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

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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."

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