Peninsula TVR – Getting Ready For 2006

As our feature on the TVR T400R revealed recently, there is but one of the Blackpool-manufactured GT cars being prepared for a full season’s racing in 2006 – that of John Hartshorne, which has run under the Racesports banner throughout its Le Mans Series career to date. Here we introduce the restructured team, and look ahead to the 2006 season to come.

“It’s been a very busy off-season,” explains John Hartshorne – he of west country TVR dealership renown (Peninsula TVR, at Aylesbeare, near Exeter). “Wednesday (March 22) was pencilled in to shake the rebuilt car down at Snetterton, prior to what should be an important couple of days testing at Paul Ricard on Sunday and Monday.

“Work over the winter has been focused on making the TVR both lighter and more reliable – although reliability has always been one of our strong points. We’re always looking for more speed of course, but with Nigel Greensall on board, we’ve got a new attitude to development and set-up.”

Nigel Greensall is of course massively experienced in a huge variety of cars, but has a considerable TVR T400R pedigree too.

“Nigel will be with us at Paul Ricard, along with Richard Stanton – and Iain Dockerill on the second day. We haven’t committed to a driver line-up for Istanbul yet, but we’re not exactly short of drivers, which is a nice position to be in. We're looking forward to returning to the High Tech Test Track.

“Other than a little more speed, our objective for the season is to cover as much ground as we can – which is the task in hand at Paul Ricard.

"We’ve only missed one of the Le Mans Series races (out of nine), and that was Monza last year.

" We were committed to take the car to Goodwood, and it was too huge a task for us to be ready for Monza, so soon after Goodwood and Le Mans.”

The eight LM(E)S races have produced a sequence of results for John Hartshorne’s car that would be the envy of many a team. 2004 saw an impressive ninth, eighth, seventh sequence at Monza, Nurburging and Silverstone, with the car’s only DNF coming in the last race at Spa.

2005 began with two sevenths (Spa, right, and Silverstone), then a sixth at the Nurburgring (below)…

...and what should have been a fifth at Istanbul, “but Richard (Stanton) was waved into the pit lane and we didn’t actually cross the line.”

Has any other GT2 entry completed more Le Mans Series laps than the black and yellow TVR?

There was the ‘small’ matter of a race in France last year too, the TVR crossing the line eighth in GT2, with 256 laps to its credit.

“The TVR factory has promised us a greater involvement if we’re granted a Le Mans entry again,” explains John Hartshorne. “The company was going through considerable change last year, and we didn’t have the PR factor there that TVR might have provided – but that didn’t stop the TVR fans from following our every move.

“I’m sure they’ll be flocking to Le Mans in their droves again, and perhaps there will be even more of them if we do snatch an entry in the final round of entries next week.”

Black and yellow TVRs, with a Richard Stanton factor then too, made quite an impact in 2003, as this image proves.

“We’ve got some new faces behind the scenes looking after the car this year, and Nigel Greensall has been a significant ‘mover and shaker’ over the winter. You could call it the best parts of the 2004/5 set-up, with some new blood in there too,” sums up John Hartshorne.

With the likes of Steve Rouse and Jim Hersey looking after the T400R, there’s endurance experience – and TVR experience – in abundance, and John Hartshorne is clearly looking forward to another season of classic endurance races: not necessarily in the style of Audi, but more of the true privateer, with all the rewards that description suggests, especially when the black and yellow TVR crosses the line, again.

Peninsula TVR

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