Le Mans Trip 2001

Le Mans 24 Hours Race 2001 p>The 2001 trip to Le Mans was attended by 4 Cars :-

  • Car one was Adrian Barrett’s Beetle powered Fugitive 2, with John Dingley as the passenger.
  • Car two was my (Paul Freeman) 2lt Fiat twin cam Fugitive 4, with 1 passenger.
  • Car three was club members Darryl and Dave in a just put back on the road Rotrax.
  • Car four was Adrian’s friend Andrew Mant passenger in a Caterham.

Having had brilliant sunshine on the previous 2 years this trip came as a bit of as shock when the weather took a turn for the worse. The Caterham being the only car with weather protection we set of on a very wet evening to catch the ferry.

Adrian Barrett kindly did a report on the trip which can be found after the photos

The thumbnails below lead to some photos from this year complete with a few comments, thanks to those who provided the originals.

Fugitive Owners Club AGM 2001 14th -18th June – AKA the annual Le Mans trip


  • Paul Freeman and Wayne Cakebread (Fiat 2lt Fugitive)
  • Daz Stevens and Dave (Ford Rotrax)
  • Adrian Barrett and John Dingley (VW Fugitive)
  • Andrew Mant and Paul (Caterham 7)


Thursday 14th June
Meet at AB’s during evening
Travel to Poole to 23:00 ferry to Cherbourg
Drink Beer

Friday 15th June
Travel from Cherbourg to Le Mans
Set up Camp
Attend it land walkabout
Drink beer

Saturday 16th June
Watch start of race
Drink beer

Sunday 17th June
Watch end of race
Shout “Bentley, Bentley, Bentley”
Drink beer

Monday 18th June
Travel to Cherbourg for 19:00 ferry to Poole



  • DS requests action on AB to source points, rotor arm, brake bleed kit, oil, oil filter and oil pump for 1983 Pinto engine, AB completes with exception of oil pump.
  • 2 Fugitives and one Rotrax leave AB’s place (Bishopstoke) and proceed to Rownhams Services to meet AM and P in the Caterham, meteorologists note: weather pissing down.
  • DS makes request for coffee stop.
  • Fuel bought, proceed to Poole. AB warned over driving standards on wet roundabouts, it is not required to “hang the tail out” at every opportunity, copy cat behaviour nearly causes Fiat Fugitive to be collected by Caterham.
  • On arrival at Poole Rotrax is sounding sick. WC observes bats, all other attendees can only see seagulls: meteorologist note: weather dry.
  • Brittany Ferries, okay but not as acceptable as Brittany Spears, action on AB to book cabins next year not reclining seats. Beer consumed.


  • Arrive Cherbourg, Rotrax not going further without surgery, AB and JD despatched to find Ford dealer. Dealer located but no oil pump, other suppliers also out of stock. Rotrax abandoned and Fiat Punto hired.
  • Impromptu “stuff the Punto full of gear” game held in Cherbourg ferry port. PF declared winner as more of his kit if in Punto than anybody else’s.
  • DS makes request for coffee stop.
  • During journey to Le Mans AB runs out of gas but manages to coast VW Fugitive for over one kilometre to a lay by, restarting delayed as JD has kicked off battery terminal with foot. PF would like committee to consider if running out of fuel to be considered a breakdown in 2002.
  • Meteorologists note: weather was okay in Cherbourg but closer to Le Mans it starts to piss down, JD and AB resolve that next time it starts raining whilst on the move approved course of action is to stop and dress in waterproofs.
  • The committee once again commends McDonalds at Alencon for their service and good humour.
  • However the committee would like to know just what the fuck is going on with the roadwork’s on the Alencon ring road, it should be noted that Alencon is twinned with Basingstoke – enough said ?
  • AB warned over driving standards, it is not required to run over the curbs at every opportunity on French roundabouts, nor is every traffic cone a target, when over taking PF at least a six inch buffer zone around his car should be honoured, and when leading the convoy to a roundabout at high speed, please be in the appropriate lane in plenty of time to avoid the situation that occurred in Bayeux.
  • DS makes numerous requests for coffee stops.
  • Arrival at Houx Annex at several different times due to stopping for supplies and losing the Caterham on the Le Mans ring road. All present and correct – camp erected.
  • Evening meal of BBQ’d supermarket fare. Much Beer consumed.
  • Expedition to Fun Fair mounted. Carried beer stocks consumed, further purchases made on route. Meteorologists note: pissing down, although with hindsight it should be noted that we ain’t seen nothing yet.
  • Annual pointing out of sign on dodgems explaining that the owners are not responsible if you are stolen causes much amusement..


  • Expedition to Supermarket in Arnage mounted, considered success.
  • Advanced Party of AB, JD, AM and P set up observation post on pit straight. Metrologist notes, occasional pissing down.
  • Pit straight activities include Le Mans style start with Gulf Porsche 917, noted that AB can now die happy.
  • Impromptu sneeze whilst eating cereal bar due to intense hunger results in back of Frenchman stood immediately in front of AB becoming pebble dashed, committee accept that giggling like school girls under these circumstances is acceptable.
  • Hawianan Tropic girls, committee agree that we have had them all and their sisters.
  • Race kicks off at 4pm. Rains over at Arnage and Indianapolis soon after causes a good deal of carnage, dry on pit straight for a while. Meteorologists note, this is proper rain, definition of pissing down reassigned up the scale by a factor of 4.
  • Race continues through wet and dry periods including brief spell of Brundle leading in a Bentley!
  • Meteorologists note: Thunder storm experienced at 8pm should cause definition of pissing down to be revised up the scale by a factor of 16. Shelter sought in tent for much of evening, most tents leaking. Rain that left flooding on Houx Annex on the Friday evening in 1998 is now officially reclassed as “girls rain.”
  • Midnight, dark no rain, track expedition mounted. Hot food and cold beer consumed at Tetre Rouge, fair ground reviewed again, strip show not as good as previous years, committee agreed to check again next year to see if quality is improving.
  • Bar on in-field just past pit exit subject to spot check by the committee. Meteorologists note: weather a tad moist, although until the re categorisation of rains at the start of the race this would have been pissing down. On second pint AB suffers serious sense of humour failure (it wasn’t even his round) and retires for the night.


  • Meteorologists note: Day generally drier and brighter than Saturday, committee cannot recall much about the events of the day until 4pm, when we managed to be right under the podium when the Bentley Boys appeared in leather flying helmets celebrating their third place, behind a couple of Audi’s. In fit of patriotism AB paid £22 for Bentley Tee Shirt.
  • Expedition mounted to restaurant in Arnage, set menu ordered and waitresses all noted as stunning, although some confusion amongst the committee over whom they most want to shag. Unanimous decision to revisit same restaurant next year.
  • More beer consumed.
  • Impromptu drag race between VW and Fiat Fugitives on road outside Houx Annex. PF warned over driving standards, normally in drag racing it is traditional to wait so the go signal before pissing off up the road at a rate of knots. Due to this AB awarded win.
  • Remaining beer and anything else drinkable consumed.
  • AB and WC carry out secret operation to remove track sign from under the nose of security guard, eventually give up and security guard gives them the sign anyway.


  • Camp packed away whilst French gypsies circulate, stuffed toy dog left by other Brits is rescued by Paul, decision cannot be reached on who’s vehicle it should travel in so DS decapitates the hound and tapes it heads to the front of the VW Fugitive.
  • Adjustments made to front wheel bearing of Fiat Fugitive (again!).
  • DS makes request for coffee stop.
  • Whilst on Alencon ring road diversion the Fiat Fugitive stops with no electric’s, VW Fugitive tows it off motorway to local garage, PF is convinced the problem is ECU, DS replaces master fuse and car starts. Clutch in VW Fugitive slipping under heavy towing load. Whilst on motorway DS dismantles diversion sign to rescue “Le Mans” part of the sign which is tapped to roll bar of VW Fugitive. Dog’s head ejected so as “not to look too conspicuous.
  • At Argentan PF warned for driving standards, it is not appropriate to go for a gap in traffic when the Caterham in front of you hasn’t. Damage, but no real harm, done. DS replaces PF in Fiat Fugitive, PF admits to “not having a good day.”
  • Now late for ferry, DS makes numerous requests for coffee stops.
  • Near Bayeux VW Fugitive runs out of fuel, topped up from PF spare can, proper fuel stop made just after Bayeux, DS consumes petrol station coffee and is appeased briefly. PF again asks for breakdown status to be applied.
  • Noted that it is now 45 minutes until ferry check in with 60 miles to go.
  • AM in Caterham leads and overtakes member of the local Gendamrie at about 80 miles (not kilometres) per hour, not really a problem but VW Fugitive about 6 feet behind it and Fiat Fugitive and Punto about the same distance back probably looks a bit suspect, commitee agree that under the circumstances this was acceptable behaviour.
  • At Cherbourg Fiat Punto unloaded onto Fugitive’s and Fiat Fugitive despatched to tow Rotrax onto Ferry. Caterham has raced ahead and AM and P and already eating in restaurant on board. VW Fugitive last vehicle to be loaded onto top car deck and Fiat Fugitive (w. Rotrax in tow) is last on lower deck, committee agree that this was display of good planning and perfect timing and luck had nothing to do with it.
  • Ferry Arrives Poole approx 23:00 hours, Caterham goes ahead whilst Fugitives and Rotrax sort out luggage. AA called to tow Rotrax from Poole to somewhere near Middlesborough!
  • PF doesn’t feel front wheel bearing would make journey back to Dartford so elects to spend night at AB’s place, AB asks that this preventative stop be classed as a breakdown.
  • Here end the official minutes of the 2001 AGM of the Fugitive owners club.