Radford wants to race its lightweight Type 62-2 at Le Mans
Revived coachbuilder's future looks set to be in motorsport. Gentlemen, start your engines…
Radford wants to run its lightweight Type 62-2 at the Le Mans 24hrs, pitting one of the smallest, lightest, and most ferocious cars currently available against one of the biggest, most challenging and famous races on Earth.
Speaking to TopGear.com, Tanner Foust – two-time Formula Drift champion, Keanu Reeves' stunt driving double/tutor and the man behind Radford’s 2023 Pikes Peak event – confirmed that a run at La Sarthe is on the cards.
“There’s a hope to go to Le Mans,” he said, speaking about another hardcore, lightweight special 62-2 built especially for endurance. He notes how the run at Pikes Peak later this year will give the team a tonne of learning because of the brutal nature of the climb up the mountain. “Pikes Peak is a uniquely difficult task for a car.
“Dealing with temperature issues, with the bumps, dealing with the lack of power… it pushes the performance and reliability – mainly the reliability – to the limit. Everything you can think of suffers at altitude,” he added.
While it’s way too early to be thinking about technical details, we do know just how much of a chasm separates the 62-2 road car from the Pikes Peak special (pictured above). That latter car gets a wider, full composite monocoque with a new underbody, a wealth of aerodynamic addenda and a Very Supercharged 3.5-litre V6 that pumps out 700bhp. No doubt the eventual Le Mans contender will be a similarly specialist bit of kit. And fast, too.
Because Radford will use Pikes Peak to learn more about the Type 62-2’s limits and capabilities – and trickling that down into future road cars too – which can only be a ‘positive’ thing. “They’re using motorsport to innovate and develop. I’m a big believer that the last 100 years of motorsport has really benefitted us as a society.
“Disc brakes and seatbelts are things we take for granted, but without racing we wouldn’t have them, so I think every company in the automotive world needs to be pushing competition to make their products better. I like to think that about Radford, so I think racing is in their future,” says Tanner.
It's in its past too... sort of. The modern 62-2 is very obviously a homage to the Lotus Europa, itself a car that ran at Le Mans back in 1967. Can reinvented “little guy” compete against Le Mans’ heavy hitters? Watch this space…
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