Phil Frank Design wins 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans, France. The #50 Saleen S7R campaigned by Larbre Competition wins the last GT1 classification race to be held at the 78th running of 24 hours of Le Mans and takes its place in history.

Designer of the Saleen S7, Phil Frank celebrates the crowning achievement, “This is very proud moment for me, ten years ago I had just completed my design work on the S7, few people know the interesting story so I’ll share some of it here. I had been providing design consulting for Saleen for about seven years at the time, including two generations of Saleen Mustangs, a Saleen Explorer, a Saleen Focus and the Saleen SR Mustang race car. The later was the precursor to the S7, as it took more time to convert a Mustang into a true competition car than to start from a clean sheet of paper. And thus my design and development work began.”

Phil explains, “December 19, 1999, Portland, Oregon, the design work for the S7 officially began in my humble basement studio of my home. At the time I was employed by Nike Equipment as a watch designer, so my S7 design work took place during my second shift, from 9 PM to 1, 2 or even 3 AM, I knew it was time to sleep when the RML engineers in England responded instantly to my emails!

Phil continues, “For the next four months I pioneered and completed the first complete digital development of the body and interior of a production car, if you can believe it using Rhinoceros3D 1.0! We went from 3D data to production surfaces with just one 1:5 scale CNC model in between.”

August 19, 2000 the S7 debuted at Pebble Beach as the world’s fastest road car of its time, just eight short months after the initial sketches were put to paper, another amazing achievement. The S7R race version was introduced shortly afterwards in 2001, where it went on to win all four of the Championships in which it competed that year including: the driver’s championship of the American and European LeMans Series’, the American Grand Am Series and the FIA GT Championship.

“My congratulations to Jack Leconte and his Larbre Competition drivers Roland Bervillé, Julien Canal and Gabriele Gardel to this extraordinary achievement, you made me proud!” Phil Frank.

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