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Driver trio get the Le Mans nod; motorsport.

Byline: BRUCE BOOTH

ON the back of their superb showing last year, Scottish race team Scuderia Ecosse are sticking with the same driver line-up for this year's Le Mans 24-Hour event.

Andrew Kirkaldy, Chris Niarchos and Tim Mullen, who piloted their Ferrari 430 to a fabulous third place last year, get the chance to go even better in two weeks' time.

However, the competition could prove even tougher than before with no fewer than five similar Ferrari 430s challenging for honours but, as usual, the team are well-prepared and confident that with better luck they can improve.

"We have more competition from rival Ferrari teams this year, but we are more than ready to take them on," said Ecosse team principal Stewart Roden.

"During the two Le Mans 24 Hours we have entered so far we have learnt that there's a lot more to this race than just going flat out. All-out speed does not win Le Mans.

"We've learnt that we need all of our drivers to be a 'safe pair of hands' and we've learnt that the strategy evolves as the race enters each new hour.

"I've got a great team, a great car and three top drivers, and none of us can wait to get stuck into our favourite race of the year."

The team join the other 54 entries this weekend for this Sunday's test day, when teams and drivers get their only opportunity to prepare for the race over the closed-off public roads that make up part of the circuit.

FISKENS, the London-based dealers of historic cars, are to co-sponsor the Legend Race, which will form part of the support package at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

The company, founded by Forfar-born sports car racer Gregor Fisken, are internationally-recognised as the leading dealer of fine historic automobiles, and will offer their support to the spectacular race which take place on Saturday, June 16, just prior to the start of the famous 24-hour race proper.

Organised by Motor Racing Legends, the Le Mans Legend Race will this year see a huge grid of 61 of the greatest sports racing cars of all time battling it out across seven classes in an hour-long race over the famous French track.

Eligible cars cover a period of 12 years from 1956-68, and the variety of genuine Le Mans and Le Mans-type cars is unsurpassed.

Highlights include a trio of Ford GT40s, ex-Formula 3000 racer Kurt Mollekens in an Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 and historic race ace Peter Hardman in a Ferrari P3, all of whom should be in the mix fighting it out for top honours.

Modern racers Gavin Pickering (Jaguar D-type) and former Touring Car and Formula 3 driver Michael Bentwood (Aston Martin DB4 GT) will have their own battle in Class 2, while British GT drivers Oliver Bryant (AC Cobra) and Matt Harris (Lotus XI) will be making their Le Mans debuts.

Motor Racing Legends chairman Duncan Wiltshire said: "We are thrilled to have Fiskens involved in what should be a truly fantastic event.

"It has proved really tough to select the 61 car grid from the 100- plus top-quality entries we received."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:528
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