Hilton driver to compete at Le Mans for the fourth time
A RACING driver from Huntingdonshire will this weekend make the trip to take part in the world s most prestigious endurance race. Stuart Moseley, from Hilton, will take the start line at the Le Mans 24hr for the fourth time when he races for the Barazi-Ep
A RACING driver from Huntingdonshire will this weekend make the trip to take part in the world's most prestigious endurance race.
Stuart Moseley, from Hilton, will take the start line at the Le Mans 24hr for the fourth time when he races for the Barazi-Epsilon Zytek team this Saturday.
"We have a decent chance this year - the car is fast, and we have a competitive package," said Moseley, 31.
"A podium would be a great achievement for us, but as always, it's a little bit in the lap of the gods at Le Mans. You never quite know how the race is going to develop, with so many cars, and so many laps.
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"You really have to beat the race before you can think about beating the other cars."
Moseley expects the main competition to come from the Huntingdon-built Lolas, and the Porsches, winners in 2008.
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Moseley and his team finished in 29th position last year, and he hopes that his experience of the race will help him deal with the distinctive demands it makes of drivers.
"Last year's Le Mans experience will help hugely, because it is a unique track. You spend so long flat out that it puts a real strain on the car, and by the nature of it being a public road, you can get a lot of debris on the track as the race progresses.
"It's very unforgiving. There's so little run-off, that if you lost concentration for a split-second and go off, there's a good chance of doing some quite serious damage to the car."
It's not only the time on the circuit that will test Moseley - such a long endurance event also tests a driver's psychological strength.
After a week of preparation, race day begins at 8am with the warm-up, ahead of the race at 2pm British time.
"There is so much going on - when it gets to the day of the race, it's not just a 24 hour challenge."
Moseley and co-drivers Juan Barazi and Michael Vergers will split the driving into three-hour stints in the car.
At any one time, one will be driving, another will be ready in the pits as emergency back-up, and the third will be sleeping, building energy for the next stint.
"By the time it starts, you are already very tired. But despite that, it's not easy to sleep during the race, because of the noise and the adrenaline that is pumping," says Moseley.
"Fortunately, I am a very deep sleeper - I have been known to just fall asleep in a chair in the pits by the time it gets to four or five in the morning."
Moseley and his team were a late entry in this year's Le Mans, getting a call-up after four other teams dropped out.
He was due to be attending the race as a spectator for a stag do, but will find himself behind the wheel being cheered on by friends and family.
"It's a shame I won't be there with them, but when the came up to race, I had to take it. Outside of the Monaco Grand Prix, this is the biggest race in motorsport," he said.
Moseley began his career in karting at age 11, and competed against Jenson Button in his early days.
When he is not racing himself, he now passes on his years of motorsport expertise by coaching young drivers. He has coached Stefan Wilson, brother of ex-Jaguar F1 driver Justin Wilson, who won the McLaren Autosport British Racing Drivers' Club award in 2007, and is now racing in America.
"I've been in motorsport for 20 years now, so I have a bit of experience to call on. I'm lucky enough to have made a living from motorsport, and if I can help others do the same, so much the better," he said.