24 Hours of Le Mans

The assignment

In June 168 drivers sped around the renowned Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France, in the 83rd 24 Hour race organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest.

As one of the most popular motorsport events in the world, over 260,000 people from all corners of the globe make the annual pilgrimage to the semi-permanent race track to stay up all night watching various teams, cars and classes compete on the famous circuit.

Many are invited by the car manufacturers to the event, which is part of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship calendar, and enjoy all the action in stunning state-of-the-art temporary hospitality suites.

Neptunus was commissioned to build the VIP facilities for Aston Martin, Ford and Toyota. The two-story structures offered covered terraces allowing guests great views to witness Nico Hulkenberg become the first active Formula 1 driver to win Le Mans for 24 years as he partnered England's Nick Tandy to victory in a Porsche.

The solution

Within just two weeks Neptunus’ technicians installed the hospitality structures for the three teams.

Requiring a smaller but a dramatic change in appearance from 2014, Toyota commissioned an Evolution II structure with a covered terrace to create 450 square metres of VIP hospitality space on two levels. The clever addition of a sleek canopy held by metal bars, created an impressive entrance while two Alu-halls formed catering and storage facilities.

An ‘Evolution’ structure was also the solution for Ford. With its high-tech modern appearance, the clean lines offered excellent branding opportunities for the manufacturer. A 120m Alu-hall for catering completed the project.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin commissioned a two-story Alu-hall structure with a full width canopy of 20 metres.  Glass panels on the terrace and balcony were used to stunning effect while two smaller Mercury and Apollo structures created storage and catering facilities.

The challenges

There are many strength and stability considerations when building two-story structures. By laying more consistent anchor stakes, Neptunus was able to brace and secure the high-end facilities. Laying PVC above the terraces, created a weather-proof solution to allow guests to enjoy the racing action come rain or shine.

Against a tight timeframe Neptunus had to think outside of the box to secure the Ford structure.  During the build numerous adjustments had to made as it featured an interior first floor mezzanine that was larger than the ground floor, creating a porch with great views of the racing vehicles.

The verdict

Thanks to the quick installation times, large clear spans, high quality appearance and mezzanine floors, Neptunus was able to meet all of the requirements that the scale of this type of prestigious event deserves.  Afterwards, Neptunus dismantled the structures and returned all the components to its warehouses for future use.

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