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Porsche nail 17th Le Mans victory

15 June, 2015

Following the spectacle that was the 24 Hours of Le Mans over June 13–14, the Porsche team has come out on top once again — the marque’s 17th victory at the event. What makes this event even more special is the fact that some of New Zealand’s very own racing talent helped to make it happen.

Kiwi Earl Bamber, along with Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy, raced the Porsche 919 Hybrid to take the title exactly 45 years to the day after Porsche’s first victory at La Sarthe.

Kiwi young-gun Brendon Hartley also enjoyed a podium finish, along with teammates Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber, rounding off Porsche’s 1–2 podium effort.

We’ll have coverage of Le Mans in our upcoming issue of New Zealand Classic Car, so keep an eye out.

Penny’s Pagoda – Mercedes Benz 230 SL

We scouted out a few different locations for photographing this car, but they all had one thing in common. At every stop, people could not help but come up and compliment owner Penny Webster on her stunning Horizon Blue Mercedes 230 SL.
There’s something about the ‘Pagoda’ Mercedes — so-called because the distinctive dipping curve of its roofline echoes that of the famous Eastern tiered temples — that encourages people to speak up.
Many classic cars attract a second look, but in most cases people keep their thoughts to themselves. It was striking how many people felt the need to express the warmth of their feelings about this car.
The expansive glass cockpit, the friendly, subtle lines, and its simple three-box shape seem to encourage openness among passers-by.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.