Davidson targets victory as Le Mans is all set to blast off

Anthony Davidson

Anthony Davidson

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Brackley’s Anthony Davidson will start tomorrow’s Le Mans 24-Hour Race as one of the favourites as he drives a Toyota TS040-Hybrid in the world’s most famous motor racen.

Davidson, who will race the car with Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Lapierre, is in confident mood ahead of the race.

He said this week: “I believe we have a really good chance this year of victory, but at Le Mans anything can happen.”

He started his campaign on Wednesday when he completed practice sessions on the opening day of the event.

Also in the mix for success in the race will be the Brackley-based Murphy Protypes squad, who will race an Oreca 03-Nissan in the LMP2 class.

The Hertz-supported squad have a strong driver line-up, headed by Karun Chandhok. He is joined in the car by Rodolfo Gonzalez and Nathanael Berthon.

The 2014 Le Mans 24-Hour race will see 55 Prototype and GT cars blast away from the start line at 3pm on Saturday.

The twice round the clock event is tipped to be one of the best in recent years with seven LMP1 prototypes entered by Toyota, Audi and Porsche.

Audi suffered a setback on Wednesday evening when their number 1 R18 e-tron quattro was badly damaged in a crash, but Porsche showed their pace by setting the provisional fastest times. The lead Porsche will be driven by former F1 racer, Mark Webber, with his car setting the provisional pole position time.

Silverstone-based Ram Racing, meanwhile, will be making their Le Mans debut.

Current European Le Mans Series champions, the team will field two Ferrari 458 Italia cars. One will contest the LM-GTE Pro class with the other in the LM-GTE Am category.

The team’s lead car, the number 52 numbered machine, will be driven by Matt Griffin, Frederico Leo and Alvaro Parente. This car was third fastest in the class during the recent pre-race test.

The number 53 car, seventh fastest in its category at the test day, will be driven by Archie Hamilton, Johnny Mowlem and Mark Patterson.

Leading up to the event, Mowlem said: “This is one race everyone wants to do well in. You can race all season but it is the Le Mans 24-Hour Race that you are measured against.

“It’s man and machine against racing twice around the clock. The event has a great atmosphere and here at Ram Racing we are very determined to do a good job.”

Another Silverstone team, Millennium Racing, have pulled its entry from the race.

The Delta-ADR run team was hoping to field an ORECA-Nissan 03 in the LMP2 class but funding for the project from Millennium Development failed to arrive in time.

This season the team has already missed the opening rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, but a late deal saw their withdrawn entry for Le Mans reinstated just two weeks ago. Skipping the pre-race test to finalise plans, the local squad were set for departure to France when news filtered through that they would have to turn their backs on the race for this year.

Simon Dowson said: “We waited as long as we possibly could. The truck was packed and all the team were ready to go, but we received confirmation that the funding would not arrive until next week.

“Sadly it was too late.”