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Le Mans Classic 2012: 109,000 spectators at the Le Mans Classic

Arturo Rivas
Le Mans Classic 2012
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A On May 26, 1923 a fabulous story began. The wind whipped heavy rain and even hail over the Sarthe department in northwestern France, but 33 racing teams were not shaken by the bad weather and started twice around the clock on a 17-kilometer circuit for the first auto marathon: the 24 hours -Race of Le Mans was born.

Former long-distance winners at Le Mans Classic

Every two years, Le Mans Classic commemorates the history of endurance racing. On the historic racing weekend, everything revolves around the cars up to the year of operation 1981, with which history was written on what is now the 13.5 kilometer long track. These include former winning cars such as the Porsche 936 from 1977, the Porsche 917K from 1970 or the Aston Martin DBR1 from 1959. 109,000 spectators saw the spectacle.

Converted Talbot Lago

The bizarre Talbot Lago Ex-monoplace decalée 1939, a monoposto converted into a two-seater racing car, is also one of the most successful Le Mans racers of yore. In 1950, the French Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse achieved second place with the Talbot Lago. 62 years after the podium, the Le Mans classic race went up one place: Christian Traber and his American team-mate Bruce Trenery won the ranking of the oldest cars after three races.

Six Starting fields with a total of 400 cars at the Le Mans Classic

The racing cars at Le Mans Classic will be divided into six starting fields according to their years of construction. Each group competes in alternating three races within the 24 hours. The total times then give the total result. All teams have to pits for a mandatory stop per race.

This also applies to drivers who compete completely in the races themselves, such as the American collector Chris MacAllister with his GULF Mirage M6-Ford from 1972 The open two-seater with the Cosworth Formula 1 engine was unbeatable with MacAllister at the wheel and won with an almost two minute lead. Behind them were Peter and Michael Hinderer, reinforced by Martin Stretton, in a BMW M1 Procar from 1979 (ex-Clay Regazzoni) in second place.

Le Mans legends at the start

Numerous Racing heroes from then and now took part in the spectacle. Themultiple Le Mans winner Derek Bell, for example, started for the first time in a Blower Bentley from 1929. But after the first race he and owner Mark Overington had to give up. Even after a training accident with a Porsche 917K, the Le Mans winners Richard Attwood and Vern Schuppan had to pack up.

Former BMW works driver Fabien Giroix was much more successful: he raced with Roald Goethe in a Porsche 908/3 to second place behind the Swiss Bernhard Thuner, who won with his Lola T70 MkIII-Chevrolet from 1967.

Ford GT40 successful

The Ford GT40 continued their Le Mans legend with a triple victory. Leo Voyazides /Roland d’Abel de Libran won in the Scuderia Filipinetti car ahead of Shaun Lynn and Hans Hugenholtz /David Hart. In racing cars of the late 1950s, New Zealander Roger Wills repeated his 2010 success with Joe Twyman and five-time Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro in the Lotus 15 Climax ahead of Gregor Fisken and Harry Leventis in the Aston Martin DBR1, the 1959 winning car. Gary Pickering won in the 1955 Jaguar D-Type.


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