Le Mans winner returns to Brands Hatch

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THE 1985 Le Mans 24-Hour Race winner and former Grand Prix driver, Paolo Barilla, returned to Brands Hatch for the first time since 1988 to star at the circuit’s Historic SuperPrix organised by the Silverstone-based Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC).

Barilla made a surprise comeback to the sport earlier this year to compete in the Formula 3 race at the the Monaco Historic race meeting, and entered the HSCC meeting as it offered him the opportunity to race on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit again.

Now in his early fifties, Barilla said: “I love this circuit – it gave me my best international series single-seater result in F3000 back in 1988 and I wanted to race here again.”

As well as winning Le Mans in 1985 for the New Man Joest team, Barilla contested Grands Prix for the Minardi team at the end of 1989 and for the 1990 season before retiring from the sport to concentrate on running the family Barilla Pasta company in Italy.

He added: “The Historic Sports Car Club have an amazing reputation in historic motor racing and organise some of the best historic motor races in the world.

“I have really enjoyed racing my car in their event.”

Barilla contested the Classic Formula 3 race where he finished fourth after an early spin.

He then won his class twice in the Derek Bell Trophy races where his Martini Formula 3 was pitched against F1 and F5000 cars.

He added: “I very much look forward to returning to Brands Hatch in the future to race with the HSCC and I might also consider doing other events with them – maybe at Silverstone.”

In two weeks time the HSCC will organise the race content for the Silverstone Classic weekend.

Chris Sharples, Chairman of the HSCC, said: “Silverstone Classic is a very big race meeting for the Club.

“The staff work very hard to deliver the race programme which contains many of the world’s leading historic race series.”