Works MGs will be out in force at Le Mans

| 23 Jun 2012

Three famous works MGs are to race at the Le Mans Classic on 6-8 July.

The trio will be spearheaded by the official works MGB for the 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours (main pic). Built by BMC’s competition department, DRX 255C has an aluminium body and was driven by rally-legend Paddy Hopkirk and works-racer Andrew Hedges.

The car was aided by an aerodynamic nose, which helped it maintain an average speed of 99.9mph. It would finish 2nd in the 2-litre class and 11th overall, behind Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart in their turbine-powered BRM. It was refitted with its original nose to compete in other competitions.

The car will be driven by 76-year-old MGB racing icon Barry Sidery-Smith.

Competing at the Le Mans Classic for the first time is an original 1964 Sebring MGB (above).

It was originally shipped to the USA, but suffered water damage during the trip. Un-sellable, the car was converted for racing by its US-dealer owner, who replaced its body panels with aluminium ones and fitted specialist parts supplied by BMC’s competitions department.

The car finished 4th in its class at Sebring, before being returned to the UK in 2004. Anthony Binnington will drive it at this year’s event.

Joining the pair will be the first of four MGA-based prototypes – chassis EX 182/38 (shown below) – that was revealed in the spring of 1955.

It would go on to race at Le Mans and Dundrod that year, but was withdrawn from racing after both events suffered serious accidents and fatalities.

By 1957 only two of the four prototypes remained, both were recommissioned by MG – receiving upgrades such as all-round Dunlop disc brakes – before being loaned-out to the Fitzwilliam Racing Team.

This car would go on to compete at the last Mille Miglia in the hands of Robin Carnegie, who would be the first Brit to finish the event.

The MG team is supported by British Motor Heritage and goes to Le Mans Classic as the MGB celebrates its 50th anniversary.

You can find out more about Le Mans Classic, here.