MOTORSPORT: Warwick driver Matt Campbell is "absolutely over
MOTORSPORT: Warwick driver Matt Campbell is "absolutely over the moon” after being part of the Dempsey-Proton Racing team which won its class in the world's greatest motor race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Campbell told Porsche officials that the race which finished on Sunday went fantastically.
"It's only my debut here, my second year in Europe and my second year with Porsche. It's something crazy,” he said.
Campbell took victory in the GTE-Am class aboard the #77 Porsche 911 RSR of Dempsey-Proton Racing, led by team co-owner and American film star Patrick Dempsey.
Campbell and fellow professional Christian Ried (Germany) were joined in the winning GTE-Am class car by Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) for the 107th class win for a Porsche.
Dempsey said the team just had a level of class to their driving.
"Matt was on the radio and he was just really calm and knew what he had to do,” Dempsey said.
"He just had this look in his eye and I was like 'this guy is the real deal'.
"These are young stars emerging and we are a part of it.”
Yve Stocks, a councillor with Southern Downs Regional Council, remembers moving to Warwick 15 years ago to be closer to Morgan Park Raceway.
She is a regular driver in super sprints action at Morgan Park and recalled a young Matt Campbell driving on the circuit.
"At that time, he wanted to be a V8 driver but this is well above that,” Cr Stocks said.
"Le Mans is a huge international event - it is like Bathurst but much bigger.
"We don't have any 24-hour races in Australia, and to have someone from our little town win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is absolutely massive.”
Campbell and his team held the lead from about 5.30pm Saturday.
He said that was hard to believe.
"The car was mega all race, absolutely perfect, no mistakes, no contact, nothing like that. Julien and Christian did a fantastic job.”