Le Mans Classic is a motoring event unlike any other. It's a compliment to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, which pits supercars at the height of technology together in a test of endurance and concentration.
Much like Ying and Yang, Classic restores a necessary balance to Le Mans with a healthy dose of classic motoring and retro panache. It celebrates the cars which ran at the Circuit De La Sarthe from the race's inception in 1923 up until 1979. But it's not just racing - there's a whole atmosphere out there celebrating the idiosyncrasies of yesteryear. Much like dusting off a familiar flat cap, it's comfortable, relaxed and stylish.
If it sounds like your kind of car show, then here are eight more reasons why you need to go:
1. Drivers run for their cars
The Le Mans Start was an age-old tradition which saw drivers stood on the track opposite their car, before running across to it as the flag dropped, strapping themselves in as they hurtled across the start line. Ironically known as the standing start, it carried on until 1970 as accidents raised (justifiable) safety concerns which ceased the practise.
However, Classic is a stickler for tradition. To this day they still perform the Le Mans Start in particular race meets, giving the festival some serious credentials when it comes to recreating the magic of Le Mans. Still, seeing professional racing drivers make a mad dash for the cockpit is a spectacle worth seeing for itself!
2. There's a dress code
You might think of the average dress code for a car show as the informal side of casual - but not so at Le Mans Classic. Every year the actors which bring Classic to life, and painstakingly put together their outfits, often appreciate when the guests make the effort too.
That means trainers and shorts are out in favour of shirts, trousers and possibly a leather bomber jacket to complete the look. Classic describe their style as 'sport-chic', though with a 50-year window to choose from it's hard to go wrong.
3. You can order a picnic
It wouldn't be an outdoor event in France without the traditional picnic to keep your appetite at bay. But where do you get one at a racing circuit? Well Le Mans Classic have that covered.
You can pre-order your very own picnic (complete with basket) for when you arrive, and then simply pick it up! Including everything from cutlery to a blanket and freshly baked baguette, you'll never feel more at home than with this bundle of French gastro treats.
4. There's a Little Big Mans
It may be the dream of many adults to drive around the Le Mans circuit in a classic sports car, but for over 100 children every year that dream becomes a reality. Of course, they aren't put at the wheel of a real Ferrari 250 GTO, but instead get to choose from a huge array of 1/3 scale electric racing cars.
The kids, aged from 6-10 years old, even get to take part in the classic Le Mans Start too. Don't you wish you were a child again now?
5. You can fly around the track
Normally, your seat in the grandstand might be your best view of the iconic Circuit De La Sarthe. But if that's not enough, you can hire a helicopter to give you an eagle-eye view of the track. Your 10-minute fly by lets you take in the immense scope of Le Mans, and even watch the cars in action on the track with the best seat in the house.
Helicopter not your thing? Then you can take a vintage bus ride round the track itself too! Re-live every twist and turn of the world's largest race from the comfort of a double-decker.
6. It's still relatively new
Despite huge crowds year after year and a global following, Le Mans Classic has only been running since 2002. That means it's only set to get bigger and better.
This year alone, a whole new race will be added to the programme, with the Group C grid seeing prototypes from 1983 to 1992 taking to the grid for the weekend's opener.
7. There's more numbers than you can wave a flag at
In no uncertain terms: Le Mans Classic is huge. It will see over 110000 visitors enter its grounds through the weekend to watch 1000 professional racing drivers drive over 450 classic cars round the 38 turns of the 8.5-mile track.
And if that's not enough then the car park is a spectacle all of its own, with over 8,200 weird and wonderful vehicles on display and over 200 exhibitors too. Phew.
8. You can come with us
Stratstone Club are hosting our very own Le Mans Classic experience, as we return to the world-famous Le Mans Classic for another year. The trip includes travel to France through to Eurotunnel, admission to the Le Mans Classic Grandstand & Paddock, and accommodation at a nearby hotel.
With everything covered, it's the best way to enjoy everything which Le Mans Classic has to offer. Why not check out the Le Mans Experience, the perfect gift for any car lover.