Gavin Pickering popped up on the Le Mans entry list at the end of
last week, joining Nicolas Kiesa and Jens Moller in the Lister Storm
will be the Englishman’s fifth Le Mans, and he’s certainly
enjoyed his previous Le Mans 24 Hours rather more when he’s
had a V8 behind him.
“My first one was in 2002, with the RML Saleen.
We finished fifth in GTS, and I was at the wheel for nearly 11 hours,
and did a lot of the night running. A brilliant drive.”
2003 and 2004 were less satisfactory, although the
Epsilon Courage was leading LMP2 when it retired after 11 hours,
in 2004. That was the year when the Courages underwent engine changes
before the event. 2003 saw Pickering in a WR: “We did finish,
but were many hours behind.”
2005 saw him partnering Vall Hillebrand and Frank
Hahn in the G-Force Courage: “A really enjoyable car to drive
and a great Judd engine.”
So three races in LMP2, one in GTS – and now
it’s the V8-powered Lister in LMP1.
“I’ve sat in the car but haven’t
tested it yet – but I am ‘pre-qualified’ for the
race, having run in the last four events at Le Mans.
“This is a great opportunity. I raced with
Listers at the Spa 24 Hours in 2004, so I’ve worked with Laurence
before. I’m looking forward to building on my Le Mans experience.
I firmly believe that there’s no point going into Le Mans
looking for that last second. We’ll be racing at 95%, not
trying to get racy. It’s a team event, and we’ve got
to behave ourselves and get the car home.”
That was the Lister plan at Istanbul in April, and
it worked to perfection there, second in LMP1. Can the big, black
car repeat that form?
Gavin Pickering hasn’t raced in an endurance
event since June last year, but he has kept his hand in racing the
family’s Lotus 22, in which he has finished second in an historic
event at Estoril, and second again at last year’s Goodwood
This chassis was actually used in the making of
the film ‘Grand Prix’, James Garner driving it (dressed
up to look superficially like a BRM).
the V8-powered Lister Storm for the Englishman this year –
and the first time he’s raced a British car at Le Mans (although
the 2002 Saleen was built in the UK).
This is Jens
Moller at Istanbul.