​Wood enjoys Le Mans battle

​James Wood continued his Michelin Le Mans Cup season at Le Mans in France when he took part in rounds two and three of the 2023 season.

Taking place at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe during the 24 Hours of Le Mans event, Wood and his driving partner Sennan Fielding drove a Steller Motorsport Audi R8 GT3 in two 55-minute races that acted as a curtain-raiser to the actual 24 Hours of Le Mans and its centenary celebrations.

The opening Michelin Le Mans Cup race, run in late evening sunshine in front of a large crowd on Thursday evening, saw Wood and Fielding lead at Le Mans - heading the GT3 class for a period. The number 42 Audi, carrying colours in support of Sir Jackie Stewart's Race Against Dementia charity, dropped back in a race interrupted by many caution periods and safety car periods to be eventually classified 15th at the fall of the flag. The race was won overall by Matt Bell and John Melsom in a Nielsen Racing LMP3 car.

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Wood drove the opening stint for the Steller Motorsport team in the second 'Road to Le Mans' race on Friday, and battled hard during a tough opening stint before handing over to Fielding at the mid-point. The car crossed the line tenth in GT3 at the end to score valuable championship point in the process.

Overall the COOL Racing Ligier of David Droux and Luis Sanjuan was victorious, with MOTO GP legend, Valentino Rossi, scoring a maiden GT3 class victory with Jerome Policand in a Team WRT BMW M4.

Wood also took to the track twice across the weekend to drive a Lagonda, that won the Grand Prix d'Endurance in 1935, during a special centenary parade that featured famous cars, many driven by Le Mans legends such as Tom Kristensen, Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell and Gerard Larousse.

Speaking afterwards, Wood said, "It was fantastic to race at Le Mans, especially during this year in which the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrated its centenary.

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"The atmosphere was amazing, and the racing really exciting. I was thrilled to be handed the opportunity to drive a former race winning car in the centenary parade, that was an added bonus to an event I shall never forget."

*The British GT Championship Season continues at Snetterton on Sunday, when two one-hour races will take place. The Beechdean Aston Martin Racing squad will have Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn driving the team's Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

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