Team Africa is delighted to announce that it has been able to secure an entry into the prestigious Le Mans weekend. Greg Mills will be sharing a twin-turbo Bentley GT3 with the former F1 driver and Le Mans veteran Jan Lammers, who famously won the 24-hour race in 1988 for Jaguar, and has finished in nearly every one of the top-ten places in his distinguished career, certainly a good person to have on your side. As with Team Africa’s previous foreign forays, the team is reliant on a South African and Kenyan crew under the captaincy of former African rally champion David Horsey, and will be ‘dressing’ the car in the colours of the STOP! Poaching initiative.
Historians will remind that there is a longstanding and unique connection between South Africa, Le Mans and Bentley, given Woolf Barnato’s three-out-of-three victories in for the marques between 1928-30. The Barnatos of course made their fortune on the diamond-fields of southern Africa.
This entry would not have been possible without a large number of friends and sponsors who kept faith in the idea of an African team at Le Mans when it seemed a hopelessly wistful dream: Vipingo Ridge, Bruce Jack Wines, the Western Cape marketed by Wesgro, Matus tools, Richard Harper Logistics, Hollard Insurance, G&A Promotions, Castrol, Equalizer Agricultural Implements and Machinery, and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, which is involved in a variety of anti-poaching initiatives.
The Team aims to assist in putting over a positive, ‘can do’ face of Africa to a different, large and diverse audience. Moreover, to turn this opportunity into something more than a motor race, it is advertising the cause of the fast-disappearing Pangolin, hence the Team’s new logo, which will be displayed on the Bentley.
The tiny Pangolin, with four species each in Africa and Asia, is the world’s most trafficked animal, its keratin scales (the material in fingernails) coveted in Chinese medicine. While nearly 70 countries are involved in the illegal trade world-wide, the largest source of this termite-eating mammal is from Africa. Seizures representing some 700,000 Pangolins were made between 2000 and 2018, according to National Geographic, but experts estimate that more than a million pangolins were poached from 2000 through 2013. All eight species are threatened with extinction, despite a ban on international commercial trade in the Pangolin.
The Team hopes that the Plight of the Pangolin will benefit from the spectatorship of 250,000 and 700 million or so television viewers that tune into Le Mans over the weekend.
For further details on Team Africa on the Road to Le Mans, contact Henry Sands at Henry.Sands@sabistrategy.com.