While the Inter Ecuries, the last event on the Le Mans circuits in 2016, will take place on 29-30 October and the Bugatti circuit is being revamped and resurfaced, it’s already time to look forward to 2017. The densely-packed calendar comprises no fewer than 23 exciting events! If several of these rendezvous are already known and eagerly awaited like the 85th Le Mans 24 Hours on 17-18 June, the 2017 season will also have some great innovations. A round-up of not-to-be-missed events!
The 5th Exclusive Drive, a real Moving Motor Show will kick off 2017 on the Le Mans circuits on 17-19 March, and the Trophée Tourisme Endurance (TTE), a national series comprising two endurance championships (saloons and prototypes), and two sprint championships (1300 Mitjet and Free Racing), will race on the Bugatti circuit for the first time in November bringing down the curtain on a season that began nine months earlier.
Between these two no fewer than 21 rendezvous for cars, motorbikes, trucks, karts, bicycles, rollers and pedestrians will have taken place on the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s circuits.
The major newcomer to the 2017 calendar is the Classic Moto event on 7-8-9 July created and organised by the ACO in collaboration with Peter Auto. It will be a magnet for all the fans of collector, retro, vintage and classic motorbikes.
Whether in endurance or in sprints no fewer than seven events for motorbikes will be organised at Le Mans. The Elite in the world of French sprint racing will do battle on 25-26 March in the French Superbike Championship. This will be followed by the pre test for the 24 Heures Motos (28-29 March), and the return of the Rallye de la Sarthe (1st April). The 24 Heures Motos, third round of the FIM EWC (Endurance World Championship), is programmed on the Bugatti circuit on 15-16 April when the great endurance race for motorbikes will celebrate its 40th anniversary! The stars in the French Grand Prix for Motorbikes will provide the on and off-track spectacle between 19-21 May, while the French Promosport Cups will take place on 22-23 July.
Before that, the 23 Heures 60 Moto Power 25 will roar into life on 15-16 July on the Le Mans International Karting circuit.
Not to be outdone karts will be in the limelight with numerous top-level national and international events on the ACO Le Mans Karting International circuit, one of the most beautiful kart tracks in Europe. These include the French KZ2 Cups (27-28 May), the European KZ2 Championship - OKJ and OK (1-2 July), the 32nd 24 Heures Karting now called the CIK/FIA European Championship (30 September-1 October), and the IAME International Final held over two weeks in October.
Car enthusiasts also have a lot to look forward to starting with the Tour Auto Optic 2000 which will visit Le Mans on 25th April. Then come the VW Beetles in the Fun Cup (private event) on 6-7 May. The 24 Heures Camions are on the calendar on 23-24 September and the Inter Ecuries, usually the final event of the year, will take place 28-29 October: the European Superkart Championship will also be part of this meeting.
The ultimate not-to-be-missed rendezvous of 2017, the Le Mans 24 Hours, will be held on 17-18 June in the 24th week of the year. After the 2016 event, which will be forever remembered for Brad Pitt as honorary starter, Toyota’s incredible bad luck when the car was in the lead with four minutes to go to the finish, Porsche’s 18th outright victory, Ford’s winning return and the battles that raged throughout the 24 hours between the 60 cars entered for the race, the fans can’t wait for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours! The Japanese giant has already announced that it will be back and the other major manufacturers in the blue-riband LM P1 category will also be present to try and clinch another victory. The new-generation LM P2s will make their Sarthe debut and the best GT cars in the world will be involved in a no-holds-barred battle for the honours in their categories. The Le Mans 24-Hours race is the summit of the endurance pyramid as well as being the third round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The test day will be held two weeks beforehand on 4th June and scrutineering in the town centre on 11-12 June will launch the wild Le Mans week!
The Bugatti circuit will continue to host well-established events on the calendar in which the internal combustion engine doesn’t play a role like the 24 Heures Roller (1-2 July), 24 Heures Vélos (26-27 August) and Foulées du Bugatti (8th October).
17-19 March: Exclusive Drive
25-26 March: French Superbike Championship
28-29 March: pre test 24 Heures Motos
1st April: Rallye de la Sarthe
15-16 April: 24 Heures Motos
25 April: Tour Auto Optic 2000
6-7 May: Fun Cup (Private race)
19-21 May: French Grand Prix for Motorbikes
27–28 May: French KZ2 Cup (karts)
4th June: Le Mans 24-Hours test day
17-18 June: 85th Le Mans 24 Hours
1–2 July: European KZ2 Championship - OK and OKJ (karts) + 24 Heures Rollers
7-9 July: Classic Mototorbike event 15-16 July: 23 Heures 60 Moto Power 25 22-23 July: French Promosport Cups 26-27 August: 24 Heures Vélo
23-24 September: 24 Heures Camions
30 September-1 October: 24 Heures Karting
8th October: Les Foulées du Bugatti 12-15 October: IAME International Final /X30 World Final– Karts 1st part
19–22 October: IAME International Final /X30 World Final – Karts – 2nd part
28-29 October: Inter Ecuries – European Superkart Championship
17 – 19 November: Trophée Tourisme Endurance (TTE)