Ten out of ten

The Le Mans Classic racing series offers absolutely everything that anyone even remotely interested in anything with an engine will enjoy seeing. The sight of drivers running across a grid to their car to start a race has inspired a new car handover with a difference.

START YOUR ENGINES


The Porsche 911 used to be the vehicle derided by the masses. Its image wasn’t helped by a mix of prejudices towards German products having no soul, yuppies in the ’80s and the engine being in the wrong place. Allegedly. Yet today, the Porsche brand goes from strength to strength and there is something just right in the proportions of the 911 design.

On the border between Essex and Suffolk, there lives a dyed in the wool Porsche aficionado, mechanic and engineer by the name of Paul Stephens. As handy on the pedals as he is on the tools, Paul has built, driven, modified and created some astounding versions of the 911 model.

In 2020, he will team up with Peter Auto, organisers of Le Mans Classic, and commission him to create ten Porsche 911 Club Sport cars, the handover of which will take place on the grid at the famous circuit.

Just ten numbered examples of the hand-finished Paul Stephens Le Mans Classic Clubsport will be released, marking the ten outstanding Le Mans Classic events to date; every one being an inspired celebration of a revered classic.

Conceived in collaboration with event organiser Peter Auto, delivery to the lucky owners will take place at the next Le Mans Classic in 2020. The handover process will be as special as the model itself, with each owner being invited to parade their car and partake in a famous Le Mans start ritual in front of the historic racing enthusiast crowds.

The Paul Stephens Le Mans Classic Clubsport is available in an accommodating Touring specification or, for buyers looking for a more focused machine, a true Lightweight specification.

Forgoing some of the more luxurious trappings, this Lightweight specification pares the car back further through the use of lightweight carpets, the removal of sound proofing, Lexan rear windows and the installation of manual front windows, the deletion of central locking and the use of no-tilting lightweight seat frames. Even the glove box door has been removed and the car is fitted with just a single sun visor.


Six Appeal

Slated for having celebrity friends, mocked for being ‘blessed’, derided for his fashion choices. By all means, have your opinions but make no mistake, Lewis Hamilton is a great British success story and you’ll miss him when he’s gone.

STILL HE RISES


The 2019 Formula One World Championship is about to have its season closing race in Abu Dhabi but it has seen Lewis Hamilton win his sixth world championship title and he may yet equal or overtake the mystical seven achieved by Michael Schumacher.

As with many champions in sport, they have a habit of making the winning appear easy. For Lewis, it has made him an easy target; he has the car and the resources of Mercedes AMG, but it wasn’t that long ago the F1 was branded boring because Schumacher always won with Ferrari.

But the poor support from the British press and the plethora of keyboard warriors on social media seem to miss one fundamental element to Lewis, namely that he is one of the best drivers ever to grace the Formula One stage. Luck will always play a role in any success, but to have made a switch to Mercedes from the seemingly top-of-their-game McLaren, was questioned by may ‘learned experts’ at the time, yet here we now have a mature Lewis still giggling like a kid in a kart all those years ago.

He wears his heart on his sleeve and that, to some at least, is seen as a weakness, yet he has ditched the jet and is using his vaulted position to promote planet health. A noble effort given how people mock him for that too.

Reports from the paddock have him no longer being fun for photographers or being too obsessed with things outside F1, but it is challenging to be nice or ‘always on’ when at work. But when the visor drops and Lewis is in the zone, he is so compelling to watch.

He clearly loves what he does and who should we be to knock someone from Britain that shows what can be achieved no matter how long those odds may seem against it happening. There are certainly many worse people in the celebrity world that make for a lesser role model for the next generation.