Back in November 2016 we reunited the car with the driver who made the car famous Gerard Larrousse. But at that time the car had it’s show engine and was only being driven around an airfield for film and magazine uses.
At the time Gerard was ever so keen to get the car back on track and racing again and it was agreed that we would. Roll on 18 months and we finally made it happen.
We decided to take the car to Dijon, a place where the car actually raced on the 1970 Tour de France (at the airfield rather than the Prenois circuit). So after nearly a 10 year restoration and a number of Concours events it was great to have the car and driver back where they belonged on the race track. We were running the car in the Classic Endurance Racing grid, racing against much larger capacity cars in the GT class but that didn’t bother us.
We had Olly Bryant driving with Gerard and both thought the car was great to drive especially as it was straight out of the box. In qualifying we managed to out qualify some of the larger engined RSR’s which was our aim for the weekend. So that was great.
It was decided that Gerard would start and hand over to Olly before the half way stage. The race started well with Gerard making a great start and holding position. At the pitstop he handed over to Olly with nothing to report back, so out Olly went. Olly began to gain on some of the cars above him in the class and make up places. It was looking very promising with a top 5 class finish on the cards. Then with 4 minutes to go disaster struck. There was a disconcerting noice coming from the engine so Olly stopped and switched it off. It turns out there was a problem with one of the cam shafts and the hardening process in manufacturing hadn’t been done properly. A great shame but something that couldn’t have been avaioded and no major damage was done.
Anyway it was a real pleasure to have Gerard back in the car and to run the car for a real legend of the sport in a car that he raced in period. A great credit to the team when a Le Mans winner says the car was so well prepared and such a joy to drive. “Even better than it was in 1970”