Vive La France

Day 2 & the crossing over to France to drive down to Le Mans & the farm we are staying at. Today’s breakfast in the hotel became more interesting when it turned out that the chap on the table next to us owned one of the teams that races at the Le Mans 24 Hour, & that he was ‘popping over to Switzerland to have lunch with a banker who might be interested in financing next year’s team’. Nice fellow & we had a good chat. Then it was a rapid drive to the Chunnel to catch the train over to Calais. Always some nice cars around & this year was no different, with the added bonus of a shared carriage with a couple of nice Porsches & a Bentley. Meeting up with Jay some way outside Calais was relatively uneventful (compared with previous attempts!) & we headed off to Le Mans in convoy along with the accompanying (tasteful) yellow V8 MG. Predictably perhaps on her maiden voyage, we had to stop when Jay’s Mantis had temperature issues – the silver lining being ample time to oggle the newly installed LS3 while he fed it expensive French springwater!


It also allowed for an opportunity to admire fellow Brits’ cars as we all headed towards Le Mans.


With Jay’s engine temperature issues held at bay, we made good time on the Peage for a fair distance before hitting a massive queue which culminated in the discovery that the Peage had been closed off & everyone was being diverted back onto the main roads, which were predictably solid with traffic. So, filled with the British spirit of adventure & with an improbable level of confidence in Jay’s SatNav, our three cars boldly set off on a route that avoided the jams… aka ‘the opposite direction’. A lengthy but scenic tour through some beautiful French countryside & picturesque villages ensued, made all the more interesting by Jay’s Mantis losing clutch pressure. We pulled over outside a station in a random village whilst, undaunted, Jay bled the clutch… then filled it up with engine oil. Now I didn’t know you could do that! (I also get that you shouldn’t!).

Anyway, it did the trick & we cracked on, getting to Chateau Morrison a fair few hours later than planned (& dare I say it, with a slight sense of relief on my part). It’s always a pleasure to see Debbie & Darren & catch up on the latest improvements to their farm. The delayed arrival has meant extra time for the beer to chill, so everyone is happy & a few bottles have been got through with the Marcos Essex crowd who had arrived the day before. Marcos ownership & Le Mans should never be dull & on Day 2 neither has disappointed!