Sunday, 7 June 2015

Hotel de France’s grid for Le Mans week featuring Derek Bell and a new concours

The famous Hotel de France has lined up a series of special events for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race week, including Derek Bell’s reunion with his winning Gulf GR8 on Thursday 11th and a new concours open to all cars on Friday 12th June.

Situated in the town of La Chartre-sur-le-Loir, around 40km away from Le Mans, the hotel is famous for its long association with motor sport and the Le Mans 24 hour race. From the 50’s to the 80’s, victorious teams such as Aston Martin and Gulf Oil would use the hotel as headquarters, preparing their racing cars in the courtyard and then driving them to and from the circuit on public roads.

Recently, on Monday 1st June, Aston Martin Racing recreated that old tradition and went back to the hotel after a gap of more than five decades with three of this year’s race cars and drivers, including Darren Turner, Richie Stanaway and Mathias Lauda.

Martin Overington, owner of the Hotel de France, said:
“During Le Mans week, both the camping site and the hotel will be abuzz with the atmosphere of a region building up to the race weekend. It is a great place to be, rich in Le Mans history and with an amazing crowd of motor sport enthusiasts and their cars.”

He added: “We have a series of events planned, starting on Thursday with the legendary Derek Bell and his 1975 Gulf GR8 race car. On Friday we are hosting the first ever Hotel de France Classic Car Weekly Concours celebrating the ordinary classics and not just the ‘high flyers.”
From 10:30am on Thursday, Derek Bell MBE will be reunited with his 1975 Le Mans winning ‪#‎Gulf GR8 race car to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first of his five Le Mans wins.

Derek Bell will be signing exclusive give away postcards featuring Tony Hurst artwork, especially commissioned for the event. The first signing takes place at 10:30, the second at 1230, with plenty of photo opportunities.

At 2:30pm on Friday, the main square in La Chartre-sur-le-Loir will see the first ever Hotel de France Classic Car Weekly Concours, which is open to all cars, ‘from the pristine to the oily rag.’

People interested in entering the concours should email details to, including: name and surname, contact numbers, address and car details (marque, model and year).

Whilst the hotel is full for Le Mans week, the Hotel de France’s Camping, through the renowned Le Mans camping specialists Speed Chills, provides the ultimate location for those seeking to combine high-octane thrills at the nearby circuit with a historic off-circuit venue.

The campsite is situated on the banks of the River Loir, a short walk from the hotel and the centre of town. It also offers easy access to the D304, the Route du Mans.

Packages are available through Speed Chills from £189 per person based on four people sharing a car and a camping pitch.

This includes three nights at the Hotel de France hosted Camping, channel crossing via Dover/Calais, General Admission ticket each, car parking at the circuit as well as access to the Speed Chills private hospitality areas.

For more information visit:

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