RACING NEWS

True Icons of Le Mans, 1956 to 1968

True Icons of Le Mans, 1956 to 1968 image

Text: / Photos: | posted January 04, 2006 10:00

This year's Le Mans Legend, the historic support race at the Le Mans 24 Hours, will see 61 of the greatest sports-racing cars of all time lining up on the grid on the morning of Saturday 16th June. The eligible years chosen for this year's race, 1956 to 1968, have fired the imaginations of historic race car owners and drivers from Europe and beyond, and the variety of genuine Le Mans and Le Mans-type cars is unsurpassed.

"This year, it has proved harder than ever before to select the 61 cars to race, from the 100-plus top-quality entries we've received," says Duncan Wiltshire, Chairman of Motor Racing Legends which runs the historic support race at Le Mans. "The final list reflects the real icons from one of the most emotive eras of endurance sportscar racing, and it's hard to predict which will be first past the checkered flag. But it's not just the fastest, most powerful cars which draw such enthusiasm from the vast Le Mans crowds. Take, for the example, the two Aston Martin DBR1s pitted against each other in Class Two these are the actual cars which came first and second overall at Le Mans in 1959, and we're delighted to say that Aston Martin's Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez, will be piloting the '59 winner."

Some of the potential front-runners to look out for are the Ford GT40s, always tremendously quick on the high-speed 8.5-mile circuit, plus the Ferrari P3/4 entered by Tim Samways Sporting & Historic Cars and driven by Peter Hardman. We could once again be seeing a Ford vs Ferrari battle for victory at La Sarthe. But the Lola T70 of Andre and Thomas Bailly promises to be another fearsomely quick contender, while the sheer brute power of the 7-liter Corvette Stingray of David Cooke and Joe Twyman will no doubt be put to good use on the long Mulsanne Straight.

Earlier cars include the Jaguar E-type Lightweight of Richard Attwood and Stephen Markey, the Ferrari 330LMB of Tony Dron, and the AC Cobra of Grahame and Oliver Bryant. Plus there are at least three cars which raced at Le Mans in 1962: the famous Morgan Plus 4, an Austin-Healey 3000 and a TVR Grantura.

The one-hour, two-driver Le Mans Legend race is run by Motor Racing Legends in partnership with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest. See www.motorracinglegends.com.