Le Mans Classic

Le Mans Classic 2010 : The legend is back, part 2.

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Here is the second part of  the 2010 Le Mans Classic preview, with grids 4, 5 and 6, and  the related eras. The entry list is here.


Grid 4 : 1962-1965


One of the 2008 starts for Grid 4…

…won by Christian Gläsel’s Ford GT40.

This period was completely dominated by Ferrari, with three wins for the works Ferraris and another for the North American Racing Team. Olivier Gendebien claimed the last of his four wins, while it was the third one for Phil Hill. It was the first appearances of Ford, with first of all AC Cobras and then the first GT40 entries in 1964.


Six GT40s are entered this year in grid 4, for Monteverde/Pearson, tireless, Hans Hugenholtz, Christian Gläsel, regular Group C Racing driver and winner at Le Mans Classic two years ago, among others…There will be too many Ferraris including Luis Perez-Companc’s 330LM and Claudia Hürtgen’s 330P, many Cobras for Eric de Doncker or for Miguel Amaral and the De Mello Brynner brothers. Some Alpine-Renault will be racing too : one M63 for Hiroki Katoh, one M65 for Jean Ragnotti and Alain Serpaggi; Leventis/Verdon Roe/Fisken will drive a Dino Ferrari; David Hart, second at Le Mans in the GT1 category, will drive a powerful Bizzarrini…Jaguars, Lotus, Porsches, MGs, Morgans will be on the grid too.


As we already said, Christain Gläsel was winner in 2008 aboard the #44 Ford GT40.


Grid 5 – 1966-1971


Olivier Cazalières and his Ferrari 512S were winners of Grid 5…

But beware of the Porsche 917s !

1966 is the first Ford win at Le Mans with Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon’s Mk II, followed next year by another victory, Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt, winners with a Ford Mk IV, being over the 5000 kms mark for the first time, with a new record : 5232,900. The next two years, Ford claims still the win. In 1969, Jacky Ickx is winner for the first time, partnered by Jackie Oliver behind the wheel of a JohnWyer’s Ford GT40. Everyone remembers of course Jacky Ickx walking slowly -and not sprinting- towards his car at the start…1970 and 1971 have been Porsche races, with the famous Porsche 917. In 1970, Hans Herrmann -with Richard Atwood- takes his revenge of his 1969 second place and in 1971 Austrian Helmut Marko and Dutch Gijs Van Lennep set a new record for the event with 5335,313 kilometers, a record improved only last June by Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller, on a circuit definitely less quick than in 1971.


Five GT40s have been entered and two Porsche 917 only, but the Porsches will have some strong line-ups : one 917 will be driven by the Portuguese Amaral/De Mello Brynner/De Mello Brynner, and the other one will be driven by two former Le Mans winners : Vern Schuppan (winner in 1983 and three more podiums at Le Mans) and Richard Atwood (winner in 1970 and second in 1971 with a Porsche 917). Many other Porsche models will be on the track : 911, 906, 908 -including one 908 for Sascha Maassen/Willy Kauhsen/Hervé Regout-. Among Porsche and Ford’s opponents, there will be of course Ferrari, with 4 Ferrari 512 -Monteverde/Pearson, inevitably…- and a Ferrari P3 for Leventis/Verdon Roe/Fisken, other stakhanovist drivers too….One Matra 660 is entered for Guenat/Mahé, one Alfa Romeo TT, many Lola T70s…In this grid, always popular with the audience at Le Mans Classic, one of the stars will be Jean Marc Luco’s Ligier JS3. The Swiss driver will share the wheel of the Ligier with Jacques Nicolet. Some Chevrons, Alpine-Renaults or Corvettes are entered too, more several GT Ferraris, including Paul Knapfield and Jamie Campbell-Walter’s Ferrari 365 GTB4.


Olivier Cazalières had been winner of grid 5 in 2008 with a Ferrari 512S.


Grid 6 – 1972-1979


Jean-Marc Luco’s Porsche 936 will still be looking for the win in Grid 6…

Henri Pesacarolo will drive one of the Inalteras.

Matra took the first of three wins in a row in 1972. Henri Pescarolo claimed three wins too, two with Gérard Larrousse and one partnered by Graham Hill, each of the these victories with a Matra 670-. Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell secured the win with a Mirage-Cosworth in 1975, Porsche winning in 1976 and 1977 with the Porsche 936. Jacky Ickx added a new win to his record in 1976 with Gijs Van Lennep and next year he shared his victory with Hurley Haywood and Jürgen Barth. 1978 saw the long awaited Renault victory with the Alpine Renault A442B, with the famous acrylic glass bubble canopy, driven by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi, Next year, it was the only win at Le Mans of a Porsche 935, a Kremer Racing K3 which was shared by the Whittington brothers and by Klaus Ludwig.


Unfortunatey, there is not any Matra entered but no less than nine Porsche 935 will be on the track, including two “Moby Dick”, one for Yvan Mahé and the other one for a Porsche expert, Helmuth Freisinger while Norbert Singer himself will be behind the wheel of another Porsche 935. There is not anymore any Alpine-Renault A442 or A443 but their great contender of the previous Le Mans Classic events will be there, the former Ickx/Joest Porsche 936 driven by his current owner Jean-Marc Luco, again partnered with Jacques Nicolet. Two Inalteras -the prototypes built by the late Jean Rondeau- will be in this field too, with Henri Pescarolo aboard one car. In this grid, there are too several Ferraris 512BB, including one for Knapfield/J-C W, many Chevrons and Lolas, a Sauber C5 for the Scemama brothers and Walter Brunn, a rare Duckham’s LM for Olivier Cazalières, one Gulf-Mirage, one Cheetah, one Toj…French Prime Minister François Fillon will drive a BMW M1…


Jean-Marc Luco and Jürgen Barth had been winners of the 2008 event in grid 6 with the Porsche 936.



Claude Foubert


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