Evolution Capital’s 2019 tour to the Le Mans 24-hour race started at first light on the morning of June 13 from the company’s headquarters in Chichester. Our high-octane procession of performance vehicles proceeded across country toward Portsmouth in a state of controlled excitement to meet the ferry, France and, of course, the annual race at the famous track in southern Normandy.
An uneventful crossing of La Manche took us safely to the other side and our pageant of vintage and non-vintage sports cars of all types of shades, shades and colours disembarked. A cacophony of sound accompanied a careful and precise unloading (mind the paintwork) and our rolling motorcade moved forward in sluggish unison down the ramp. The sleepiest of French customers officers were stirred at passport control and we moved off into the vast rolling campagnes. The only hazard of any nature was presented by local photographers jumping in front of this annual bonanza of Porsches, Ferraris and Bugattis to get that ‘once in a lifetime shot’.
Out on the open road, our little group broke formation, some preferring the meandering coastal route to the more direct motorway to our first pit stop, in Vire, midway down the Norman Peninsula. Beer and baguettes awaited our party, provided through the good offices of the advance party of Evolution organisers. A quick mention must be made to this fine body of men and women, who were the personification of efficiency and quality support, and without which our trip would not have got off to such a wonderful start.
Suitably refreshed we sped off toward our evening destination at the beautiful Chateau Paty in rural Chenu. More of this place will be told in future expositions but suffice to say this place is a visual and sensual treat. Set in several acres of ancient woodland and waterways our exquisite accommodation, the country seat of the Despointes family, it was the perfect solution for our group of weary travellers. Summoning up our last reserves of energy we made our way through a forested glade and wild meadow to where a fine feast of local delicacies needed our urgent attention. If all our days are going to be like this, we can be assured of a memorable stay.
We started the day on bacon rolls and ended it with foie gras-stuffed roasted quails. Vive la France, vive le race.