This weekend our Editor took a trip to the Circuit De La Sarthe for the much anticipated test ahead of the biggest motor race of the year, a full report on that can be found here, however he also took a walk down to the Maison Blanche camp-site to see what effect the new Porsche Experience Centre has really had, and what the future may hold for what was the most sought after camp-site which this year alone has had the amount of tickets available to the general public slashed by around 75%.
Firstly the Experience Center is larger than first thought. as you can see from this picture taken from Position A on the key map below, it takes up much of the room where the Funfair & Ferris wheel used to be (the Ferris wheel used to be situated near the white van in the picture). it is now understood that the FunFair and Ferris wheel will be situated next to what was the old Karting Nord camping area which is now home to the new International Karting Circuit (next to the Alain Prost Karting Circuit).
Next as you walk into the Masion Blanche campsite from the village, on the left hand side, just past where the big TV is always situated, but before where they put the portable toilets they have started to erect hospitality venues along the edge of the mound, (used to be camping spots),
They have also removed half of the famous mound & trees and replaced with some form of rainwater drain (see pic), this is a great loss of a place to relax and watch the race from, especially if the corporate hospitality units section off the remaining part of the ‘mound’ for their guests.
Next, a bit farther down is where the real damage has been done and where the majority of camping spaces have been lost; firstly they have built a skid pan, slap bang in the middle of the camp-site! (for you regulars to Masion Blanche this is very near to where the Gloucester boys were usually situated)
Finally it looks like Masion Blanche now has its very own runway, there is a large stretch of tarmac that runs straight through the middle of the bottom half of the camp-site, again this is a major contributor to the reduction of camping pitches available and as you can see from the following picture its not a small bit of tarmac either showing left of the existing straightaway.
So what now for Maison Blanche, that campsite that for so many people has always been ‘a little piece of England in France’? Rumours are abound. This year, around 25% of ‘regulars’ got their request and there is already a fenced off complex with large portable power units which is believed to be for the Porsche Owner’s Clubs. From 2016, who knows? Perhaps things will become clearer but the current ‘best guess’ is that the remainder of the site will be turned over to the Porsche clubs and it will become an exclusive owner’s campsite leaving the ‘old guard’ of regulars to find a new place to stay while enjoying the unique blend of racing and entertainment that is, and always will be – “Le Mans”.
Here is a map with a “Key” to allow you to see where the above photos were taken from: