Monday 23 May 2011

24 Hour Le Mans: Drummer-drivers at Le Mans

Photo : Philippe Chemin - ACO/Nikon

French singer/songwriter, David Hallyday is also a great drummer... and the third to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the last three decades.

David Hallyday was only thirteen when Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd, participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time, a few months before the release of the double album 'The Wall'. It was this year that the drummer-driver managed his best finish with 18th place at the wheel of a Lola T297. The following year he finished 22nd in a Lola, and one of his teammates was none other than Martin Birrane, the current owner of the British manufacturer. His last three entries (1982-83-84) resulted in retirements.

In 1987, it was the turn of Swede Slim Borgudd, the drummer of ABBA, to appear in La Sarthe in a Tiga prototype, but failed to qualify. It was his only attempt at Le Mans, but note that in 1982 he raced in Formula 1 for Tyrrell, with teammate and future winner of 24 Hours of le Mans: the late Michele Alboreto (1956-2001), the 1997 winner with Tom Kristensen and Stefan Johansson.

David Hallyday has been a recognized artist since the mid 80's during his first appearance in the 24 hours in 2003 in a Courage prototype. For his next two appearances, he entered under his real name (David Smet) in LM GT1 and twice to finished in 28th position: in the Corvette in 2007 and a Saleen in 2008. On the 11th and 12th June, he will return to the prototype of Team Oreca Matmut, who won the opening round of the 2011 ILMC at Sebring with Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. A comeback that honors the legacy of Nick Mason, pioneer drummer-driver in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Jean-Philippe Doret


Photo : Philippe Chemin - ACO/Nikon

Photo : LE MANS (FRANCE), TECHNICAL VERIFICATION OF THE 2008 24 HOURS, 9TH & 10TH JUNE. David Hallyday (centre) with his team mates Christophe Bouchut (left) and Patrick Bornhauser (right).

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