The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced that it will be reopening its doors to the public from June 1, with all necessary hygiene measures in place, allowing people to visit all the facilities and attractions at Le Mans
This announcement means that visitors will be able to head to the Circuit de La Sarthe to visit the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum, karting circuit, the Porsche Experience Center and driving instruction centers for lessons and track days.
“From 1 June, our customers will be able to visit the museum that retraces the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and of motoring, browse our ever-changing range of 24 Hours merchandise, enjoy an afternoon at the karting track, experience driving a Porsche or a prototype or learn how to better handle their own car or bike,” the ACO said in a statement. “All necessary steps have been taken to follow government guidelines and procedures will be clearly explained at reception desks.
“Health and safety remain our overriding priority and we go above and beyond requirements in these areas. In the current sanitary situation, our number one priority for reopening was ensuring the safety of our staff and visitors.”
This is all a significant step in the ACO’s plans to return to racing and normality amid the global pandemic. Currently the ACO’s three major championships — the ELMS, Le Mans Cup and FIA WEC — have new calendars published to allow teams to go racing from July onwards, and the Le Mans 24 Hours has been pushed back to September 19-20
As for when fans will be able to attend ACO races, that remains unclear. The ELMS and FIA WEC races set for July and August this year are due to be held behind-closed-doors, though no decision has yet been made on the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Meanwhile, Le Mans is going ahead with a virtual 24 Hours on the original weekend of June 13-14, with a 50-car field of four-driver teams taking part in LMP2 or GTE cars. Following yesterday’s announcement that F1 racers Lando Norris and Max Verstappen will be making their virtual Le Mans debuts in the event, Team Penske revealed on Thursday that four of its drivers – Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud and Ricky Taylor – would be taking part as well:
Plans for streaming views of the virtual Le Mans will be announced at a later date.