Le Mans: The Kiwi Con­nec­tion

New Zealand Classic Car - - READERS' WRITES -

Icouldn’t let your cov­er­age of the great re­sult at Le Mans by the Kiwi con­tin­gent go by with­out draw­ing your at­ten­tion to the fact that there was a Le Mans in­volve­ment which bi­sects both this lat­est event and the great feats of Mclaren, Amon and Hulme in 1966.

I re­fer, of course, to the team as­sem­bled by Bill Farmer in 1996, as a re­sult of which a two­-car team was fielded at Le Mans (two Porsche GT2S) — the cars even­tu­ally fin­ish­ing se­cond and fourth in class, and 14th and 16th over­all.

Amongst the driver line-­up was our very own Greg Mur­phy, as well as fel­low Kiwi driv­ers Andy Bag­nall and Bill him­self.

I was for­tu­nate enough to be part of the pit crew, my role be­ing the re­fu­eller for one of the Porsches. It was a truly amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and one of the high­lights of my in­volve­ment with mo­tor sport over the years.

It should also be pointed out that the same team also ran a car in the 24 Hours of Day­tona race the same year and, again, I was for­tu­nate enough to fill the re­fu­elling role for this sin­gle car, Porsche GT2 en­try.

In that case, if my mem­ory serves me right, we were lead­ing our class un­til hour 16, and we ul­ti­mately with­drew as a re­sult of an en­gine fail­ure.

I just thought I would drop you a line to let you know the Kiwi Le Mans dream has more chap­ters to it than most peo­ple re­al­ize, and next year will be even bet­ter with the en­try of the Ford GTS, sig­nalling a re­turn by Ford to this great race and, hope­fully, more Ki­wis in the win­ning driver line­-up.

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