So we're into the last 5 hours, and the night's survivors are hanging in there - some better than others!
Audi No 1 (Biela) leads following the early morning demise of McNish's No.2, when a wheelnut released, launching Capello into the wall. 2nd is no 7 - Jaques Villeneuve's Peugeot 4.5 laps behind.
In GT1 - the Corvette No.63 of Magnusson is chasing the Aston 009 of David Brabham for class honours, with less than 1 lap between them. 3rd is Larbre Aston 008 and Aston 007 is 4th after an off by Johnny Herbert.
In LMP2, the Lola Zytek No.31 car leads - huge attrition in this class means that there are effectively only two runners.
In GT2 - Repairs to 76 Porsche have delayed it, but is it still leading from No.99 Ferrari and No.93 Porsche
The No.82 Panoz is still running but out of contention, down in 5th
Well, thrills and spills all round in the first six hours - more than I can keep up with updating here without it becoming a full time job!! But, the rain early on took out the No 3 Audi at Tetre Rouge, leading to a safety car whilst the barrier was replaced (wish our motorway maintenance guys were so quick!) - this led to a chaos of pitstops and tyre changes, but since then, some stability (and attrition) is starting to happen, and the race is taking shape.
Time 1400 (EUR) -1hr The buildup to the 75th 24 Heures du Mans is well underway, the grid is filling up with the start in 1 hour - 3pm European time (2pm uk). Weather conditions here can best be described as changeable - high winds, and alternate bright sunshine and heavy rainshowers. The stage is therefore set for a great race - a number of battles are eagerly awaited - in particular between the diesel powered Peugeots and Audi in LMP1 and between the Corvettes and Aston Martins in LMGT1. In the support 'Le Mans Legends' races, Daniel Nash and Kingsley Martin acquitted themselves well in the Le Mans Grantura - more on that later. I will aim to keep you updated with the action as we go through the 24 hours - technology permitting!
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Daniel Nash and Kingsley Martin today again raced their Grantura at Le Mans. The car that is a veteran of the 1962 Le Mans 24 hr race, and the 2006 Le Mans classic, scored another successful finish at Le Mans.
They went from a grid position of 55th to 41st - and were dicing (cruelly held up by) a Corvette 275 and Project DB2 Aston. Daniel was also treated to a front-row seat for a Healey 3000 spinning in front of him on the first Mulsanne chicane - 'carrying 10 mph more than a TVR into chicane braking zone just isn't sensible'!
The damp conditions with cross-ply tyres meant the going was a little slippery, but the car went (in Kingsley's words) "like an absolute dream". Dan elaborated that it went like "A Hawaiian tropic girl on a trawler in a force 9 gale". Someone needs to explain that one to me!.. More seriously, he said the car was a credit to Ian Massey-Crosse together with Don & Scott at Radford Racing who had set the car up,
Snetterton this weekend sees the first 20 car TVR grid since the Tuscan Challenge was combined with the TVRCC Challenge Cup last season, and probably the first time that 20 TVRs have lined up on the starting grid in any race for at least four or five years. It promises to be a great race with no less than three of the awesomely quick V8 Sagaris starting, along with the debut of the 6.0litre Chevy powered Tuscan of John Sampson and T350c of Cliff Jobson.
Qualifying starts at 10:05 with Race One at 14:50 and Race Two at 17:10. The weather's looking good with a forecast of partly cloudy and a high of 20 degrees so why not get along to Snetterton and cheer on your favourite driver. Will Tim Hood dominate again? Will Class C Sam Head maintain his 100% success rate?
Following on from last month's interview in TVR Sprint magazine, the TVR Car Club is pleased to announce that Mr Al Melling of Melling Consultancy Design, designer of the AJP8, Speed 12 and Speed 6 engines, has kindly agreed to present a seminar to TVRCC members and TVR enthusiasts entitled "The AJP and Speed Six Engines" at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Friday 3rd August.
This seminar is open to both TVRCC members and non-members alike.
With just three days remaining now until the start of the "Greatest Race on Earth", the report from our correspondent on Houx campsite is that it is starting to rapidly fill up with TVRs. We are pleased to report that all of the Club's charity cyclists made it to Le Mans in one piece having cycled from Corfe Muullen to Poole and then from Cherbourg to the circuit itself. They are once again raising money for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
If you haven't yet left for Le Mans but are travelling tomorrow or friday, have a safe journey. And don't forget to give Daviel Nash in the 1962 Le Mans Grantura a big cheer in the legends race on Saturday morning.
There's another petition now on the Downing Street website that ALL classic car owners need to sign, not that we expect the Government to take a blind bit of notice. The last Conservative Government introduced a rolling tax exemption for classic cars when they reached 25 years old. Unfortunately, one of the first actions of the current administration was to freeze that at 1 Jan 1973. The call now is for that exemption to be made rolling again.
So, if you would like to restore the tax exemption to all classic cars once they reach 25 years old, and remember that proportionally wise, there are probably more 25 year old TVRs still in existence in relation to the numbers produced than virtually any other make,
Many race fans will know that the racing at Le Mans on the Saturday morning can often be far more exciting to watch than the later and longer race that follows. And what's more, unlike the main race where once again this year there sadly is no TVR to cheer for, we are pleased to confirm that Daniel Nash will be there in the Legends race in the 1962 Le Mans Grantura.
Daniel is in Class 3 which is for cars built between 1961-1964 - 2000cc and Below and is up against a Porsche 904, two MGBs, an Alfa TZ1, an Elva GT160 and Lotus Elan although the front runners are expected to be the Class 6 GT40s and Ferraris. The full list of competitors is here.
The Legends race starts at 10.15 so plenty of time for breakfast first and still time to find the perfect vantage point. A good place to watch is the Ford chicane where lots of cars get out of shape and there are lots of lurid slides as the cars accelerate out of the last bend onto the start-finish straight.
Tim Hood took the chequered flag in both races today at Pembrey in his Sagaris V8. In the first race he lead home fellow Sagaris pilot Steve Glynn in his first race in the new car by over half a lap with class A Tasmin driver Steve Hall in 3rd. In the second, shortened race after a restart, the runner's up position on the podium was taken by Dean Cook ahead of Hugh Marshall, both driving Tuscans.
With many regulars missing this round, Class B honours in both races were taken by new boy to the championship TVRCC Track Day co-ordinator Andy Race in the Monster Griffith whilst Class C was won by current series leader Sam Head in a Tasmin.
The TVRCC would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Andy Holding and Darren Dowling whose Tuscan finished third overall podium place and first in GT3 class at yesterday's Silverstone GT 90s revival.
After a superb start in the first race on Saturday and a huge dice with 2 Porsche GT2 cars over third place, Andy's engine failed which resulted in an overnight engine change for Team Holden. Nevertheless, they certainly held TVR honours high against Ferraris, Porsches Stealths, Venturis , Marcos and Lotus.
The second TVR, of Steve Glynn and Tim Hood driving Steve's Tuscan also had a great weekend after a torrid time with reliability during practice whch meant that they had no free practice at all. Despite this, they finished 5th overall in both races taking GT3 class honours on Saturday and finishing 3rd in class on Sunday. Congratulations to all concerned. Remember that you can see most of these drivers in the TVRCC Challenge Cup, the next round of which is this coming weekend at Pembrey.
TVR Power is now giving a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty on all Speed 6 engine rebuilds carried out at their Bedworth Road workshops. Managing Director Dom Trickett told the TVR Car Club: "We are now completely happy with the reliability of our Speed 6 engine rebuilds and as long as the engine is subsequently serviced at a TVR main dealer or a TVR Power authorised independent service centre, then we are happy to give a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty on all our Speed 6 builds"
As well as the 2 year Speed 6 rebuild warranty, Power are also offering a full 12 month warranty on all OEM Speed 6 parts purchased from them. For further information call TVR Power on 024 7636 6177 or email Dominic
It is with deep sadness that I announce that the founder and former president of the TVR Car Club North America, Marq J. Ruben, passed away this morning, following a battle with lung cancer.
Marq had many close ties over the years with the TVRCC in England and founded the North American club in 1981, serving as its president for 20 years before retiring from the post in 2001 when current president Marshall Moore stepped into the position. Marq also served as the North American liaison for the UK club for most of those years and frequently visited 'across the pond' and had many TVR friends over there.
Marq Ruben will be missed.
Marshall Moore President TVRCCNA
Members will recall that following the February sale of Blackpool Automaotive by the administrators PKF Ltd, back to Nikolai Smolenski, the Transport & General Workers Union, in conjunction with the Member of Parliament for Blackpool North & Fleetwood, Joan Humble MP, called on the DTI for a Government investigation into the sale. The T&GWU; claimed that Mr Smolenski's position as TVR's main creditor gave him an unfair advantage over other bidders.
The TVRCC has this afternoon received confirmation from two independent sources, one of which is the T&GWU; itself, that a DTI minister has indeed agreed to this investigation.
Since this news first broke earlier today we have now received the full press release which reads:
The 2007 TVR Car Club Challenge Cup/Dunlop Tuscan Challenge kicks off this Saturday where the 2006 competition finished with a double header at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Will TVRCC Competition Secretary and current series champion Graham Walden begin this season with the same consistency that he showed all through 2006, or will he succumb to the power and might of the stunning new Sagaris V8s that have been testing through the winter?
Many of last years stars have changed cars and moved up a class including our own TVR Sprint Deputy Editor Howard Bryan who moves from Class C where he took class honours last year in his Tasmin and this year will pilot a Tuscan. We hope to have the full list of competitors for this year's competition on the Motorsport Page in the Members' Area soon - 26 are registered so far - but in the meantime we have the timings for this Saturday for those who are planning to cheer on their favourite drivers.
Qualifying is from 0910 until 0925. Race one is due to start at 1300 and race two at 1615. So come on, get along to Oulton and let's get our support behind the TVRCC Challenge Cup drivers.
This weekend sees the first round of the 2007 TVRCC Speed Championship which starts on Sunday at North Weald Airfield, Essex.
Organised by the Borough 19 Motor Club, North Weald in March is going to be cold - especially noting the forecast of possible snow showers for the eastern half of UK for this weekend - but the Speed Championship always have a good turnout at this one. First practice stars at 0915.
Please note though that this is a non-spectator event although it may be possible to gain access by arrangement - please contact series coordinator Steve Cox if interested in attending.
For more details about the Speed Championship, click here
Don't forget that the TVRCC's Annual General Meeting takes place next Saturday, 24 March, at the National Heritage Motor Museum at Gaydon starting at 1200 noon. Everyone should have received their voting forms by now with their March issue of TVR Sprint - any member who has not received one should contact the Club Office.
Please remember that this is your chance to have your say in how the Club is run. If you can't attend in person, please ensure that the form is returned to the Secretary.
The following press release has been received today from PKF (UK) Ltd, the Administrators of Blackpool Automotive:
Blackpool Automotive Limited in Administration
PKF Partners and Joint Administrators of Blackpool Automotive Limited yesterday evening completed the sale of the main assets of the company for an undisclosed sum to a company controlled by Nikolai Smolensky.
The sale included the TVR trademarks, certain vehicle stock, work-in-progress, and the manufacturing plant and equipment.
In a statement, joint administrators Philip Long, Kerry Bailey and Matthew Gibson said:
"Having advertised the assets of the company to the open market, we are confident we have achieved the best possible price in the circumstances and we are now looking to return money to the creditors as quickly as possible.
While we had a significant number of companies expressing an interest, four demonstrated they had the funds required to enter a bidding process. Ultimately, Mr Smolensky's company came in with the highest offer."
The TVR Car Club