Amateur racing driver Bonamy Grimes has achieved his ultimate ambition, completing an extraordinary four-year journey with Red River Sport that took him on a quick ascent up the motorsport ladder from local trackdays to the chequered flag in the worldfamous 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Red River Sport – a motorsport management and coaching agency created by professional racing driver, Le Mans podium and Daytona and Sebring winner Johnny Mowlem – designed a programme for Bon with one goal in mind – to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
And four years of expert coaching from Johnny and pure dedication from Bon bore fruit, because the internet travel entrepreneur reached the finish of the 88th edition of the legendary French endurance race, held on 19-20 September 2020.
Bon had the honour of taking the start in the AF Corse by Red River Sport-run Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, and in doing so, he achieved what he once deemed an impossible dream.
The amateur racer from Wales climbed from 20th to 17th in the LMGTE Am classification during the opening exchanges, and pro teammate Charlie Hollings continued Red River Sport’s forward momentum, picking up two more spots shortly after taking the wheel in the first round of scheduled pit stops.
While there were frequent changes in the running order, Red River Sport Co-Founder Mowlem recorded car-best lap times to further improve on the team’s position before passing the car back to Bon as day turned to night.
Le Mans is traditionally run in mid-June, close to the summer solstice when the night is at its shortest, but this year’s September timeslot meant drivers faced 12 gruelling hours of darkness, allowing Bon to fully experience the magic of driving the Circuit de la Sarthe at night.
Red River Sport went as high as 12th in class during marathon night stints, punctuated by Safety Cars, slow zones, and an unscheduled repair stop that was required after the #62 Ferrari 488 GTE span and struck the wall at the second Mulsanne Chicane.
Mercifully, efficient and coordinated repairs by AF Corse by Red River Sport’s mechanics ensured the battle-scarred Ferrari was in a solid 15th come daybreak, after which Bon, Charlie and Johnny all contributed to strengthen their position.
Having started the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans, Bon finished it too; after a sterling final stint, he received the chequered flag in a fine 15th in LMGTE Am to complete a remarkable four-year journey from trackdays to the world’s greatest motor race with Red River Sport and Mowlem.