The Hong Kong Le Mans Bid
We followed the Noble Group-GruppeM Porsche effort last year (Matthew
Marsh and Darryl O’Young), principally in the LMES, at Monza,
Silverstone and the Nurburgring: Matthew Marsh has made no secret
of his desire to take the team to Le Mans – and an entry application
has duly been submitted to the ACO, the first from a team based
in Hong Kong.
Now comes the news that Marsh has persuaded Charles
Kwan to join the driving strength at Le Mans, if the team is successful
with its Le Mans application.
The 42 year old Kwan claimed to have retired after
the 2004 Macau Grand Prix, after a 20 year racing career, but the
lure of Le Mans, driving for a Hong Kong team, has drawn him back.
"I had a great career and I'm happy in retirement,
so it's fair to say Le Mans is the only race that can get me back
behind the wheel," said Kwan. "The Hong Kong Le Mans team
is a fantastic project and, after giving it careful thought, I've
agreed to be one of the drivers.
"I'll obviously need to do some testing and
it's possible I may compete in a couple of races here in Asia as
a warm-up, but I don't think it will take me long to get back to
the level I was at."
"Matthew has been very persuasive!. But, seriously,
I've been following the team with interest and they've had some
good results. I'm impressed by what they've achieved. Now, I'm looking
forward to going to Le Mans and flying the flag for Hong Kong."
Matthew Marsh is suitably pleased to have Kwan’s
name associated with the project.
"This is fantastic news," he said. "Charles is, quite
simply, the finest driver Hong Kong has ever produced and to have
him back behind the wheel for our team is a massive boost. When
I conceived this project it was all about driving with Charles in
the world's greatest race. This is not only the final piece of the
jigsaw - it's the whole picture."
Matthew Marsh’s view of the entry process
for Le Mans is that “they (the ACO) take into account various
factors, including results, organisation and capability, as well
as what a team can bring to the race in terms of profile and publicity.
Given our performances, the media interest we have generated and
the fact that we would feature the first ever Chinese driver at
Le Mans, we're quite hopeful."
Entry applications for the 24 Hours close tomorrow,
and Charles Kwan are pictured with the Noble Group-GruppeM 911 GT3-RSR.