Image credit: Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) have announced plans for 4 additional garages, a new Medical Centre and updates to Race Control to house the new scrutineering and Parc Fermé areas. Two of the new pits are to be ready for use in 2016.

The four new pits will be located at the foot of the Welcome Centre, on the site of the current Parc Fermé. As fuel is stored underground and piped to the garages and some tanks are located where the new garages are to be built, these tanks will have to be relocated before construction work can begin.

At the same time, Parc Fermé will be moved to the other end of the pit lane near the Race Control complex. The ground floor of the current building will be modified to house the scrutineering area, improving communication with Race Control who need up-to-the-minute information.

These changes mean that the medical centre will be moved to a new building to be built on the site of the current TV compound.

Due to the extent of the work involved, and to ensure that the 2016 24 Hours race is not disrupted, the ACO has decided to run the project in two stages. All four new garages will be built by next year’s race but only two will be occupied. The remaining two garages will temporarily house the scrutineers and their equipment with their move to the Race Control complex scheduled for 2017.

The roof of the new garages will also provide extra space for the big screen, which will be re-angled giving spectators in the grandstands opposite the pit lane an improved view of the race on the screen while still allowing sight of the Michelin tower’s leader board display.

Architects Cabinet Bailleux, which managed the Porsche Experience Center project have been engaged to oversee the project and have issued a call for tenders for the work which is planned for completion by March 2016.