CHELMSFORD racing driver Richard Westbrook is ready to fulfil a long-held ambition by racing in the gruelling Le Mans 24 hour race which takes place at the famous French circuit over the weekend of June 12/13.
Born in Chelmsford, the 35-year-old will drive a GT2 class Porsche 911 FT3 RSR for BMS Scuderia Italia alongside German drivers Marco Holzer and Timo Scheider.
He is no stranger to racing the German marque as in 2004 he became the Porsche Carrera Cup champion and followed this up by winning the Porsche Supercup series in both 2006 and 07 and is presently the current FIA GT2 champion.
His father Tony, who in 1972 was the British Special Saloon Champion in a Cosworth-engined Mini, encouraged his son to follow a motor racing career and as an 11-year-old Richard started karting in 1986 and by 1990 had became a GB karting champion and as a 15-year-old was the captain of the English Karting team.
"I am really looking forward to making my Le Mans debut with BMS," said Westbrook who is currently competing the Le Mans Series with Prospeed Competition.
"BMS Scuderia Italia have a great record at Le Mans, and together with Timo and Marco I think we stand a great chance of winning our class in the biggest sports car race of the year."
No stranger to the rigours of 24-hour endurance racing, he has already this year competed in the Daytona, Spa and Nurburgring events, but this is his first crack at the Le Mans race.
Richard is in illustrious company, as another debutee at the event will be former FI World champion Nigel Mansell. Making it a family affair, his two sons Greg and Leo will join him behind the wheel of the Beechdean Mansell motorsport Ginetta Zytek in the top-flight LMP1 class, fighting against the works teams of Audi and Peugeot in their diesel-powered cars. Peugeot took victory last year after a five-year domination by Audi.