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Le Mans 1988 - The Tourists' Story

Having gone to Le Mans in 1986 hoping the Jags would do well, and in 1987 really expecting them to win, only to see Bell, Stuck and Holbert walk off with the prize both years, I, like many others I suppose, was really hoping for a Jaguar win in 1988. 

The Tourists had only three new recruits this year, Dave, Ian and Douglas.  Again, the Tourists are pictured below at Ernee (in a picture which like last year was taken on a break from our return journey after the race on Sunday evening).  Left to right they are Douglas, Alan, Richard, Ian, Robert, Dave and Martin.  As usual, I was taking the picture, thankfully in a far better state of health than at the same time the previous year!


The loss of the Sauber Mercedes team following a tyre blow out in practice was a shame, robbing us of a terrific three-way battle between Jaguar, Mercedes and Porsche (the German works team returning to Le Mans for a one-off attempt at another victory - which would have meant a record-equalling 6th win for Derek Bell).

I have to admit that the Shell-sponsored Porsches really looked the business, that yellow and red colour-scheme perhaps one of the most striking ever seen on a 962 at Le Mans.  But I'm sure the magical moment for most Brits came on Saturday evening when Klaus Ludwig tried to eke out just one extra lap in the lead Porsche, and ran out of fuel.  I guess that, more than anything else, gave the advantage they needed to the TWR Jaguar of Lammers, Dumfries and Wallace.  


Despite that advantage, it continued to be an exciting race, and could still have been won by Porsche, had it not been for problems in the latter stages.

I was very pleased in particular for Andy Wallace, having followed him in his F3 days as a member of Racing for Britain (was anyone out there ever a member - or of Motor Racing GB?). Looking at some of the drivers from the same era who made it to F1, its a great shame Andy never got the chance.


I spent a lot of time wandering the circuit taking photographs in 1988, and ended up with four times as many shots as in '87 or '88 (but still a small collection by comparison with the number I now take each year!).

I managed to catch quite a few pictures of the drivers wandering around the pits (more of which you will see in due course, as and when 1988 is my "feature" year).  Below, we see "Wattie" being interviewed by Janice "I'm not sitting down" Minton of Radio Le Mans.


Having travelled out via Caen for the first time, staying in Domfront, we again visited St. Symphorien on the way back.

So Jaguar managed it at last and Britain rejoiced - I seem to recall that some footage even made it on to the TV as a result - not much chance of that on terrestrial TV nowadays, eh?

After three visits, I was beginning to feel an old hand at the Le Mans game - the annual lure of La Sarthe was getting stronger, year by year!