Enthusiasts can soak up the roar of high speed racing engines, when Aston Martin Racing cars return to the town after a gap of 52 years.
Interestingly, from 1953 until 1963, the Hotel de France at La Chartre-sur-le-Loir was the base of the Aston Martin team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was an exciting time when drivers and mechanics would prepare their cars in the hotel’s courtyard and then drive them on public roads to the famous circuit. A re-enactment of this wonderful event is repeating itself from the 13th to 14th June.
Each year a huge turnout of locals and motorsport enthusiasts used to gather in the small French town to catch a glimpse of the cars and see them leave for Le Mans, filming and taking photographs of the drivers and cars.
The hotel was the base for 1959 victory party and was the venue for many more in the future. It was an exciting time when the Aston Martin DBR1, driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, won the race for the Aston Martin team. The legendary Wyer managed the team at the time.
The precedence was set and many teams have used the hotel, which has become the meeting point for motoring enthusiasts from around the world. However, the Aston Martin team have not been back since their famous victory.
The Hotel de France was also the departure location on the 1st June, when the cars began their journey before returning to Le Mans to prepare for this year’s race, which takes place on 13th to 14th June.
The Aston Martin Racing team are feeling ambitious this year and will have a five-cars entry at Le Mans, equal to its largest ever entry two years ago. Three Vantage GTEs will compete in the GTE Pro class, with a further two in the GTE Am. Aston Martin Racing is the reigning GTE Am champion and is looking to both retain this title, as well as taking Pro honours too. Let the best team win!
Le Mans is also round three of the FIA World Endurance Championship and Aston Martin Racing is currently leading the GT Manufacturers’ championship. With Le Mans counting for double points, a good result is important if the team is to keep on course for its first coveted WEC Manufacturers’ title.
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