Ecurie Ecosse plots historic return to Le Mans

ICONIC Scots racing team Ecurie Ecosse has confirmed a 2017 return to the Le Mans circuit where they registered a brace of famous victories precisely 60 years ago.

Tuesday, 28th March 2017, 5:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:36 pm
Ecurie Ecosse notched up consecutive wins at Le Mans in the 1950s. Picture: TSPL

Ecurie, which triumphed at the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race in both 1956 and 1957, will be making a poignant return to Circuit de la Sarthe this June.

The Scottish-based team have paired up with Nielsen Racing and have confirmed their plans for the 2017 season which includes competing in the Le Mans Cup, the feeder series to the European Le Mans Series, as well as the new Henderson LMP3 Cup.

Launching this May at Monza, the increasingly-popular Le Mans Cup will include a showpiece race at Le Mans itself one month later before concluding in October in Portimao, Portugal.

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The team will be fielding the Ligier LMP3 racing car. Picture: Contributed.

Ecurie Ecosse will field Ligier LMP3 machinery in both championships, with experienced drivers Colin Noble and Alasdair McCaig competing in the Henderson LMP3 Cup and Noble and Tony Wells in the Le Mans Cup.

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“We have plenty of exciting news to come, but to start with, it’s great to confirm our race programme for the coming season” said Director and Driver Alasdair McCaig. “We’re really looking forward to running the car in both the Le Mans Cup and the Henderson LMP3 Cup.

“We are pushing hard to get back into the sports car scene and we feel this is the perfect time and the best opportunity for us to build on our experience, history and passion for endurance racing, while delivering the results for our sponsors.

Mr David Murray (owner) and Mr Wilkie Wilkinson (mechanic) at the 'Home of Ecurie Ecosse' - Merchiston Mews. Picture: TSPL

“I am delighted to welcome Alex F Noble & Son Nissan and Edinburgh Gin as our new partners for 2017 and would like to thank the John Clark Motor Group for their continued support.”

The seminal Scots racing team was formed in 1951 by Edinburgh accountant David Murray and would go on to rack an impressive number of major racing victories, the most famous of which occurred in 1956 and 1957 at Le Mans. The tiny team - based at Merchiston Mews in Edinburgh - defied all the odds to topple established giants such as Ferrari and Maserati to claim a stunning 1-2 finish.

Following the historic back-to-back wins at Le Mans, the team would go on to record an astonishing 68 racing victories in just 10 seasons, and despite temporarily disbanding in 1972, it has retained a formidable reputation as a successful outfit.

The team will be fielding the Ligier LMP3 racing car. Picture: Contributed.

Every Scottish racing driver to have won a Formula One Grand Prix has driven with Ecurie Ecosse at one time or another. Former drivers include: Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart, Ian Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jack Brabham, Innes Ireland, Masten Gregory, Roy Salvadori, Richard Attwood, Ron Flockhart, Brian Redman, David Coulthard, Allan McNish, Johnny Dumfries, David Leslie and Tom Walkinshaw.

Mr David Murray (owner) and Mr Wilkie Wilkinson (mechanic) at the 'Home of Ecurie Ecosse' - Merchiston Mews. Picture: TSPL