The most glorious battle of Le Mans

The most glorious battle of Le Mans

This year was the 83rd race’s most famous endurance race for the planet, “the 24-Hours of Le Mans.” For those who do not know what it is: the Le Mans 13-kilometer ring of “Sarte” compete once 56 cars. The race starts at 15.00 on Saturday, continuing through the night and ends the next day – in the same 3 pm on Sunday.

It is a grueling test of mechanics and strength of will, which wants to win every automaker. The first prize winner of last year – the crew of Audi – 24 hours of the race was over 5165 kilometers.

The Le Mans several times occurred something like a duel. We scoured the archives until the early 30-ies and excavated the largest and most spectacular fights over the entire 90-year history of the race – Bentley against Alfa, Ferrari and Porsche against Ford against all the others. Sometimes it was just a competitive spirit, and sometimes – a personal vendetta.

And when you consider that the winner of this year’s Porsche was the qualifying round and an impressive 3 minutes 16.887 seconds (the best result since the time of the 80) do not come any more one battle – with Audi, the recognized king of Le Mans? Time will tell. In the meantime, we offer to make a little history.

30 years : Bentley vs Alfa Romeo

Red Alfa Romeo against incredibly green Bentley: for them is often remembered as one of the greatest rivalries in the sport. But in fact, these two teams have never met face to face. Bentley dominated Le Mans in the 20s – despite the fact that the head of Walter Owen Bentley, in truth, not really watching these races. The team won four times in a row from 1927 to 1930. And after Bentley in 1931 bought a Rolls-Royce and pilots dismissed, the lead under the sole guidance of Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo. She won all the races from 1931 to 1934, the year, competing primarily with itself.

In the race of the 33rd year of the leadership struggled Luigi Chinetti and Tazio Nuvolari in the Alfa 8C, and Nuvolari beat the opponent only 10 seconds. What about Bentley vs Bugatti? It is known that Ettore Bugatti spoke of Bentley as “the fastest trucks in the world.” But in the race they have never competed.

1930: Bentley Speed Six in the pit stop. And it’s a real milkman only with petrol.

The winner of the 31-year Alfa 8C and Tim Birkin in a shirt with short sleeves.

Glen Kidston and Woolf Barnato with flowers and cigarettes after the victory Bentley in 1930.

Tim Birkin at the Bentley Speed Six passes Pontle turn in 1929 m.

The teams are preparing for the pit stop. Lack pit Walla scares.

50th: Jaguar vs Mercedes

Motorsports restored not too long after the Second World War. In the early 50’s competition it was already high: British “Jaguars” competed with the German “Mercedes” and Italian “Ferrari”. At first, they were decently kept away from each other. Jaguar won the 51 th, and he had no real rivals. The next year, Mercedes put pressure and Jaguar – not. As a result, 300SL took first and second place. Jaguar won again in the 53 th – at the C-type disc brakes appeared – and then the first two places in the 54th went to Ferrari. In the race, the 55th was attended by all three firms, and she had become a battle of the titans, but Pierre Levegh at the Mercedes drove into the crowd, more than 80 people were killed. The race continued without Mercedes, the winner was Mike Hawthorn at the new Jaguar D-type.

300SL in 1952. Racing rules have led to the emergence of “gull wing».

1957: Ivor Bueb on D-type bypasses upside down Aston Martin DBR1.

The famous Le start Mans. In 1971 spoiled everything.

1951: The leading Jaguar XK120C, known as C- type.

1956: win Flockhart / Sanderson for Ecurie Ecosse D-type

60: Ford vs Ferrari

risky contact with Henry Ford II. Enzo Ferrari felt it on their skin after talks on unification Ferrari and Ford suddenly failed. “We named Nader ass – shouted Ford Jr. his advisers when he discovered this fact. – We go around them! “Since then, and began one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport. The result was the GT40. In a year when the car made its debut at Le Mans, winning Ferrari. In the 65th Ferrari won again. But then, in 1966, GT40 Mk2 looked all so that all three leading car Ford finished side by side. “We’re not going to buy a Ferrari», – said proudly Henry II after the race. His GT40 won the race three times, Ferrari has not won since.

The most glorious battle of Le Mans

1963 victory Ferrari 250P Lorenzo Bandini and Ludovico Skarfiotti

1961: Phil Hill and Olivier Zhandeben in half gig half Testa Rossa.

Ken Miles on GT40 Mk2 in 1966 – they came second but only because Ford wanted to finish systems …

… that’s it. GT40 of Bruce McLaren leads the colleagues. Ferrari have only eighth place.

1962: Hill and Gendenbeyn win again, this time on Ferrari 330LM.

70th and 80th: Porsche vs the rest

Porsche for the first time loudly announced himself in the Le Mans winning 917 th in 1970, and then won 4 more victories on the track Sarte in the same decade. But in 1981, the triumph of Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx in the 936 th marked the beginning of a series of victories, which lasted seven years. Especially outstanding was the 83 th year: E Holbert at 956-m came first (even lost the door and that the engine had to be watered after the finish of a fire extinguisher), and Porsche won all the seats from first to eighth. Despite attempts to competition from Lancia, Peugeot and Jaguar, no one could compare to the Germans in the field of reliability and speed. As a result, it was only TWR Jaguar team in the 88th, armed with five XJR-9, a free car, fourteen riders 2,500 buses and planes – in case need more parts.

1982: Porsche 956 Ickx and Bell passes the bridge Dunlop.

The tandem of the two wedges. BMW M1 Procar restrains Lancia Beta Montecarlo.

The winner of the 1978 year – Renault-Alpine A442B . So as soon as and ugly.

1970: Porsche 917 driven by the very first victory in the Le Mans.

Porsche 936/77: in the colors of Martini life much better!