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North East car to lead Le Mans

Date 17 Sep 2006

A racing car built in the North East of England will be leader of the pack at this weekend’s famous Le Mans 24-hour race. The special edition vehicle, built by Gateshead-based A1 Autocraft, is one of two cars chosen to lead the 40-minute Le Mans legends race tomorrow morning (17 June).The car, driven by Sir Stirling Moss, is a recreation of the iconic Ford GT40 that famously won Le Mans 40 years ago. It will lead a range of exclusive cars which will be driven by legends who raced at Le Mans in the heyday of motor racing. Race organisers approached the North East company because of its expertise in manufacturing specialist cars. It was able to create an exact replica of the winning GT40 classic for a fraction of the £1million price tag of one of the original models – of which only 150 were built. Established in October 2005, A1 has been trading for less than a year, yet it has secured sales across Europe and Canada and with support from Business Link in Tyne and Wear the company looks to continue to grow.A1 Autocraft’s managing director John Dryden said: “Business Link has provided us with a range of information and support including funding to attend exhibitions such as the Stoneleigh Classic Racing Car Show and the British Motoring Show. “As we target such a niche market and we’re a relatively new company, our main focus at the moment is to establish our name within the industry and raise awareness of our product.”

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