Category Archives: Uncategorised

Speed Chills

Speed Chills joins the Travel Destinations family

Travel Destinations Ltd is pleased to confirm that the Speed Chills brand will be returning to Le Mans as part of the Travel Destinations family.

Speed Chills

Speed Chills was set up by Directors Neil Matthews & Chris Daynes to look after race fans at Le Mans, offering a comprehensive service of travel, tickets and camping offers. In recent months Neil’s work commitments away from the company, meant he was unable to devote the time he would like to Speed Chills & its customers.


Neil Matthews said “With Speed Chills, our aim was always to put the customer at the heart of everything we did and then to surround them with rock-solid administration and the best team of like-minded people we could muster to deliver a great experience. So, when the time came to pass on the baton, there was only one organisation to work with; the team at Travel Destinations. I am confident that our customers will be extremely well looked after and the spirit in which we developed the brand will be upheld.”


Richard Webb, Director at Travel Destinations, added “We have always kept good relations with Neil and the Speed Chills team, so we were delighted when Neil approached us to continue the Speed Chills brand. We see Speed Chills as a very good fit with Travel Destinations & we look forward to welcoming Speed Chills customers to Le Mans and our other events.”

Travel Destinations

Initially Speed Chills customers will notice a face-lift to the Speed Chills website in the coming days and then all Speed Chills registered subscribers will receive a further update in the next week.

Your questions answered:

  • We usually book for Le Mans now, when can we book for Le Mans 2020? We are open and on sale now for the Le Mans 24 Hours & the Le Mans Classic. Initial bookings are best made by telephone by calling 01707 329988. If you have already lodged a booking request with Speed Chills, that information has been passed to Travel Destinations and we will be in touch
  • Can I still contact Speed Chills?
    The Speed Chills brand will now be owned by Travel Destinations. Initially the Speed Chills phone number will be diverted to the Travel Destinations reservations team, who will be happy to assist.
  • I normally buy just my tickets through Speed Chills; can I still do this? Of course, you can still call to purchase your tickets, ultimately these will be processed via www.tickets-2-u.com, another member of the Travel Destinations family.
  • Will the Speed Chills private camping areas resume?
    Speed Chills last offered private camping at Le Mans in 2018. Travel Destinations were actually the first company to offer private camping and continue to offer private camping at Porsche Curves. We hope that Speed Chills customers will enjoy their new home there. Travel Destinations also offers glamping and our Flexotel Village cabins, which will also be available to Speed Chills customers.
  • Were Speed Chills in financial difficulties?
    No. Speed Chills were always successful, but Neil recognised that his time was being spent away from the business. By transferring the brand to Travel Destinations, Speed Chills customers will continue to receive a knowledgeable & experienced customer service.
  • In the past we travelled with Speed Chills to Daytona and hoped to return.
    This is also no problem; Travel Destinations already have 2 very similar offers available for the Daytona 24 Hours & the Daytona Classic. We also have offers for Sebring & Bathurst. All Travel Destinations offers are available now on www.traveldestinations.co.uk and will also be available to Speed Chills customers
  • We booked through Speed Chills because they were members of ABTA so we knew our money was safe.
    Travel Destinations are also ABTA bonded. We are also members of AITO and hold an ATOL license, so you can book with confidence through Travel Destinations.

For further information or to make a booking for Le Mans or any of the other Travel Destinations packages, please call Travel Destinations directly on +44 01707 329988.

www.traveldestinations.co.uk
www.lemansrace.com
www.speedchills.com
www.tickets-2-u.com

FIA WEC

FIA WEC at Silverstone; The start of the race to Le Mans

GTE Pro is back with a vengeance

Last weekend’s World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) / European Le Mans Series (ELMS) double-header at Silverstone, in racing terms, was a huge success. Both series four-hour races were exciting from start to finish and included changeable weather conditions and class wins being decided in the closing laps.

Arguably the most intriguing battle of them all came in the GTE Pro class in Sunday’s FIA WEC race. Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari were all in contention for the class win until the final hour of the race.

FIA WEC

On the newly-resurfaced Silverstone circuit, the racing was fast and frantic. Across the weekend all WEC class Qualifying and Race lap records were shattered and drivers and teams alike gave positive feedback. In the GTE Pro class this change to the circuit threw up an interesting variable in race strategy. Heading into the weekend AF Corse selected soft and medium compound Michelin tyres, while Porsche and Aston Martin opted for the medium and hard selections. In practice this kept the race close and created a game of cat and mouse.

Once the wet weather had passed by the halfway mark, it was down to the drivers in with a chance to push as hard as possible to score the first victory of the season. AF Corse changed its tyres at each stop, while Porsche and Aston Martin were able to double stint. This meant that at each round of stops they gained a time advantage, and spent each stint trying to fend off the sole remaining hard-charging No.51 488 GTE EVO of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi which was on fresher rubber.

There were plenty of door-to-door battles, but on this occasion, AF Corse lost out to a safety car infringement which forced the organisers to dish out a drive-through penalty to the No.51 car. This meant that AF Corse dropped from the lead, to fourth in class, and was unable to rely on its second car (which retired after a collision with a Team LNT Ginetta) to pick up the pieces. This gifted Porsche a 1-2 finish to start the season, with Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni in the No.91 911 RSR 19 leading home the No.92 example. It was a dream debut for Porsche’s new chassis, which has been tasked with defending the marque’s FIA World GTE Manufacturer’s crown this season.

FIA WEC

Aston Martin completed the podium and seemed far more competitive on home soil with the Vantage AMR than it did last season. While it wasn’t quite the home-town success some in the garage had hoped for, a third place finish to kick off its second campaign with the current-spec Vantage is far from disappointing.

All this proved that, in metaphorical terms, you only need two cars to make a race. Losing Ford and BMW was a blow to WEC, financially in particular, but right there, in the opening race of the season, we saw a far more entertaining ‘battle of the brands’ than we did at any point during the ‘Super Season’. With fewer cars it’s easier to manage Balance of Performance, and with all three marques more eager than ever to collect wins and triumph at Le Mans, this season has all the makings of a classic between three sportscar giants, that will tide us over before the cavalry arrives in the top class next season.

Speaking of the top class, Toyota scored a 1-2, but the privateers were closer than ever before over the course of a race. All four challengers finished off the lead lap, but mainly down to errors and minor mechanical issues. Rebellion’s third-place-finishing No.3 R-13 was on the lead lap until late on, and Team LNT’s Ginetta’s were able to muster up-front-running pace at times. Once the ‘Success Handicap’ comes into play, it will only get closer, and that starts with Fuji, where the other classes, LMP2 and GTE Am included, promise to provide plenty of action in the WEC’s first six-hour race of the season.

Which of the many storylines in the paddock will make the headline next time out? At this point it’s impossible to tell, which is exactly what the FIA WEC needs.

Written by Stephen Kilbey
Photography by Dailysportscar

Join us at the FIA World Endurance Championship rounds at Sebring, Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans in 2020. Take a look at our exclusive offers and join us track-side.

Le Mans 2020

Le Mans 2020: On Sale Now

Plan now for Le Mans 2020

The dust has barely settled from the Le Mans 24 Hours 2019 that also marked the end of the FIA World Endurance Championship “Super Season”. Another remarkable race and a fitting end to the season. Already our thoughts are turning to Le Mans 2020 and we would love you to join us track-side. This year 252,000 spectators watched the race in person, taking in the sights, sounds and unique atmosphere around the famous Le Mans circuit. Travel Destinations are an official ticket agency for the Le Mans 24 Hours and we provide unique options enabling you to stay track-side and enjoy the best of Le Mans 2020. Most importantly we are on sale now! So you can book your Le Mans 2020 experience with us today!

Travel Destinations at Porsche Curves
Our legendary track-side campsite provides the perfect location from which to enjoy Le Mans 2020. Travel Destinations were the first people to introduce a private campsite at Le Mans exclusive for our guests and our campsite is so popular it sells out every year. The campsite’s track-side location is legendary; it is mentioned on the race commentary every year as the cars pass by. We are fortunate to be able to offer the only private viewing bank at Le Mans. The campsite provides 24 hours security, fully serviced shower/toilet facilities and a friendly cafe and bar on-site. Read more about the Travel Destinations campsite at the Porsche Curves
Le Mans 2020
Travel Destinations Event Tents
We brought glamping to Le Mans five years ago and our Event Tents area has gone from strength to strength each year. Located on the infield close to our Porsche Curves campsite, our Event Tents provide pre-erected bell-tents, with carpet, mattresses and all bed linen. For those that want a comfortable, no-hassle way to enjoy Le Mans 2020, then our Event Tents can provide the solution. Located in their own secure area, the Event Tents have serviced shower & toilet blocks as well as their own hospitality marquee with cafe and bar. In addition all Event Tent guests will also have access to our private viewing bank overlooking the Porsche Curves. Read more about the Travel Destinations Event Tents
Le Mans 2020

Travel Destinations Flexotel Village
The Flexotel Village is our exclusive “pop-up hotel” located in the centre of the circuit. Each Flexotel cabin provides a private, lockable bedroom with two proper beds and all bed-linen. Located at Antares, the Flexotel Village is a short walk from the start/finsh line, Tertre Rouge Corner and the circuit tram terminus. The Flexotel Village is located in its own, secure, tree-lined paddock providing an area of calm inside the hectic circuit. There are fully-serviced showers and toilets as well as a hospitality marquee on-site where the barbecue is always going. For those not wanting to camp, or for those just desiring an exclusive experience the Travel Destinations Flexotel Village will be perfect for Le Mans 2020. Read more about the Travel Destinations Flexotel Village
Le Mans 2020

Circuit-run camping
Camping has long been a tradition at Le Mans and the circuit provide a number of camping areas where you can pitch your tent. Providing a festival-style vibe at Le Mans 2020, these camping areas provide basic facilities for international race fans. These areas are great for groups and experienced Le Mans attendees. They provide an economical alternative with a party-like atmosphere. Read more about the circuit-run campsites.
Le Mans 2020
Travel Destinations staff can assist you with making the right choice for Le Mans 2020. They can also advise on grandstand seats and hospitality offers.

To book your place at Le Mans 2020, please call Travel Destinations (during office hours) on +44 (0)1707 329988.

 

Toyota at Le Mans 2017

Le Mans 2017 Entry List Revealed

After much anticipation the provisional entry list for the Le Mans 24 Hours 2017 & the FIA World Endurance Championship was announced today. Le Mans 2017 will be the first season without Audi so the initial look of the grid is very different from previous years.

You can download a full copy of the entry list here: Entry List 2017

LMP1 Class
Not only is this class missing the headline act of Audi, but with Rebellion switching classes, the field was always going to be a little light this year. Just six cars will be making up the top tier at Le Mans 2017 with more teams promised to bolster the ranks in 2018. However, for 2017 Toyota have chosen to add a third car to their FIA WEC cars giving them the numerical advantage. The reigning champions Porsche will be fighting to retain the Le Mans trophy with 2 cars. The class is made up by the single privateer in ByKolles, with Robert Kubica their lead driver. They will be looking for a better performance than last year, but realistically they would be more than happy with a sixth place finish behind the big guns. LMP1 may not be what it was, but if Porsche and Toyota give us a finish like last year, nobody will be complaining about the missing Audis.

LMP2 Class
The biggest field by far is here with 25 entries. Most of these cars are stepping up from the European Le Mans Series and there are only 9 competing in the FIA WEC this year. It is new start for the regulations in LMP2 so this is a healthy number to see on the list. The split between Europe and the USA is clear to see with only Ben Keating making the entry list from the IMSA stable. With such a large field it will certainly be difficult to predict the outcome, which will make things exciting for everyone involved.

GTE Pro Class
Some of the most anticipated racing will no doubt be from this class. 13 cars and 5 manufacturers could actually make this class the headline act in 2017. Ford look like they could be the ones to beat, with a 4 car entry on the back of an impressive performance last week in Daytona. Porsche could be the challengers after returning to the fray with the new 911 RSRs. Aston Martin, Corvette and Ferrari won’t just be making up the numbers either, so this could well be a fight right to the finish.

GTE Am Class
There is a good mix of cars in the GTE AM class as well as good numbers. 16 cars have been invited with a spread across the FIA WEC, European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and IMSA. From a British perspective it is great to see the experienced JMW Motorsports team back after missing out last year & the Gulf Racing team Porsche makes a welcome return after an underrated turn in 2017. Aston Martin will also be flying the flag for the UK with 3 cars, but Ferrari has the numbers again with 8 cars in the field. Last mention in the class should go to Labre Competition’s sole Corvette, that has new Rolex 24 at Daytona winner Ricky Taylor named as lead driver.

So there you have it with 2 cars in reserve, could this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours prove the doom mongers wrong and actually turn out to be a classic. Certainly the potential is there, so all you need to do is be at Le Mans 2017. If you haven’t already booked then time is running out, call Travel Destinations now to book your place.

Written by Richard Webb