The Classic Car Drive In Weekend (18-20 September) will pay special homage to the epic Le Mans 24 Hours race when it opens its doors at Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire in less than two weeks’ time.
With this year’s postponed running of the famous twice-around-the-clock endurance showdown being staged behind-closed-doors in northern France over the same weekend, the exciting new Covid-compliant drive in festival will be offering petrol-heads an alternative Le Mans experience on track, on display, on the silver screen and in the pub!
Some of the finest examples of GT and sportscars that have competed in the world’s oldest and most famous endurance race will be revving up and dazzling visitors with eye-catching driving displays on Bicester Heritage’s test track. In between five daily live performances, these icons will also be on public display in the socially-distanced paddock.
Adding to the celebration, Le Mans ’66 (aka Ford v Ferrari), the recent Oscar winning movie starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, is one of the great driving films being screened at the event’s US-style drive in cinema (photo above).
What’s more Bicester’s on-site Wriggly Monkey Brewery (photos row two below) will be offering live coverage of this year’s 24 Hours race from start to finish as well as clips from some of the more classic races – all in a traditionally French themed environment. It will also have a selection of Le Mans cars on display and, of course, its own beer – itself engineered specifically for petrol-heads.
“Le Mans’ magical atmosphere always attracts many thousands of British enthusiasts but now, as this year’s race is taking place without any fans, we will be doing our very best to fill that void… and, indeed, all those resulting from so many other great attractions that have been cancelled, or run without spectators, in recent months,” vowed show director Bas Bungish. “Organised specifically for what’s called ‘the new normal’, The Classic Car Drive In Weekend offers both visitors and the industry a welcome respite from what has in so many ways been a very challenging summer.”
Many Le Mans greats are among the iconic sportscars in action at The Classic Car Drive In Weekend – these include Jaguar D-type (a winner in 1955, 1956 and 1957), Lola T70, Ferrari 212, Maserati Birdcage, AC Cobra, Cooper Monaco and Ford GT40 (a winner in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969).
Adding some extra intrigue and widening the collection’s appeal, these racing legends will be joined by a few curiosities such as a stunning replica of the streamlined little Mini Marcos which contested the great race in 1967 (photo bottom below) .
Adult admission tickets to the drive in cinema at The Classic Car Drive In Weekend are priced from just £10 and £18 for the accompanying classic car show, which includes access to the live track performances, competition car paddock, dealer displays, car-related traders, a live Bonhams MPH auction plus a host of other attractions at the UK’s only Centre for Historic Motoring Excellence.
Full experience show tickets offer even greater value. Priced at just £25 for adults and £15 children (aged 5-15), these automatically give visitors access to the entire showground including a fantastic drive in, car-themed movie of their choice. Any remaining tickets will be available on the day but at a £5 premium, so booking in advance is highly recommended.