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Thrills and Spills at Le Mans Legends

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In weather which switched rapidly between heavy rain and bright sunshine, a most exciting historic race took place on the morning of this year’s 24-hour modern endurance event.

The Le Mans Legend 2007 was finally won by Shaun Lynn in his Ford GT40, having come from 57th place on the grid to carve his way through the entire field and snatch victory from the superbly-driven Ferrari 250LM of Peter Hardman.

In third place was the Ferrari P3 of Nicky Leventis, who also drove a magnificent race, constantly taking and re-taking third place from a very determined Richard Meins in his GT40. On the penultimate lap, Meins attempted a daring manoeuvre on Leventis at the entry to the Ford Chicane but ended up crossing the gravel trap and hitting a small bank of sand. The red GT40 took off as it hit the sand, all four wheels in the air, and came down hard enough to throw open the doors before Meins rejoined the circuit and continued the race.

Fifth place overall and first in class was taken by Tony Dron in his Ferrari 330LMB – an outstanding result given that this 1963 front-engined Ferrari was the only car in the top 10 finishers not in the quickest class, Class 6. Other class winners included David and James Cottingham in their Ferrari 500 TRC; Tony Pickering’s Jaguar D-type, driven by his son, modern Le Mans driver Gavin Pickering and Spencer Marsh; Jos Koster and Michiel Van Duijvendijk in their Porsche 904; the Renault A210 of Henri Stepak and Francois Bourdin; and the Lola MkI of Robin Longdon.

Notably, both the 1959 Le Mans-winning Aston Martin DBR1, and the DBR1 which finished second that year, were in the Le Mans Legend race. It’s thought that this is the first time they have raced together at Le Mans since they were there in period. This time, however, the result was reversed as the ’59 winner – driven by Dr Ulrich Bez, Chief Executive of Aston Martin, and Sir Stirling Moss – was pipped to the post by owner Adrian Beecroft in his DBR1. It was Beecroft’s first drive at Le Mans, and certainly one to remember.






 

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Octane Magazine

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