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Coughton racer Alexander Sims revved up for 24 Hours of Le Mans return this weekend

ALEXANDER Sims hopes Chevrolet Racing will be a “force to be reckoned with” at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Alexander Sims. Photo: Richard Prince / Chevrolet Photo
Alexander Sims. Photo: Richard Prince / Chevrolet Photo

The 33-year-old Coughton racer will take part in the twice-around-the-clock showpiece this Saturday and Sunday around the 8.4-mile Circuit de la Sarthe, which is a mix of permanent racetrack and public roads.

A crowd of 50,000 spectators will be permitted at the biggest global endurance race on the motorsport calendar and Sims knows just how much the fans love Le Mans.

“The first thing that struck me about going to Le Mans the first time was the fans,” he said. “The pre-race procedure of going through scrutineering in the town centre and then the pre-race grid itself, Le Mans was really something else.

“That was the big thing that stole the show from my point of view in terms of my impression of the race.

“It was incredible to see not only the amount of fans but also the passion and knowledge they had, plus seeing the number that goes back year after year after year. It’s a bug they get and struggle to shift it, which is lovely to see such commitment from fans. They really make it what it is.”

This year’s race marks Corvette Racing’s return to Le Mans after missing 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It ended a run of 20 consecutive years at Le Mans that started in 2000. In that time, the program claimed eight victories with three different generations of Corvette, all with the engine in the front.

This year things are different. The debut of the mid-engine C8.R is a highly anticipated one and Sims is looking forward to getting behind the wheel.

“From everything I know from the car, it seems to be very strong in a number of different areas. I haven’t really found a weakness in it yet,” he said.

“The car is super streamlined, has good power and good traction, and is well-balanced through the higher-speed corners that I experienced at Sebring. I really hope it’s going to be quite a force to be reckoned with at Le Mans.”

Sims’ first taste of Le Mans was in 2012 when he drove a Judd-powered Lola B12/80 for Status GP in the LMP2 class.

Alongside co-drivers Yelmer Burrman and Romain Lannette, he completed 239 laps before having to retire the car.

He then returned in 2018 driving a BMW M8 GTE for Team MTEK in the LM GTE Pro class.

However, it proved to be a day to forget for Sims after crashing on the Porsche Curves on the Sunday morning, having earlier lost time in the garage after having a damper replaced.

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