What is Club Arnage?
Club Arnage is an extended group of race fans from all over the globe who love the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and many of whom visit the Sarthe region of France each June to attend the most famous race in the world. The Club Arnage website is a 'not for profit' enterprise and is funded through the generosity of race fans. The 'Club' has no conventional membership list or membership fee, you just sign up as a forum user and get involved. The aim of the club is to make the Le Mans 24 hours experience better for everyone; race fans, competitors, organizers and media.
The forum pages have become a social hub, particularly for British racegoers, and several groups use it to organize their race-week activities, as well as social gatherings back home in the UK. It is also a great repository of knowledge and experience, and an important asset for first timers.
The guide is widely known as an indispensable resource for both 'newbies' and veterans. During the early years of Club Arnage it was one of the few comprehensive on-line sources of information on the race (it pre-dates the official ACO web site) and is probably the longest established, continuously operating website dedicated to the 24 hours of Le Mans. The guide is produced annually as a co-operative effort by forum regulars, and assembled into a printable guide by Werner Kirchmann. A small donation is requested for each download that goes to selected charities (currently the Association of International Cancer Research, and the Motorsport Safety Fund).
During the first few years of Club Arnage, the site's news pages were active during race week and we provided race reports at regular intervals during the 24 hours. For reasons detailed below, that service was moved away from the CA site, to be replaced by a more light-hearted and personal race diary in the form of the 'Club Arnage Blog'.
The Club Arnage website was created in 1995 by Dave Davies as a way to help first time visitors to the 24 Hours, and to publish news items regarding the race and related series. The site contained valuable information and advice and was immediately popular. In 1996 the site gained a 'visitors book' page that grew gradually into the fully fledged forum that is still active today. The on-line guide function of Club Arnage has evolved into an annual web publication; “Le Mans (not just) for Dummies - The Club Arnage Guide to the 24 hours of Le Mans” since 2007. The annual race week news coverage has also evolved, and the small editorial team that covered the race on Club Arnage up to 2003, were asked by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) to provide content for the official ACO website. Thus the news coverage on CA was reduced considerably at that point as our efforts were redirected towards 'lemans.org'. We have however kept the Club Arnage race week reports alive in the form of “Jox Jottings” provided by the inimitable Jock Simpson.