The TVR Car Club sponsored Mk III Grantura driven by Phil Hooper and Malcolm Wood has successfully completed all 3 of its allocated races in this year’s Le Mans Classic, making it a famous double for TVR at the La Sarthe circuit following the success last month by the Synergy Motorsport team.
The Le Mans Classic is open to cars that have a Le Mans pedigree and this year had 366 entries with cars ranging from 1923 to 1978. Phil’s Grantura is in Class 4, covering entries from 1962 to 1965, which as Le Mans aficionados will know was the period of the Ford GT40, Ferrari 275GTB and a host of other extremely quick sports cars.
The first race, in the early evening on Saturday, showed the car performing well up against the much quicker opposition and Phil and Malcolm finished in 48th position having completed 6 laps in 53 minutes 12 seconds, 2 laps down on the Class leaders Chiles/Ingram driving a GT40. However, the rules for the Classic Le Mans are very complicated and an adjustment is made depending upon power output of the engine etc, and this lifted the Grantura to 35th in class.
Their second race was in the dark and this time the result was a little more disappointing with the car only completing 3 laps but nonetheless, the pace was telling on all the cars in class and thus the we still finished a creditable 50th, 3 laps down on the class leader Ray Bellm. This time the compensation was not as favourable lifting the Grantura just one position but in the final race on Sunday morning, the car performed extremely well and it finished in 44th position, 3 laps down on race leader Ray Bellm who managed to lap every other car in the race). Again when the adjustment was made, it lifted the Grantura to 34th in class and Bellm dropped to 4th, trailing the eventual race winner Frers Klaus in a Porsche 904 by some 6 minutes.
We would all like to offer our congratulations to Phil, Malcolm and the team for putting in such a sterling effort in completing this challenge. The full report will appear in Sprint.