• Ulrich Kniep

The Hotel De France

The Hotel De France opened in 1905 and run over 4 generations by the Pasteau Family until 2013 when ownership changed. This really had no impact with the longstanding association of Le Mans, still today race car drivers, old and young visit the place and stay at the hotel. For many years race teams would make this there headquarter for the 24 hours. One is immediately aware this was the head quarter for the John Wyer Gulf team fielding the Ford GT 40 and the Gulf Porsche 917 team.

On a visit to the hotel we inspected what was then the garage area for the team right alongside the Main building the team would work on the cars and then drive the 40 miles or so to the track and back. Today the space is taken up by the hotels catering bus.

The many pictures of drivers and cars in the bar area express centuries of racing history, also remind us how much more dangerous racing was then with horrific accidents drivers and spectators losing their lives. The place is magic and so is the Le Mans race “Vive La Le Mans!”