Category Archives: Uncategorised

Shank (Meyer Shank Racing): “LMDh Is The Right Formula For Manufacturers”

With new rules brings new challenges, but also new opportunities. LMDh is on the horizon in IMSA and set to replace DPi as the premier class; the next three years are colossally important. They will lay the foundations for the medium-term future of sportscar racing in North America and see it take steps towards the normalisation of hybrid technology in the marketplace.

When the members of the world’s motorsport media gathered in Daytona for the ACO-IMSA convergence press conference last January, the talk of a sizeable grid of manufacturers from both the Le Mans Hypercar and LMDh ranks lining up at Sebring, Le Mans, Daytona and Road Atlanta for major sportscar races in 2023 seemed almost too good to be true. 

But, IMSA’s 2021 season is already underway and following a swathe of announcements from major OEMs, the LMDh formula feels like it’s creeping up on us. Before we know it, it’s going to be 2023 and we will be at the dawn of a new era, with new cars, new tech, new teams and new manufacturers all gunning for glory in North America’s top sportscar championship (and the FIA WEC).

With multiple manufacturers already signed up to LMDh (Porsche, Audi and Acura), it is looking increasingly likely to become a smash hit for the manufacturers invested, teams, drivers, sponsors, partners, industry stakeholders and crucially, fans. Couple that with major changes coming in IMSA’s premier GT category next year and we’re looking at the prospect of a golden age for sportscar racing globally, as well as regionally in the USA and Canada.

Thus, there have been plenty of movers and shakers in the IMSA paddock, with many teams eyeing a seat at the table when the new formula arrives. Ganassi for instance has returned to IMSA to compete with Cadillac, taking Wayne Taylor Racing’s spot. Another team back in the top class is Meyer Shank Racing, which is competing with Acura after representing it in the GTD ranks in recent seasons.

This move was made possible when Penske’s deal to race with Acura as a factory with the ARX-05 exclusively ended at the end of last year. Gone is Penske, in are Meyer Shank and Cadillac stalwart Wayne Taylor Racing as the new outfits running the factory programme.

Turning away from Roger Penske’s team, and its phenomenal track record, was a bold move from Acura. However it appears to have paid off already, with Wayne Taylor’s crew delivering a long-sought-after Rolex 24 win in its debut with the brand back in January despite, as Michael Shank (of Meyer Shank Racing) stressed, “the Cadillacs being the fastest and setting all the fast lap times” during the race.

While neither Wayne Taylor Racing or Meyer Shank Racing are likely to announce anything formally any time soon, they will no doubt envisage themselves competing with Acura in LMDh going forward. Nothing is set in stone, but both teams are aspirational and have pedigree at the top in IMSA.

Mike Shank spoke to Travel Destinations at length recently and sung LMDh’s praises as a formula.

“LMDh, to me represents the future for the next whatever it is, six or seven years, something like that, and I believe it will jumpstart prototype racing across the globe,” he said.

“I think it’s the right formula for the manufacturers, which will drive this ultimately. And I’m very hopeful that we can be a part of that. Things like Hybrid technology may not have been a priority for us all a few years ago in IMSA, but it’s the priority now. There’s a lot of change coming.”

A huge plus point is the ability to compete at Le Mans with an LMDh chassis, something that wasn’t possible with DPi. While it remains to be seen how well LMDh and Le Mans Hypercars are balanced in practice, the prospect of manufacturers from both formulas coming together and competing on level terms is something that all parties want. 

“And it shows just how far the relationship between the ACO and IMSA has come. For years there was separation, now everyone has come together and it’s really grown the interest of the 100 year anniversary of Le Mans,” Tom Kristensen, nine-time Le Mans winner, added in conversation with Travel Destinations.

There will always be arguments concerning favouritism to specific formulas. It has already been argued that the ACO and FIA – in an ideal world – wouldn’t want an LMDh beating a more expensive Le Mans Hypercar at La Sarthe. But competition is always king. If the racing is good, then convergence will be lauded a success by everyone involved, and manufacturers won’t care too much about whether they are spending more than their competitors to achieve success.

“The idea of us being able to run Le Mans with our sponsors and partners is amazing. Can you imagine how excited I am that we get to go back at the top level for the overall? This, this is huge,” Shank continued.

“Le Mans (and Daytona) with a big top class is going to happen. I think we’re headed to you know, five manufacturers (in IMSA) from what I can see. From what I can hear it’s ‘at least’ five, and if you have five, it’s a pretty good start. That’s just in IMSA.”

Le Mans Hypercars by their very nature, will prove more expensive to design, manufacturer and race than LMDh cars (though the difference in cost isn’t clear yet, you can get very different answers depending on who you ask!). The rules allow for teams to create their own chassis and hybrid system from the ground up, whereas in LMDh, manufacturers must use an existing LMP2 chassis and spec hybrid system as the base for their car. 

There are pros and cons, but the most important thing is that is caters to a wide variety of manufacturers. Want to get involved at a smaller cost and still compete for big wins? You can. Want to spend money on developing your own chassis and hybrid technology, and race around the world against other major OEMs? You can do that also. This is why we are seeing two camps form. Audi, Porsche and Acura have happily chosen the LMDh route in the knowledge that Toyota, Peugeot and Ferrari’s chassis are likely to be more sophisticated, because their route is more cost-efficient and boardroom friendly. It’s all a tradeoff. 

Better still, there are strong rumours that more manufacturers are expected to sign up soon. And there’s a belief that it’s not just major OEMs that are interested. Mike Shank told Travel Destinations that he knows of private teams that are interested in pursuing their own LMDh programmes too.

“I’m not going to tell you who it is,” he said. “But I’ve actually heard of a couple privateer efforts and LMDh that are fairly serious. (Similar to ESM, when they kind of did their own (bespoke Nissan DPi based on a Ligier JS P217 chassis). And I think those people are saying they’re capable of doing it. 

“I think we’re going to have a nice mix, and it’ll just get tougher. It will just get even harder than DPI, but, you know, I look forward to seeing how it pans out.”

But before 2023 arrives IMSA must remain stable, and changes to the class system are being put in place to ensure this. By allowing LMP3 cars to compete in their own class and adopting (a GT3-based) GTD Pro category for 2022 to replace the GTLM class (that is struggling for numbers in the wake of Ford and Porsche’s withdrawals), the entry numbers for most races should be healthy going forward.

“GTD Pro is the right solution, it remains to be seen how big it gets, but Chevrolet and BMW should be there, and Porsche can come back pretty quickly. I think there will be takers from factories and private teams,” said Shank when asked about the potential of GTD Pro.

And up front in the DPi ranks there is still plenty of action to keep fans entertained before the cavalry arrives in two years. While Mazda has scaled back its effort to a single car for this season, before a full exit next year, the Acura – Cadillac battle will continue to rage for another year before the new category debuts.

“We’re all focused hard on the championship,” Shank said when asked about the intensity of competition in IMSA’s current top class. “The level is still so high in DPi and the racing should be close everywhere we go. It’s really tough competition that makes for exciting racing.”

Stephen Kilbey

Do you want travel to an IMSA race in the future, or attend the Le Mans 24 Hours? Then give Travel Destinations a call on 01707 329988 or email to make a booking or find out more.

Photos: Toyota/James Moy, IMSA, Corvette Racing, Acura

Le Mans To Be Held Behind Closed Doors In 2020

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the Sarthe Prefecture have announced that the 2020 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will be held without spectators in September.

Prior to today’s announcement multiple solutions had been explored to allow a capped number of fans to attend the race during the current COVID-19 situation, including a zone system which would have split the fans track-side into 10 areas. However, after lengthy discussions with the public health and safety authorities the ACO and the Sarthe Prefecture decided that the best move was to run the event without fans.

“The 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans will go down in the annals of history as, sadly, the world’s greatest endurance race will be run this year with no spectators trackside,” Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest commented.

“Over the last few weeks, we have looked at many ways in which we could hold our event in September with fans present, albeit in limited numbers. However, given the constraints involved in organising a festival-scale event over several days in the current situation, we have opted with the local government authorities to hold the race behind closed doors. There were still too many question marks regarding health and safety.

“We know that our fans will be as disappointed as we are by this decision but, with public health in the balance, it really wasn’t a difficult call to make. You don’t compromise where safety is concerned.

“Fans will not miss out altogether. They may not be at Le Mans, but our media teams and service providers will bring Le Mans to them! We are sure that we can count on everyone’s support and understanding at this time.”

Anyone with an existing booking with Travel Destinations to attend the Le Mans 24 Hours this September will be contacted directly by a member of the team to discuss the available options in the next few days.

Travel Destinations is already looking ahead to the 2021 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which is set to be held on the 12th & 13th June. Fans can book travel packages to next year’s race now (and at 2020 prices for a limited time). Please call our offices on 01707 329988 today to speak to one of our experts.

Speed Chills

Stephen Kilbey joins the Travel Destinations team

Travel Destinations are pleased to confirm that Stephen Kilbey will join our team as Communications Manager from the 1st July.

Stephen Kilbey has been a part of the Dailysportscar family for a decade and became a regular travelling team member covering the FIA WEC, ELMS, IMSA and other major races. Most recently, Stephen was Deputy Editor, a post he had filled for almost 5 years.

During that time Stephen completed a Sports Journalism degree, won the Guild of Motoring Writers Sir William Lyons Young Writer of the Year in 2014 and has worked at most circuits around the world, including Le Mans, Nurburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Daytona & Bathurst.

Whilst Stephen will continue to contribute articles to Dailysportscar, as of today he joins our team at Travel Destinations on a full-time basis. As communications manager, Stephen will be taking on responsibility for social media, written publications and website content.

Stephen joins us with the blessing of everyone at Dailysportscar and we warmly welcome him as he joins the Travel Destinations team.

Le Mans 2020

Le Mans 2020: Important update for Le Mans 24 Hours


Today we have received the news that the Le Mans 24 Hours has been postponed and the new dates have now been confirmed as the 19th & 20th September 2020.


  • In the first instance, please do not call or email our office.
    In order to manage the volumes of correspondence we are receiving, we respectfully ask you to refrain from contacting us at this time. Rest assured we will be contacting you in due course in a systematic manner. This may well take some weeks in the current situation so your patience would be appreciated.
  • Reservations will be amended to the new dates, keeping the same price and travel arrangements as previously confirmed. Your new balance due date will be on or before 1st June.
  • Should you be unable to attend the Le Mans 24hrs in September, you are entitled to a credit note for the full amount already paid. This must be redeemed by 24th December 2021 and is valid for any events until 30th September 2022.
  • As ABTA members we would like to re-assure you that any monies held with us are financially protected.

At this time, the Le Mans Classic remains as going ahead as planned for July.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter and we will be in touch very soon.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin wins critical FIA WEC Bahrain Battle

Down on numbers but up on excitement, GTE Pro this FIA WEC season has consistently provided close on-track action through the first four races. And now, after the longest race of the season, which dished up a surprise result, the championship has turned on its head.

Aston Martin proved that even in a Balance of Performance era, you can win races with clever strategy when your car isn’t the fastest. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen were the winning pair this time, in the #95 Vantage AMR. The victory for the Danish duo is their second of the season. It also gives them an 11-point lead in the championship and puts Aston Martin on top of the Manufacturers World Championship points tally for the first time this season.

Aston Martin didn’t have the pace during weekend. During practice and qualifying, at times, they were unable to get their Michelin tyres to switch on, on the hot, humid, Bahrain International Circuit. Oddly, there was only one window, during Free Practice 2 when the ambient temperature fell from over 30 to 25 degrees, that AMR’s drivers were able to extract pace from their car.

During the race, Nicki Thiim was able to get into the lead by the team pitting him early, in the opening hours. This created a train of four of the six GTE Pro class cars into the third hour. Thiim was able to frustrate those behind him for most of a stint, before Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari and Michael Christensen in the #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR were able to get past. The floodgates then opened and caused Thiim to drop like a stone to the back of the running order.

But it wasn’t over for Aston Martin. Disaster struck both Porsches before the halfway mark. The head of Porsche factory racing Pascal Zurlinden stated to the media before the race that he was extremely confident in the reliability of its new car, which until the weekend hadn’t competed in a race longer than six hours. 

But 30-hour tests without issues, sometimes, don’t translate into bullet-proof reliability in racing conditions. Within 10 minutes Porsche went from being in perfect position to score a double-podium and continue its near-perfect start to the season, to being out of the running for a top three spot with either car.

The #92 911 RSR 19 came into the pits with mechanical trouble first. “Kevin Estre reported some issues with car behaviour in the last two laps, so we had to look at the car, and we’ve had to change a damper,” Christensen said. It turned out to be a damper failure, which would require urgent attention.

Moments later the No. 91 was also forced to pit for hasty repairs after a puncture. Both would drop off the lead lap. “I don’t know what happened as I was out of the car, after the stop Gianmaria (Bruni) reported a puncture, we have damage on the underfloor now. Now the time lost is so much that it’s just about finishing,” Richard Lietz explained.

This left Aston Martin Racing and AF Corse to battle it out for the win. Towards the end of the race there were two battles, one between Marco Sorensen in the #95 Aston and Miguel Molina in the #71 AF Corse Ferrari for the lead, and the other between the #51 Ferrari of Davide Rigon and a hard-charging Maxime Martin in the delayed #97 sister Aston Martin which lost over a minute while making hasty repairs to fix a door and leader light issue. A 1-2 would have been possible if these niggles hadn’t cost them, as Martin and Alex Lynn’s pace once the evening wore on was up there with the best in the class.

Penalties would hobble AF Corse, the #71 receiving a stop-go for spinning its wheels while leaving its pit box, while the #51 would also be handed a drive through for overtaking while exceeding track limits. It meant that in the closing laps both Aston Martins would be given breathing room after lengthy sequences of door to door action, crossing the line first and third.

In Bahrain, reliability issues and perfect drives made LMP1, LMP2 and GTE Am void of action towards the end of the race, but Pro delivered here. Porsche came into the weekend with the sole aim of extending their points lead and heading into the second half of the season with a chance of securing titles before Le Mans. But on this occasion it wasn’t meant to be, thus we have a tight-knit championship battle to look forward to when the WEC season resumes in Austin Texas next February.

Now it is Aston Martin in the driving seat.

Written by Stephen Kilbey
Photography by Dailysportscar

Motorsport Events

Fast, Faster, Fastest?

It is an interesting time to be a motorsport fan. In the past the goal has always been speed. Each generation we have seen faster cars & new lap records. In recent years we have all got used to safety being the new goal. We have seen closed cockpits or halos, new energy absorbing barriers and larger run-offs but still cars going faster than ever before. The next challenge ahead of us is the energy source. We have already seen the development of hybrids in endurance racing and the birth of electric racing elsewhere. The next step may indeed be Hydrogen powered cars at Le Mans, but who knows? With the introduction of new FIA rules for sports car racing from 2021, the reality is that this year may be the last chance to see the fastest ever petrol cars at Le Mans and other circuits around the world this year (unless you come to the Le Mans Classic in the future of course!). Below we look at the best opportunities to see the fastest sports cars around the world in 2020.

Le Mans 24 Hours, 13th & 14th June 2020
Your last chance to see the fastest LMP1 cars on the planet, racing at the most famous motorsport event in the world! Toyota may be the only hybrid up the front, but this year they will be challenged by Rebellion & the British boys from Ginetta, and don’t be surprised if there is a new name on the trophy in 2020. Join us track-side for the ultimate in endurance racing. We offer private camping, glamping and our pop-up hotel all on-circuit, so you won’t miss any of the action. We also have a selection of grandstand seats and hospitality options for those wishing to upgrade their Le Mans experience.

Le Mans 24 Hours

Rolex 24 at Daytona, 24th – 27th January 2020
Watching prototypes and GT sports cars, taking on the steep slopes of the famous Daytona banking is a sight all race fans should aspire to witnessing first hand. The opportunity to escape the cold and dark of another winter and spend a few days watching endurance racing in Florida, is difficult to argue against. The Rolex 24 ticks many boxes with fast cars, close racing, international drivers, exceptional fan-focussed entertainment and access to all areas. A great start to the year.

Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

Super Sebring, 18th – 22nd March 2020
The ultimate double-header for sports car fans. By combining the FIA WEC 1000 miles of Sebring and the traditional IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring in to one weekend, Sebring has once again become the must have ticket this year. The two races will take place back to back on Friday and Saturday, but with support races, practice & qualifying before the races, there is so much track action to enjoy. Spectator access is also good, with open paddocks and great viewing from around the whole track. Accommodation is tricky, but we have just a few rooms available at the moment so you will need to reserve your place soon!

Super Sebring

Bathurst 12 Hours, 30th January – 3rd February 2020
Mount Panorama is an exceptional venue for motorsport. Bathurst may be located 3 hours drive from Sydney, but this is not the outback, and the circuit facilities are great. Drivers return again and again to compete in the Bathurst 12 Hours, which is testament to the race itself and the quality of the field reflects this as well. Our hotel and hospitality offer for Bathurst provides the best opportunity to enjoy this event. The pit-lane rooftop access makes the whole experience so much fun. Just make sure you are in position early for breakfast!

bathurst 12 Hours
Bathurst 12 Hours

FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa, 23rd – 26th April 2020
The traditional curtain raiser for Le Mans moves earlier in 2020 but still provides the fast prototypes and GTE action that we have come to know and love from the World Endurance Championship. The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is a great venue for spectators, as you can walk around the whole circuit, whilst never missing a moment’s track action.

FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa

Nürburgring 24 Hours, 21 – 25th May 2020
The combination of the F1 circuit and the famous Nordschleife, makes for a 26km track internationally recognised as one of motorsport’s toughest challenges. 170 corners, an altitude change of 1000ft and nearly 200 GT cars starting the race makes the Nürburgring 24 hours unique. No wonder the Sir Jackie Stewart called it the “Green Hell”. It is motor racing heaven for spectators though, with free grandstands, paddock access and camping facilities track-side the Nurburgring 24 Hours is more accessible than many similar events. For the cars and teams this is a race of attrition. For the spectators this is so much fun!

Nurburgring 24
Nurburgring 24 Hours

24 Hours of Spa, 23rd – 26th July 2020
In recent years the German giants of Porsche, Audi, BMW and Mercedes have all dominated the podium at the 24 Hours of Spa. You have to go back to 2009 for the last non-Germanic winner, however, in 2020 expect to see a significant challenge from the likes of Aston Martin and Nissan as they try to break the German stranglehold on the trophy. The 24 Hours of Spa hosts the best GT3 cars and drivers from around the world in a truly international field. The spectator views at Spa are great and the music concert in the paddock during the race is of equal standing.

24 Hours of Spa
24 Hours of Spa

Don’t miss out on any of these spectacular events. Call our reservations team today on 01707 329988 to reserve your place track-side!

Historic racing

Historic Times

We live in Historic times and our fascination of everything from a bygone era has never been greater. The motorsport world is no exception. The fastest growing form of motorsport in Europe is historic racing. The number of events is increasing and so are the numbers of people watching it. Nearly every track in Europe now hosts a retro-classic race weekend. The 2020 calendar is almost full, but not all events are the same. So which events should you be visiting in the next 12 months? Here we take a look at some of Europe’s best historic motorsport events and suggest which ones are worth a visit.

Historic Motorsport

Le Mans Classic, 2nd – 5th July 2020
The Le Mans Classic only takes place every other year, so it is important not to miss out. 2020 will see the 10th running of the Le Mans Classic. This Le Mans retrospective has always seen cars from 1923 to 1979 take to the famous circuit. This has now been updated to include Group C cars and Endurance Racing Legends, bringing the cars through the 80s & 90’s and in to the 2000s. In addition to the competitive action on track, the Le Mans Classic boasts the largest car club gathering in Europe, and if you come to the event in your classic car, then there is the opportunity to take your car out on track to complete the full Le Mans circuit. If you only attend one historic race event in 2020, then it has to be the Le Mans Classic.

Historic Racing
Spa Classic

Spa Classic, 22nd – 25th May 2020
Described as the little sister of the Le Mans Classic, the Spa Classic is no less entertaining. If anything, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is more spectator friendly & the scenery is greener, so if you like your classic racing with a picturesque back-drop then attending the Spa Classic is a must. We really love this event and have been present since its inception. Our classic & sports car parking area is pride of place, adjacent to the F1 garages & our exclusive hospitality suite overlooks the famous Eau Rouge. The action on track may focus on the latter half of the 20th century, but the variety of sports cars, touring cars and prototypes makes for some great action on the track. A whole grid of Italian sports cars and another of 2 litre Porsches makes the Spa Classic paddock a great place to hang out.

Historic Racing
Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or

Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or, 4th – 8th June 2020
The Grand Prix of the golden age is hosted at the Dijon circuit each year. Less well-known than some of the other events, this event still has plenty to offer. A great variety of cars on track will be matched by the clubs on the infield, giving the whole weekend a relaxed atmosphere and cheerful vibe. Endurance racers, touring cars and sports cars will take to the track whilst the shopping village provides a distraction during the few quiet moments. If you like quality racing but don’t like the hustle and bustle that other circuits provide, then seek out the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or.

Historic Racing
Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix

Nurburgring Oldtimers Grand Prix, 6th – 10th August 2020
Around 600 vehicles will take to circuit in the 48th running of the Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix, next summer. This event attracts one of the largest driver entries in the world, as everyone loves to drive at the Nurburgring. Expect to see a bit of everything out on the track, from pre-war beasts to single seater Formula 1 competitors. If awards for this sort of thing were given out, then the Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix would hold multiple trophies for most welcoming paddock and there I so much to see that multiple trips are required.

Historic Racing
Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix

Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix, 4th – 7th September 2020
Set within the sand dunes of the Dutch coastline, the Zandvoort circuit boasts a spectacular location to match the action hosted on the track. Zandvoort is very spectator friendly. Not only does the circuit offer great views of the racing, but there are some great hotels within walking distance of the track. Expect to view historic Formula 1 cars and sports car on the track whilst enjoying local delicacies in the relaxed paddock. If the weather is good you could even go for a swim in the sea! Although you can drive up to Zandvoort via Calais, we recommend taking a look at the crossings from Harwich – Holland, as this cuts down the driving miles & is not so busy on the roads.

Historic Motorsport
Circuit Des Remparts

Circuit des Remparts; Angouleme, 17th – 22nd September 2020
he old walled town of Angouleme in France, will remarkably be holding the 81st running of this wonderful motoring weekend in 2020. If you love the sound of multiple classic cars, racing around the tightest of street circuits, then Angouleme has to be seen to be believed. Within the shadow of the cathedral, the historic walls (remparts) of the town reverberate to the tune of multiple Bugattis from the 1920s, classic sports cars from the 1960s and even a few Minis and Porsches from the 1970s and 80s. Away from the track there are classic car rallies, concours competitions and car displays, making staying in the town this weekend a motoring fans delight.

Historic Racing
Spa Six Hours

Spa Six Hours, 25th – 28th September 2020
The Spa Six Hours is a relaxed weekend of historic racing, that allows spectators to wander everywhere around the circuit. So open are the paddocks and garages, that it is difficult not to feel guilty as you wander among the machinery being prepared for battle. This really is an event for the drivers, that spectators have been allowed to witness. It is unique and a great event to be part of. Around 600 cars will be on the track over the weekend, with the signature race being the six hours endurance race that begins in the afternoon and continues in to the night.

Daytona Classic

Daytona Classic, 11th – 15th November 2020
The European racing season may be over, but the classic racing continues in warmer climates. The famous banks of Daytona host this retrospective look at the Rolex 24 hours over the past six decades. Witness the evolution of endurance racing six different grids compete on the track. Expect this event to focus on turbos and power, providing smells and noise of the recent past. GT and production cars will be joined by prototypes taking the 1960s Daytona experience through to present day.

All of these events are now available with Travel Destinations. Find out more about each event by following the links above. Alternatively please call our reservations team on 01707 329988 to book your place.

Speed Chills

Speed Chills joins the Travel Destinations family

Travel Destinations Ltd is pleased to confirm that the Speed Chills brand will be returning to Le Mans as part of the Travel Destinations family.

Speed Chills

Speed Chills was set up by Directors Neil Matthews & Chris Daynes to look after race fans at Le Mans, offering a comprehensive service of travel, tickets and camping offers. In recent months Neil’s work commitments away from the company, meant he was unable to devote the time he would like to Speed Chills & its customers.

Neil Matthews said “With Speed Chills, our aim was always to put the customer at the heart of everything we did and then to surround them with rock-solid administration and the best team of like-minded people we could muster to deliver a great experience. So, when the time came to pass on the baton, there was only one organisation to work with; the team at Travel Destinations. I am confident that our customers will be extremely well looked after and the spirit in which we developed the brand will be upheld.”

Richard Webb, Director at Travel Destinations, added “We have always kept good relations with Neil and the Speed Chills team, so we were delighted when Neil approached us to continue the Speed Chills brand. We see Speed Chills as a very good fit with Travel Destinations & we look forward to welcoming Speed Chills customers to Le Mans and our other events.”

Speed Chills

Initially Speed Chills customers will notice a face-lift to the Speed Chills website in the coming days and then all Speed Chills registered subscribers will receive a further update in the next week.

Your questions answered:

We usually book for Le Mans now, when can we book for Le Mans 2020?
We are open and on sale now for the Le Mans 24 Hours & the Le Mans Classic. Initial bookings are best made by telephone by calling 01707 329988. If you have already lodged a booking request with Speed Chills, that information has been passed to Travel Destinations and we will be in touch.

Can I still contact Speed Chills?
The Speed Chills brand will now be owned by Travel Destinations. Initially the Speed Chills phone number will be diverted to the Travel Destinations reservations team, who will be happy to assist.

I normally buy just my tickets through Speed Chills; can I still do this?
Of course, you can still call to purchase your tickets, ultimately these will be processed via, another member of the Travel Destinations family.

Will the Speed Chills private camping areas resume?
Speed Chills last offered private camping at Le Mans in 2018. Travel Destinations were actually the first company to offer private camping and continue to offer private camping at Porsche Curves. We hope that Speed Chills customers will enjoy their new home there. Travel Destinations also offers glamping and our Flexotel Village cabins, which will also be available to Speed Chills customers.

Were Speed Chills in financial difficulties?
No. Speed Chills were always successful, but Neil recognised that his time was being spent away from the business. By transferring the brand to Travel Destinations, Speed Chills customers will continue to receive a knowledgeable & experienced customer service.

In the past we travelled with Speed Chills to Daytona and hoped to return.
This is also no problem; Travel Destinations already have 2 very similar offers available for the Daytona 24 Hours & the Daytona Classic. We also have offers for Sebring & Bathurst. All Travel Destinations offers are available now on and will also be available to Speed Chills customers

We booked through Speed Chills because they were members of ABTA so we knew our money was safe.
Travel Destinations are also ABTA bonded. We are also members of AITO and hold an ATOL license, so you can book with confidence through Travel Destinations.

For further information or to make a booking for Le Mans or any of the other Travel Destinations packages, please call Travel Destinations directly on +44 01707 329988.

Bathurst 12 Hours

Marvel at Mount Panorama

Every big sportscar event rises and falls in prominence for various reasons throughout each decade, and at the moment one that’s most definitely on the up is the Bathurst 12 Hour. Over the past few years the quality of the grid has skyrocketed, along with its promotion and viewership. It’s a spectacular showcase of endurance racing, in a unique setting.

Mount panorama is an astonishing place to watch a motor race, steeped in history, and in terrain. If you visit Bathurst for the 12 Hour you’ll see GT cars tackling one of the world’s toughest and most technical circuits, through day and night, and from a variety of vantage points. As a spectator, you can see The Chase, the front straight, Turn 1 and the top of the Mountain. Thankfully, there’s a shuttle bus to the top of the mountain too, so you don’t spend the whole race building up the courage to tackle the ascent to the top of the circuit. Once you get there, the views are stunning, and unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else on the planet, especially as the sun rises at the start of the race, which don’t forget kicks off in the darkness early in the morning and runs through the day.

Bathurst 12 Hours

So what’s the grid like? Well, it’s now a race with a plethora of factory supported GT3 teams, from the likes of Bentley, Nissan, McLaren, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche. The driving talent is top notch too, with a combination of Europe’s finest GT drivers and V8 Supercar legends, past and present. There’s also plenty of other cars in the race, with GT4, Porsche Cup and specials making up the remaining classes.

One thing’s for sure too, that everyone on the circuit pushes hard. The Bathurst 12 Hour has seen some monumental battles between star drivers, especially recently. Only last year with McLaren’s Shane Van Gisbergen broke the circuit the lap record in Qualifying, before going on to battle through the races with numerous other star drivers on his way to victory.

Bathurst 12 Hours

The past three years in particular, have provided spectators with some of the closest and most dramatic finishes too. The nature of the Bathurst circuit is such that going a lap down isn’t as common as other places, because the traffic density is off the charts. It means we’ve seen last-lap passes for the lead, collisions in the final hour and drag races to the line, sometimes all in the same race.

If you’re heading 30 hours round the world on a plane though, you’re not likely to just turn up for the race and then head home. With Travel Destinations you can book a self-catering apartment near the circuit, hire car and hospitality along with tickets and flights. It’s certainly worth a bolt-on holiday before or after. If you love a good road trip, you’ll be in heaven too, as the drive from Sydney to Bathurst is three hours of pure driving pleasure, as you pass stunning vistas and cross the Blue Mountains.

Bathurst 12 Hours

Going to the Bathurst 12 Hour, is a trip that’s more than just going to a race, you’re going for an experience. While travelling around Europe and even to America these days can at times feel pretty ordinary, flying to Australia for a break most certainly isn’t. The Bathurst 12 Hour is about door-to-door racing, spectacular views, road trips, atmosphere and so much more. A trip to the Bathurst 12 isn’t your usual trip to go and see a motor race, it’s an adventure of a lifetime.

Bathurst 12 Hours

Join us this year in Bathurst with our accommodation and hospitality offer.

Written by Stephen Kilbey
Photography by Dailysportscar

Attritional Nurburgring 24 Hours 2015 ends with Audi win

Nurburgring 24 Hours ends with Audi win

The Nurburgring 24 Hours 2015 will be remembered both for the close finish and for the number of retirements that always kept the result in some doubt. In the end just 40 seconds separated the winning Audi from the runner-up BMW. Indeed over the last few hours the lead changed numerous times between the 2 cars, but in the end superior fuel and tyre economy saw the Audi home.

The first few hours of the race saw a number of significant retirements, including last year’s winners Phoenix Racing (Audi) and previous winners Black Falcon (Mercedes). A wet or drying circuit, with oil in places made for difficult racing conditions at times causing a high number of retirements throughout the race, including some, heartbreakingly in the last hour of the race.

The Audi R8 LMS managed a brilliant 24-hour racing debut by clinching victory at the Nürburgring. Audi only unveiled its GT3 race car ten weeks ago – now the production-based sports car impressed in a tough battle that lasted up to the last hour of the race. In the end, Audi Sport Team WRT with Christopher Mies/Nico Müller/Edward Sandström/Laurens Vanthoor (D/CH/S/B) was 40 seconds faster than the BMW Team Marc VDS.The battle for victory in the Eifel endurance race has not been as thrilling as this in a long time. During the 24 hours the lead changed 35 times – a record in the event that has been held since 1970.

After the race’s midpoint, either the number ‘28’ R8 LMS or its fiercest rival was running in front, depending on the pit stop sequence. In the end, the Belgian Audi team prevailed with a concentrated performance of its drivers and solid teamwork. Vincent Vosse’s squad and each of the four race drivers celebrated their first victory in this classic event.“This was a weekend of thrilling racing, as well as an intense and nerve-wracking one,” said Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Sincere congratulations to our winners who never lost their cool even in the face of some minor irregularities and held up to the pressure.

The whole squad of Audi Sport customer racing is happy to see the new R8 LMS instantly delivering on our promise of it being a competitive, attractive and reliable race car our customers can look forward to starting this fall.”Vincent Vosse was delighted about another success of his young team: “We’ve already won the Spa 24 Hours with Audi and now we achieved success on the Nürburgring as well. My thanks for this go to a motivated squad, four talented drivers and to Audi Sport customer racing for their solid support. We’re very happy that we can thank Audi by taking the first 24-hour victory of the new race car.”About 50 percent of the GT3 race car is based on its production counterpart it simultaneously celebrated its debut with in March at the Geneva Motor Show.

Four new Audi R8 LMS cars were on the grid of the 24-hour race. Last year’s winners Christopher Haase/Christian Mamerow/René Rast/Markus Winkelhock in car number ‘1’ of Audi Sport Team Phoenix led the race several times but were forced to retire following an accident by Christian Mamerow. The German was hospitalised for observation. In the sister car, number ‘4,’ Mike Rockenfeller spun on track due to an oil spill shortly before the race’s midpoint. He was hit by another car that was following him, causing damage to the Audi that was too severe for continuing the race.

The second race car of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT saw the checkered flag in seventh place. Accident damage had caused Pierre Kaffer (D) and his team-mates Christer Jöns (D), Nicki Thiim (DK) and Laurens Vanthoor (B) to lose three laps in the early stage. However, with good lap times, this driver quartet proved the competitiveness of the Audi R8 LMS as well.The time-tested Audi R8 LMS ultra model – the 2012 and 2014 winner of the Nürburgring 24 Hours – completed the good result. Team Twin Busch Motorsport with Dennis Busch/Marc Busch/Christiaan Frankenhout (D/D/NL) saw the finish in 11th place, followed by the Audi race experience. The Asian driver line-up of Franky Congfu Cheng/Marchy Lee/Shaun Thong/Alex Yoong (CN/HK/HK/MAL) achieved 12th place whereas the sister car retired after an accident.

Nurburgring 24 Hours 2015 Result
1 Mies/Müller/Sandström/Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS), 156 laps
2 Luhr/Martin/Palttala/Westbrook (BMW) + 40.729s
3 Dumbreck/Henzler/Imperatori/Ragginger (Porsche) – 1 lap
4 Adorf/Catsburg/Farfus/Müller (BMW) – 1 lap
5 Buurman/Al Faisal/Haupt/van Lagen (Mercedes) – 1 lap
6 Cerruti/Edwards/Keilwitz/Laser (BMW) – 3 laps
7 Jöns/Kaffer/Thiim/Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS) – 3 laps
8 Brück/Primat/Schmid/Seefried (Bentley) – 5 laps
9 Buncombe/Hoshino/Krumm/Ordonez (Nissan) – 5 laps
10 Heyer/Huff/Frommenwiler/Krognes (Mercedes) – 5 laps