station in Tours.
Le Mans Passion Share - Armée de l’Air - in the race village
Open (free of charge) on Wednesday 15 June (16:00 – 00:00), Thursday 16 June (16:00 – 00:00), Friday 17 June (12:00 – 18:00), Saturday 18 June (09:00– 00:00) and Sunday 19 June (09:00 – 14:00).
Le pavillon des femmes: the feminine side of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The Pavillon des Femmes (women’s pavilion) met with great success in 2015 and is back in pride of place in the race village this year. Entrance is for women only. The pavilion is a place to relax and enjoy the feminine side of racing. The pavilion and its pretty front garden will have a new decor for 2016. What better ambassadors for this pavilion than two women who are used to trackside life: drivers’ wives Elysia Dumas-Morela and Gaëlle Duval-Exposito? Both were delighted at the pavilion’s success last year and were eager to continue contributing to the effort to attract women to motorsports. Try the race simulator and get a taste of the exhilaration of racing drivers such as Inès Taittinger and Christina Nielsen who will be out on track behind a real wheel. Once you’ve worked up a thirst, relax at the cocktail bar or take advantage of the hydrojet spa or other beauty treatments available.
Pavillion des Femmes – in the race village
Open to women only (free of charge) on Wednesday 15 June (16:00 – 00:00), Thursday 16 June (19:00 – 00:00), Friday 17 June (10:00 – 20:00), Saturday 18 June (09:00– 00:00) and Sunday 19 June (09:00 – 14:00).
Americans at Le Mans: retrace the history of the USA at Le Mans
Exactly fifty years after its first win at Le Mans, Ford is back with no less than four GTs on the grid. So now is the time to celebrate the USA’s achievements at Le Mans. The Americans at Le Mans exhibition includes some of the most beautiful machines made in the USA. Sixteen cars, from the Cunninghams to the sleek 1970s IMSAs will be on display. The Ford GTs that took the one-two-three sweep in 1966 are likely to be the stars of the show but they will no doubt vie for attention with the 1976 Spirit of Le Mans Corvette and the Panoz LMP that helped increase the popularity of Le Mans around the world. Two Germans will join the party: the Porsche 908 and 935. The USA has not only sent cars to Le Mans, America has also provided some illustrious drivers. Steve McQueen drove the 908 that features in the 1970 film Le Mans with unforgettable panache and Paul Newman took a superb second place in the 1979 race.
Americans at Le Mans – in the race village
Open (free of charge): Wednesday 15 June (14:00-00:00), Thursday 16 June (16:00-00:00), Friday 17 June (10:00-13:00), Saturday 18 June (parade at 12:30 and exhibition 15:30-00:00) and Sunday 19 June (9:00-15:00).
Fun Area: the place to be for kids
It is extremely important to the ACO that the 24 Hours of Le Mans remains a fun event for all the family. When they are not enjoying the race, children will love the fun area near the race village. Kids can use up any excess energy on the bouncy castles, zip lines and trampolines, pretend to get lost in the labyrinth, focus their minds on the basics of driving or take part in the Pit Stop challenge. A team of qualified childminders can take care of your little ones while you enjoy the race. Kids will also love the Journal de Mickey caravan from the sponsors the area.
Fun Area - near the race village
Last but not least, the traditional funfair is a permanent fixture of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The big wheel offers a superb view of the circuit, especially at night. The race village is a hive of activity and the place to go to buy souvenirs of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours.
And don’t forget the fringe events organised all week in the neighbouring towns and villages.