François Perrodo has access to a lot of extremely cool cars for a Sunday morning drive. He took out an ultra-rare McLaren F1 GTR and filled the multi-million-dollar car up with diesel instead of gas!
The No. 61 Lark-McLaren was run in the 1996 GT500 series, the championship that would turn into Super GT, with John Nielsen and David Brabham at the wheel. It beat the No. 60 sister car to take that year’s incredibly dramatic title.
Perrodo was out for a drive when the car seemed to be running into problems, so he contacted Paul Lanzante who runs a classic car garage now, but he also oversaw exactly one of these cars winning the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. When Lanzante couldn’t get the car started, Perrodo realized there might be a bigger problem.
Perrodo called it “the cook post of the century,” he admitted that “after 25 years of dedicated petrolhead life, I did the mother of all f*ck ups! I put diesel in a McLaren F1 GTR.”
“I don’t know what went through my head at that precise moment (actually, probably nothing),” Perrodo’s confession continues, “but I was so happy and excited I just grabbed the first nozzle available (which incidentally was blue, like 97 ultimate!) and then I started filling the car.
“Firstly, had it been a modern car, the nozzle would not have fit in the hole but the GTR is a race car with a large aperture!
“Secondly, had we been in France, the diesel nozzle would have been disgusting and smelly but this was BP Chiswick and it was as clean and dry as a petrol nozzle!
“And finally, you’d think my friends would have warned me!”
Perrodo, stated, “Anyhow, a very important word of advice to McLaren F1 owners, the car is brilliant and you’d think Gordon made zero compromises. Except he did one, the car won’t run on diesel.”
Diesel is thicker than gasoline, so it can gum up the fuel delivery system in a hurry. However, if someone makes the mistake of putting gas in a diesel car, it could combust way before it’s supposed to, causing fiery problems that nobody wants.
Perrodo’s story ends with Paul Lanzante quoted as saying what we’re all thinking: “Mate, I’ve seen some truly shocking shit in my career, but you’ve just taken it to a whole new level.”