The Le Mans racer that turned an underdog's dream into reality
Autosport Plus
WEC News

The Le Mans racer that turned an underdog's dream into reality

By:

Fifteen years ago, a privateer with little international pedigree led Le Mans in this Dallara. To mark the last hurrah of LMP1 cars at the 24 Hours, Autosport went along to see it blow off the cobwebs at Silverstone

"As I came into the final chicane, the helicopter was up in front of me and I thought we must be close to the leader," remembers Martin Short of his greatest moment in a racing car - although he didn't realise it at the time. "On the Mulsanne, I could see an Audi chomping at the bit in my mirrors, so I made it easy for him. Into the second chicane I let Stephane Ortelli through, but little did I know I'd been in the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

"The ORECA Audi had pitted and was on its out-lap. Either the radio didn't work or the guys didn't tell me in case I did something stupid, but I had no idea. At the end of my stint I came into the pitlane and all I could see was a whole phalanx of cameras and film crews. What's going on? You've only just bloody led Le Mans! It was just phenomenal."

shares
comments
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear Plus

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts Plus

Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts

The Japanese manufacturer is celebrating its 100th world championship prototype start in this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
WEC unveils condensed 2021 race calendar

Previous article

WEC unveils condensed 2021 race calendar

Next article

ByKolles reveals 2021 Le Mans Hypercar design

ByKolles reveals 2021 Le Mans Hypercar design
Load comments