The 24 Hours
Terry Lingner
The Other Side Of The Fence
Terry Linger has been to many Le Mans in his 46 years, but it is usually from the Press Room or the studio, as he directs Speedvision's coverage of the race. Now on the other side of the fence (both sides, actually), Terry is about to take part in his very first race at La Sarthe, with Alfonso De Orleans Bourbon's Racing Engineering Porsche 911 GT3R with team mates Robin Donovan and his mate Chris Macallister.

Starting out by racing in the very competitive SCCA Formula Vee series, Terry also competed in a Chevron B21 in national historic racing before moving in to the IMSA GTS category with a Mazda RX7 with Dick Greer Racing in 1995. He also took part in his first Daytona that year and finished a superb 14th overall. Hooking up with Alex Job in '97, Terry went on to finish two more Daytona events before deciding to have a crack at the big one this year. He talks to Sam Smith on race morning.

It must fantastic to compete in your first Le Mans with all your colleagues locked in the outside broadcasting studio?

"Yes and I remind them all the time! This is actually my ninth Le Mans but the first time that I have been behind the wheel. It is completely flattering and the ultimate honour to be able to be on the same grid as some of these guys and on this amazing race track. It really is everything that I thought it would be and it is just mega exciting."

Just how did the deal come about with Alfonso's team?

"Our co-driver Chris Macallister and I are best friends and he is a huge Porsche fan and racer and we have known each other for a long time and Alfonso and a company by the name of Project 100 that Robin Donovan owns were looking at trying to get together a team. So that was essentially what happened and a good deal was done with Alfonso's team. He is selling the car after this race so we want to give it a fitting finale. I was invited to the test and a deal was done there and I've been itching for the third weekend of June to come around."

Did it help directing races and viewing endless hours of on-board cameras in learning the track at all?

"As a producer my company worked with Speedvision and still do, televising 25 hours of live coverage to the States. So when I'm not in the car I will go over there and direct for a little while to give the guys a pee break! So it's going to be flat out for me straight through hopefully. As regards actually learning the track you are absolutely right because I see so much footage that I get a good knowledge of the layout even before I have been around it. The visual sense is great and really helps you along in getting an in depth knowledge of the way around this great, great place."

So, put in to practice, how has it gone for you so far this weekend?

"Well, I have done around 25 laps so far and I haven't turned the thing around or put it anywhere where it shouldn't be and I've been real respectful of the prototypes so it's going okay. Actually I probably have more 911 experience than my team mates as I drove for Alex Job at Daytona a couple of times and he knows how to make Porsches go well so we can do a reasonable job."

Official website of the Le Mans 24 Hours
Official website of the Le Mans 24 Hours

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