Wakefield driver revs up for Le Mans 24-Hour alongside past Formula 1 aces

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NERVES and excitement will greet one Wakefield driving ace who’s competing in one of the world’s most famous races this weekend.

The Merrie City’s Jody Firth will get behind the wheel to compete in the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours race on Saturday.

The 30-year-old is one of three drivers competing for Irish team Murphy Prototypes and it’s his, and the team’s, first involvement in the race.

Around 260,000 spectators will descend on the circuit and there will be an estimated television audience of 80 million watching events unfold.

Firth’s team, although in its first year, is also among the favourites to win their LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype) class. No pressure, then.

“I’m really excited to be involved but there are nerves in there too,” he said.

“I’m honoured to be here, it’s one of the world’s most famous races.

“It’s a great, flowing, track that’s really enjoyable for the drivers to race on.

“People are tipping us to win it so it’s great that people are recognising our abilities as drivers and as a team, but on the there’s also some forced pressure in there for us to win.”

Firth, who races domestically for Ossett-based Team WFR, has only been racing in cars for four years, spending much of his time before that racing karts.

But he’s already hauled in a number of successes - namely the British GT4 Championship, the Speed UK Series and the Speed Euro Series.

He’s also part of the European Le Mans Series.

Firth will be joined by WFR team-mate Warren Hughes and former Torro Rosso Formula 1 reserve Brendon Hartley in the endurance race.

Former F1 stars such as Martin Brundle and Giancarlo Fisichella will also be competing for other teams.

Firth and his team-mates enjoyed a good first qualifying session on Wednesday night, finishing second.

Two more qualifying sessions will follow this afternoon, Friday, and tonight before the race starts at 4pm local rime on Saturday.

You can keep updated with the team’s progress in France on Twitter @murphyprototype or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MurphyPrototypes.

You can follow Jody @jodyfirthracing.

See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.