A lap of ExCeL with Le Mans royalty

‘Riccardo’ Attwood proves he’s lost little pace in a rollicking ride of the circuit

Richard Attwood
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As is de rigueur at many motor sport events, some guests are afforded chauffered laps of the track, taken round by a jobbing race driver. Usually it’s Silverstone or COTA on offer though, not inside and out the ExCeL in London’s Docklands.

Companies such as BMW, Mercedes and Porsche woo those present with a whole variety of e-sports cars – and Motor Sport soon finds itself herded into a semi-orderly queue onto the track, before an all-electric Taycan pulls up and we climb in.

“Richard – call me Riccardo!” the man of advanced years says as we are introduced.

Our brain has barely had time to compute that it’s being taken for a spin round the ExCeL by none other than Richard Attwood inset, Stuttgart’s first-ever overall Le Mans winner, before the MGUs kick in and we’re hurtling towards the first bend.

He may be 81, but the 917-tamer’s instinct is still there. We’re clinging on for dear life as Attwood flings the Porsche into each corner while announcing, “I don’t know this circuit at all.”

Shaken, probably stirred, but still intact after Attwood’s fast lap, Motor Sport staggers off to the pitlane to contemplate having just been in the presence of sports car racing royalty.