What does your desk say about you? Noticeable on the desk of motorsport mural commissioning client Skidmarques Ltd was a black, grey and red replica car – an LMS Audi. Appropriate as building a business takes endurance, the competition is intense and keeping the technology one step ahead of rivals is vital. Business books and LMS series yearbooks on the shelf confirm all of those are a passion of co-owner Keith. It therefore had to be a part of the mural that was being designed for the workshop wall.
In 2009 I’d lived forty minutes from Silverstone and taken full advantage of being a Silverstone Racing Club (SRC) member. On 13 September 2009 I attended the Le Mans Series 1000km sponsored by Michelin to get some shots of these powerful marques in action. It was the year the Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S prototype debuted and on this occasion to be driven by a former Formula One World Champion, Nigel Mansell, and his son, Greg, plus the boss of Ginetta, Lawrence Tomlinson.
With Quifel-ASM Team leading the LMP2 Class Championship with their Ginetta-Zytek-engined car it was an opportunity to enjoy these home-grown power-houses on a classic British circuit (prior to it’s subsequent up-grade for Formula One requirements). Ginetta also being close to my heart as I was involved, actually more pig than chicken but that’s another story, with a team racing a G50 that year.
The best photos of the day came from Abbey and as the cars changed down and went under Bridge and for a leg rest towards the end of the day from the SRC stand across the Luffield curves. The spoils eventually went to the French Team Oreca with their V10 powered Oreca 01 driven by Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre and for LMP2 the Swiss British collaboration of Speedy Racing Team/Sebah Automotive in the Lola B08 with its V8 Judd engine.
Also racing that day were a pair of Audi R10 turbo diesels being run by German-based Colin Kolles. The three drivers of number 14 having a mix of experience and racing backgrounds.
Narain Karthikeyan, from India, filling in racing time between his stints with various Formula One teams and (the now defunct) A1GP had a mixed season in LMS suffering a shoulder injury along the way – sustained whilst out of the car!
British Andrew Meyrick, was the youngest driver of the trio, awarded a Rising Star of the British Racing Drivers Club after dominating National Class Formula 3 in 2008 despite a virus which he had to overcome to be part of the LMS program.
The third member of the team Dutchman Charles Zwolsman Jr. a former Champ Car World Series driver is pictured in the mural car. His life having taken an unfortunate turn, having been accused of financing his racing career with proceeds from the criminal activities of his (deceased) father. Charges that Zwolsman Jr. denies.
And what of the final position of the Kolles Audi R10 TDI which is celebrated in the motorsport mural? Well it’s Diesel Turbo V12 engine took car #14 to 6th on the day and 7th in the Championship.
Despite being the car that I knew would be in the final design no matter what it was the fourth car to be painted on the wall. The painting approach for this car was kept simple. Using a palette of just eight shades plus a black and white (except helmet,flag and logos) to create depth. It is about 2.5 m long and 1 m high. The outline took a day to scale up. The layers were introduced over 5 days to build up the car to it’s final finish.