Wood set for Le Mans battle​

James Wood (right) and Sennan Fielding will race at Le Mans twice this week (Photo Beckett/Ebrey)James Wood (right) and Sennan Fielding will race at Le Mans twice this week (Photo Beckett/Ebrey)
James Wood (right) and Sennan Fielding will race at Le Mans twice this week (Photo Beckett/Ebrey)
James Wood will contest two Michelin Le Mans Cup 'Road to Le Mans' races this week during the centenary-celebrating 24 Hours of Le Mans event.

Wood will drive a Steller Motorsport-entered Audi R8 LMS GT3 in races tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday around the famous 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe located to the south of the French city of Le Mans.

Utilising many sections of closed public roads, the Le Mans track offers the ultimate driving challenge to competitors, and although Wood has good experience of the track, this week will be the first time he has driven the course in a GT3 specification car.

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Sharing driving duties in the 'Road to Le Mans' races with Sennan Fielding, the reigning British GT4 champion, preparations for racing the Audi GT3 start today (Wednesday) when free practice sessions for Michelin Le Mans Cup racers get underway.

As the leading support series to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 'Road to Le Mans' event has attracted a large entry of 58 cars - made of of 38 LMP3 prototype and 20 GT3 cars. The entry for these Le Mans races see an increase in numbers and 16 additional competitors over the full season entry list of 42 cars that compete in the entire 2023 championship.

Wood said: "The 24 Hours of Le Mans is celebrating its centenary, and as a result the event is a sell-out. Over 300,000 visitors will be at the track and to be part of an event like this is very special."

Wearing the number 42, Wood's Steller Motorsport Audi will also carry the colours of 'Race Against Dementia' to help raise awareness for the charity championed by three-hour F1 World champion, and Ellesborough resident, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE.

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Also racing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup races against Wood and Fielding will be multiple world Moto GP champion, Valentino Rossi. The popular Italian racer will be making his four-wheel debut at Le Mans, and will drive a BMW M4 GT3 with experienced French racer, Jerome Policand.

*Tom Ingram scored two second place finishes in Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship races at Thruxton on Sunday.

Driving a Hyundai for the Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 team, the Vale-based racer chased home title rival, Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing Ford Focus) in the opening two races around the Hampshire airfield circuit to maintain his title defence.

Ingram rounded out his weekend of racing with a ninth place finish in the final race of the event, and now trails championship leader, Sutton, by 14 points.

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