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Hello, readers. I bet you are sitting at home reading the world’s best motoring section in the world’s best newspaper but still feeling not too good about things.

What with the state of politics, our economy being worse than Greece’s, Sydney and Melbourne housing out of the reach of all but Warren Buffett and not knowing if your eggs are free range or not, it’s enough to have you living a life of quiet desperation.

Now look, things could be worse. Jeremy is out of his day job, Phil just got back from driving a Land Rover. (Phil says, “If it’s good enough for Ralph Lauren and Betty Windsor to drive one, it’s good enough for me.” No wonder Tata stopped making them.) Mark drove the Moke on his holidays and I took the engine out of The Weekend Australian ute to find that not only had I done the sump but the cross member and radiator as well. (Insider tip here: buy any wine company shares that sell their products in Adelaide. Michael McMichael and I are combining ute repairs with a nightly — well, sometimes we start at lunch — wine tasting).

Let me cheer you up with news from Le Mans 2015.

Porsche 919s took first and second, ending Audi’s 15 years supremacy and marking the 45th anniversary of Ferdi’s company’s first win here. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro had reliability problems and were two and three laps behind the Porsches. Most interesting drivers in the Porsches were Nico Hulkenberg, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber.

Hulkenberg drives in the F1 Force India team and Bamber is a 24-year-old New Zealander who learned to drive in Jerusalem (the town on the Whanganui River, not the place near the Dead Sea). In the second Porsche were Australia’s own Webber and another Kiwi, Hartley, who raced with Daniel Ricciardo.

But let’s talk about Corvettes. Two turned up in Le Mans. One found a wall in qualifying and was out. But the one US car left killed the Ferraris and everything else European to win its class. In November I called the new Corvette the best American sports car ever. With Ford returning next year could we be seeing the end of Euro sports car dominance? The battle between Corvette and Ferrari was so intense one of that the team’s youngest drivers, Jordan Taylor, had to sit on the toilet because it was too stressful to watch the end of the race.

Neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd blitzed the tough GTE-Am class to take second in his Porsche 911 RSR. Derek, better known as 49-year-old actor Patrick Dempsey, has had an even more remarkable career in racing than acting. Since taking up serious racing in 2004, the year before joining TV’s Grey’s Anatomy, Dempsey has competed in events such as the American Le Mans and Rolex series and the Trofeo Maserati. Pat has stopped being a thespian and will focus on family and racing. So it’s goodbye Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, hello Steve McQueen.

Talking of Steve, Mecums is auctioning his special-order slate grey 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo at August’s Monterey Car Week. Steve wanted the slate grey to make him less visible to the fun police on at night. “My dad had little things done to it,” son Chad says. “He had a switch put on so it would kill the rear lights in case he was being chased on Mulholland Drive.”

If you wanted a more up-to-date supercar, Russo and Steele sold a very nice 450kW V10 2005 Porsche Carrera GT at their Newport Beach Auction this month for a lazy $1.1 million. Only 1273 were made and half of those live in the US. Prices have really started to move and this GT was well bought at this price. Steve and Patrick would have both liked to own one.



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