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Thornley Kelham supported Duncan Arthurs’ Lancia Aurelia Series 1 at Le Mans over the weekend of 22ndand 23rd June.
The car competed in the Legends race for 1949-1965 Le Mans cars, a 45 minute race run just before the start of the legendary 24 hr event. The car was driven on this occasion by professional driver Richard Hope and once timed practice started, it quickly became apparent that we wouldn’t be breaking any records!
Just before the start of the race the rain began to fall which livened up the proceedings no end. Alex Buncombe in the 1959 Lister Costin soon pulled out a clear lead despite having a number of “moments” in the deteriorating conditions. There was a furious four way battle for second place which eventually fell to Jon Minshaw in the 1959 Lister Jaguar Knobbly. Meanwhile Richard maintained a steady pace in the Aurelia to bring the car home safely to the relief of Duncan and his wife Barbara who had flown in to watch the race.
The Lancia ran faultlessly over the whole event with only a tyre pressure and level check needed at the pit stop.
We were rewarded at the prize giving with a trophy for second in class. Richard also received a special award for the driver of the slowest car on the Mulsanne straight!
Photos by Paul Woodward