Success at Le Mans Classic 2016 for Millers Oils sponsored Triumph TR3S.

  • Final classification: 19th Overall
  • Highest placed Triumph TR
  • Fastest time posted by Chris Ryan in Race 3 Sunday afternoon – 5min 39.7.secs.

Following a successful outing two years ago at Le Mans Classic, the 1959 Triumph TR3S, this year supported by Millers Oils and Burlen Fuel Systems returned to enjoy even greater success at Circuit de la Sarthe in 2016.

The car proved quicker than any of its Triumph TR rivals in Plateau 3, the grid for 1957 – 1961 era cars and was clocked at 137mph on the Mulsanne straight during the night making it the fastest Triumph TR to ever circulate at Le Mans Classic.

The success coincides with the prelaunch of Millers Oils Classic range of lubricants specifically aimed at classic and vintage cars but utilising advanced modern nanotechnology, a grade of which was designed specifically for use in the Triumph TR3S at Le Mans Classic this year.

The weekend began with some difficulties after delays in scrutineering and missing the first daytime qualifying session meant the car would start Saturday afternoon at the back of the grid.

Chris Ryan, a very experienced competitor and previous winner at Goodwood Festival of Speed was first out in the car and managed to make up an incredible 30 places in just the first couple of laps. But it was clear when it came to the driver change over that he was less than comfortable with the set up. Octogenarian driver Barry Sidery-Smith took the second half of the race and reported a misfire on the flat out parts of the circuit. It was clear that there was more work to be done.

By the time the car headed out for the night stint in Race 2, the misfire had been tracked to the plumbing on the twin fuel pump system and cured thanks to the tireless work from the teams volunteer pit crew of Frank Richardson, Tony Jeanes and John Davies. As soon as the pumps were re-routed and some ducting added to reduce under bonnet temperatures the car was back up to full strength.

John Sykes took the night race solo and began with two laps under the safety car that had been called for a Lotus ablaze at the first Mulsanne chicane. As soon as the green flags returned however John Sykes quickly made progress up the field. Pushing the car hard to gain positions, Sykes was clocked on the Mulsanne straight at an impressive 137mph, making the Millers Oils Triumph TR3S the fastest to have ever circulated at Le Mans Classic.

By the time the third and final race roared towards the iconic Dunlop Bridge, the car was running perfectly enabling Chris Ryan to clock the teams fastest lap of the weekend at 5min 39.7 seconds. Barry Sidery-Smith once again took the chequered flag with the overall classification of 19th position and the ‘winning TR.’

Speaking after the race, team principal Paul Hogan said, ” The partnership with Millers Oils has been a major part of this years success. Despite the issues experienced, we never once had any doubt over the reliability of the engine or its capability to withstand the drivers pushing the limits. The confidence that the Millers Oils classic range has instilled in the drivers when pushing hard, plus its modern technological attributes to reduce friction and enhance performance contributed hugely to the result.” 

Paul Hogan went on to thank his team Frank Richardson, Tony Jeanes and John Davies plus drivers John Sykes, Barry Sidery-Smith and Chris Ryan.

A further mention goes to Belgian driver Claude Dubois who was present with the team throughout the weekend but sadly was unable to drive due to illness for his planned appearance on Sunday. Claude Dubois drove the car originally for the Standard Triumph works team in 1959.

For the official classification results click here

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On board for the final race and fastest lap

The third and final race of Le Mans Classic 2016 saw the Millers Oils / TR Register entered Triumph TR3S driver, Chris Ryan battle his way up to 17th position overall before the driver change over and achieve the fastest lap of the weekend with a phenomenal 5mins 39.7 secs . Ride on board here as he scythes his way through the field, often overtaking much more powerfully classed machines along the way!

In a forthcoming blog post we will examine in more detail how the Millers Oils mono grade oil formulated for this car helped to achieve such stunning results at the worlds greatest motor race.


The final stint. Race 3, Grid 3 Sunday morning.

After John Sykes had reported the car was feeling much better after his night stint, confidence ran high amongst the team as they formed up for the third and final race of Le Mans Classic 2016.

The sad news was however, that owing to the stifling heat the teams and drivers have had to endure Claude Dubois was not feeling well enough to compete. However despite feeling decidedly under the weather he was still very much behind the team and his presence was a privilege indeed. Instead, our very own ‘Stig’, Chris Ryan returned with Barry Sidery-Smith to take the car to the chequered flag.

It was Chris Ryan who stepped up once again to take the first stint and instantly it was clear that the car was performing much better than his previous outing. Starting much further up the grid , Chris was quick to start gaining places. The lap times were tumbling too, from 6mins 3second laps during Race 1 to his fastest and personal best of the weekend 5.39.7. Quite impressive.

The pace was so intense in fact that not only had Chris climbed to 17th place overall by the time the pit window opened for the compulsory driver change,but he had generated so much tyre temperature, that they were smouldering and smoking whilst stationary!

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Barry Sidery-Smith took the wheel and drove with his usual reliable finesse, posting another improved time over his own previous personal best this weekend in the TR with a 5.53 on his opening lap.

Barry brought the car home to applause from the team in the pit lane in a very respectable 21st position out of 61 starters. More poignant to the team was the victory in the unofficial “Triumph class” where the Millers Oils and TR Register Triumph TR3s was the highest placed Triumph in the plateau by quite some margin. A magnificent result in the final race of the weekend for a team that have pulled together and faced some quite difficult challenges with few resources with which to tackle them.

The Millers Oils / TR Register team will be issued our final results and standings after our three rounds later today and of course we will keep you updated as soon as the confirmed results are published by the ACO and Peter Auto. We await final confirmations.

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[VIDEO] On-board the Triumph TR3S during the night at Le Mans Classic 2016

Ride on board with John Sykes as he takes on Race 2, starting at 3 am Sunday morning this was the night session for the weekends racing at Le Mans Classic 2016. The second lap saw an incident involving a Lotus catching fire causing the safety car to be called for 2 laps, but we rejoin the action on the green flag.


Race 2 report – the night stint

It was John Sykes who took the wheel for the night stint in the Millers Oils and TR Register TR3S at Le Mans Classic 2016. It was in 2014 in the same car that John experienced night driving for the very first time and he’ll happily admit to being thoroughly terrified by the initial experience.

That however all stood him on good stead for the solo effort ahead. The teams strategy at this point in the racing was to run John Sykes on his own, so instead of the compulsory driver change he would observe a timed stop during the pit in window.

The race got off to a slow start as only one lap in the safety car was called as the number 29 Lotus Elite of Fabrice Perruchot caught fire causing the driver to stop and require the marshall assistance to extinguish the flames.

The safety car remained out for a further two laps until John was able to get back into his stride and return to race pace.

The team all looking pretty tired out at this point as instead of managing to get a small amount of sleep in between races, they were required to work through the night to solve as many of the issues that cropped up in Race 1 before the flag was waved for the off at 3AM.

Running issues

On his last stint in Race 1 Chris Ryan had complained about a misfire at high – revs. After spending a lot of time checking the fuel system carefully it was discovered that the two fuel pumps were cavitating in the heat causing them to work against each other. A re-rotuig of some fuel line plumbing and the blocking of one of the lines saw this problem cured. With the temperatures on track still into the high 20 degrees C even at 3am heat has become a real issue. Chief mechanic Frank came up with an ingenious cure for the under bonnet heat by creating some ducting from the front grille by joining together several empty water bottles (there are plenty to hand) with their ends cut off to create a rigid pipe.

Elsewhere the number 8 Triumph TR3 of Frederic Berchon, Julien Brayard and Yann Leduc failed out on track with an as yet unknown fault and was recovered back to the paddock.

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Final result of Race 2

Overall John Sykes managed to hold position at 31 out of 53 finishers and still the highest placed Triumph in the race by quite a long chalk.

John managed a fastest lap of 6.09.130 with an average speed of 132.9km/h.

The next nearest Triumph TR was the number 71 of Stephane Guyot-Sionnest, Amaury Latahm and Franck Lagorce who finished some 30 seconds behind.

Keep watching the the live blog updates for a forthcoming interview with John Sykes and the footage from that rather scary Lotus Elite Fire.

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[VIDEO] Chris Ryan post race interview

Chris Ryan delivered a storming drive in Race 1 climbing over 30 places from the back of the grid to set the Triumph TR3S in good stead.
The car is still not without troubles as Chris explains in the video below so the team will be working flat out through the night to rectify the issues before Race 2 in the early hours of Sunday morning.