After much speculation Daniel Thorn, one of this weekends favourites, decided on entering the Bentley Speed 8 for this years race. Earlier this afternoon reporter of the historic 24 Laps Du Mans magazine, Montague Fotherington-Sorbet, sat down and had a chat with Dan about why he’s made this decision and what to expect from the coming race.
Q. Hi Dan. There’s has been a lot of recent speculation and excitement about which car you’re entering in this years race. Can you elaborate on why you’ve chosen the Bentley?
A: Hi Monty. Well, it was a long and arduous process to try and decide what to race. I really wanted to give the Suzuki Escudo a run, but it was just producing too much drag on the straights and wouldn’t go much over 160mph after I’d detuned it to meet the regulations. After testing a few more cars [Mazda Furai, Peugeot 908 HDi, Jaguar XJ13] I’d found four main contenders: The Mazda 787B Stealth, Chaparral 2J, Toyota GT-ONE and the Bentley Speed 8. I took them out in the wet to try and narrow it down, and the Chaparral was awful. It has such a wide power band that the wheels were spinning up at just about any speed and it was undriveable. A shame because in the dry it was my favourite one, but racing it would be too much of a risk. My first choice was the 787B, but Magnificent Geoffrey went and bloody entered it first! That left me between the Bentley and the Toyota; I picked the Bentley because it was a lot less twitchy, but it was a tough decision.
Q. What are your hopes for the race?
A. To win, obviously! I wouldn’t have entered otherwise. Things look close with the initial testing times though, so whatever happens I’ll have to work hard for it.
Q. The media jumped on a story that you’d been effectively spying on Magnificent Geoffrey during testing. What was that all about?
A. Well, you know the media. It was really a nothing story – I spoke to Mag about it and apologised, but it was such a non event in reality. I just strolled past his garage with my head in that genereal direction, someone photographed it and it escalated from there. One unknown driver made an anonymous claim in a prominent Tasmanian tabloid that I’d actually been sabotaging his car, which is frankly ridiculous.