Updated June 2017
I'm quite often asked for information by people who are making their way to Le Mans for the first time. So I've put together some brief information for those who are about to make their debut as spectators at the world's greatest motor race.
There is one very important point to remember. There is no 'right' way to do Le Mans, whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned veteran. You'll get a different slant on what you should aim to do depending on who you talk to and particularly who you go with when you go for the first time. For example, there are many people who swear that you can't enjoy Le Mans unless you camp at the circuit while others (particularly old Le Mans soldiers like me - I turned 60 last month) will say that the convenience of a hotel room far outweighs any advantage of camping. Some regard Le Mans as an event that cannot be survived without consuming copious amounts of alcohol. That's fine if that's what you want, but try and stay sober enough to see some of the racing! Whatever I think doesn't make me right or anyone else wrong. Whatever you do though, however long you go for, you need to soak it in through every pore. There is no atmosphere like it. The only thing I would say is an absolute must is to see the cars for an extended period on race night. 2017 will be my 32nd consecutive Le Mans and I've not slept during the night since 1987. I work on the basis that it is just so good that I'm not prepared to miss any of it. You've got a whole year to catch up on your sleep - don't waste this one magical night.....
This isn't a definitive guide to Le Mans. There are other sources for this information, such as the ACO's official site or the wonderful annual Club Arnage guide. All of the information is based on my own experiences at Le Mans. If I express a view, it is my own and I recognise the fact that others may not necessarily agree!
(Information passes out of date very quickly - almost as quickly as the ACO make changes to my beloved Le Mans circuit - so if you spot something I need to update - let me know!). I've now removed the directions pages as they were so out of date.
Finally, if there's something you want to know, you can always ask me by email or use the excellent Le Mans subforum at Ten Tenths (where I've been a member and moderator for many years).