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Piper wins case over blown car engine

Piper wins case over blown car engine Image

Two respected former racing drivers have been fighting it out in court over a blown engine in a replica classic Porsche.

David Piper sued Mark Hales, who now works as a journalist, sports car tester and racing driver teacher, following an incident at Cadwell Park circuit, Lincolnshire, in April 2009.

Mr Hales paid Mr Piper, who also owns an original 917, £2,000 to drive the vehicle as part of his plan to compare the Porsche 917 with the Ferrari 512S for an article. He had loaned the Ferrari from his friend and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

The car hit problems on the third lap, with Mr Piper subsequently accusing Mr Hales of failing to ensure the engagement of the gear as he requested. Mr Hales put the over-revving down to a defective gearbox.

Judge Simon Brown QC, at London's High Court, said the case was more a "question of honour" than money. He awarded Mr Piper £47,961 damages and almost £76,000 costs, to be taxed at the higher indemnity rate, stating the evidence clearly showed the engine was damaged as a result of Mr Hales's failure to appropriately engage gear.

Mr Piper sold the car, valued at £1.25 million, in July last year.


published: 22/01/2013 17:00:01

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