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