24 Hours of Le Mans: 1956

 

The 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans was a race for Sports Cars, and took place on 28 and 29 July 1956 on the Circuit de la Sarthe. The race was won by Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson driving a Jaguar D-Type for the new Ecurie Ecosse team. This race also marked the golden jubilee of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) founded in 1906, however because of the previous year's terrible accident, celebrations were deferred to 1957 to go along with the imminent 25th anniversary of the race.

Following the events of 1955, the front stretch and pit lane were redesigned in order to enhance driver and spectator safety. This involved a change to the layout of the Dunlop curve, shortening the overall length of the track by 31 meters.

The official enquiry into the 1955 Le Mans disaster found severe deficiencies in the track layout along the main straight and for quite some time there were serious concerns for the future of the race. However, the ACO took all the recommendations on board and was able to convince the French government for continuation. The extensive renovations cost FF300 million, moving 70000 cubic metres of earth and meant the race was delayed 7 weeks to the end of July.

The pit straight was redesigned: it was widened by 13m (giving room for a deceleration lane), the small kink removed by straightening the approach, and the Dunlop curve realigned, steepened and eased, moving the Dunlop Bridge. This all had the effect of shortening the lap by 31 metres. The grandstand was demolished and rebuilt with new spectator terraces beyond a ditch between the track. The postwar pits were also torn down and a new 3-storey complex built giving more space for crews and with hospitality suites above (although there was still no barrier out to the racing line). This limited the number of starters to 52, down from 60.

Elsewhere on the track, the Indianapolis and Maison Blanche corners were also widened and resurfaced, and a dangerous hump on the road after Arnage was removed. A new “signalling pits” was built just after the Mulsanne corner (in the same place Bentley had used 20 years earlier with a phone-link back to the pits) so as to reduce crew congestion and driver distraction on the critical pit straight area.

Regarding new regulations, the ACO also set a number of new restrictions with a view to limit maximum speeds. Prototypes were now given a maximum engine size of 2.5L. Production cars had to have 50 units “built, sold or provided for” and were still unrestricted in engine capacity. These new limits put the ACO out of step with the FIA and hence the race was dropped from the 1956 World Sportscar Championship. Full-width windscreens, at least 200mm, high were also mandatory further trimming top-speed. Other effects to encourage economy limited all fuel tanks to a maximum size of 130 litres, and the liquids replenishment (fuel, oil, water) window was extended again, from 32 to 34 laps (458 km / 284 miles) meaning a minimum practical fuel economy of 10.8mpg would be needed. Finally, drivers were now only allowed to do 72 consecutive laps and 14 hours in total.

Where we have not had a model of the car as raced through the business I've added another example of the car as an illustration (where I have one)

 

Pos

Car

No

Team

Drivers

Chassis

Engine

Laps

1

Jaguar D Type

4

 Ecurie Ecosse

 Ninian Sanderson
 Ron Flockhart

Jaguar D-Type

Jaguar 3.4L S6

300

2

Aston Martin DB3S (example)

8

 Aston Martin Ltd.

 Stirling Moss
 Peter Collins

Aston Martin DB3S

Aston Martin 2.9L S6

299

3

Still Looking

12

 Scuderia Ferrari

 Olivier Gendebien
 Maurice Trintignant

Ferrari 625 LM

Ferrari 2.5L S4

293

4

Jaguar D Type

5

 Equipe Nationale Belge

 Jacques Swaters
 Freddy Rousselle

Jaguar D-Type

Jaguar 3.4L S6

284

5

Porsche 550 1500/RS

25

 Porsche KG

 Graf Wolfgang von Trips
 Richard von Frankenberg

Porsche 550A Coupe

Porsche 1498cc F4

282

6

Jaguar D Type

1

 Jaguar Cars Ltd.

 Mike Hawthorn
 Ivor Bueb

Jaguar D-Type FI

Jaguar 3.4L S6

280

7

Grand Prix Models; Lotus 11; 1957 24h Le Mans 9th; Chamberlain & MacKay-Fraser; RN62 (example)

36

 Lotus Engineering

 Reg Bicknell
 Peter Jopp

Lotus 11

Climax FWA 1098cc S4

253

8

Still Looking

33

 Cooper Car Company

 Ed Hugus
 John Bentley

Cooper T39

Climax FWA 1098cc S4

252

9

Maserati 150s (example)

30

 C. Bourillot
(private entrant)

 Claude Bourillot
 Henri Perroud

Maserati 150S

Maserati 1497cc S4

245

10

DB HBR5 Antem Cabriolet (example)

40

 Automobiles
Deutsch et Bonnet

 Gérard Laureau
 Paul Armagnac

DB HBR-5 Spyder

Panhard 747cc F2

231

11

DB HBR5 Antem Cabriolet (example)

45

 Automobiles
Deutsch et Bonnet

 Jean-Claude Vidilles
 Jean Thépenier

DB HBR-5 Coupé

Panhard 747cc F2

225

12

DB HBR5 Antem Cabriolet (example)

46

 Automobiles
Deutsch et Bonnet

 André Héchard
 Roger Masson

DB HBR-4 Spyder

Panhard 747cc F2

220

N/C *

Porsche 356A (example)

34

 R. Bourel
(private entrant)

 Roland Bourel
 Maurice Slotine

Porsche 356A

Porsche 1290cc F4

212

13

Still Looking

41

 Just-Emile Vernet

 Jean-Marie Dumazer
 Lucien Campion

VP 166R

Renault 845cc S4

210

DNF

Aston Martin DBR1

14

 Aston Martin Ltd.

 Reg Parnell
 Tony Brooks

Aston Martin DBR1/250

Aston Martin 2.5L S6

246

DNF

Talbot Lago Maserati

17

 Automobiles Talbot

 Jean Behra
 Louis Rosier

Talbot-Lago Sport

Maserati 2.5L S6

220

DSQ

Jaguar XK140

6

 R. Walshaw
(private entrant)

 Robert Walshaw
 Peter Bolton

Jaguar XK140

Jaguar 3.5L S6

209

DNF

Aston Martin DB3S (example)

9

 Aston Martin Ltd.

 Peter Walker
 Roy Salvadori

Aston Martin DB3S

Aston Martin 2.9L S6

173

DNF

Grand Prix Models; Lotus 11; 1957 24h Le Mans 9th; Chamberlain & MacKay-Fraser; RN62 (example)

32

 Lotus Engineering

 Colin Chapman
 Herbert MacKay-Fraser

Lotus 11

Climax FWB 1459cc S4

172

DSQ

Ferrari 500TR

22

 Los Amigos

 François Picard
 Bob Tappan
 Howard Hively

Ferrari 500 TR

Ferrari 1985cc S4

137

DNF

Porsche 550 1500/RS (example)

24

 Porsche KG

 Umberto Maglioli
 Hans Herrmann

Porsche 550A Coupé

Porsche 1498cc F4

136

DNF

Still Looking

37

 René Breuil

 Jean Py
 Yves Dommée

RB Sport

OSCA 1093cc S4

116

DNF

Still Looking

10

 Scuderia Ferrari

 Phil Hill
 André Simon

Ferrari 625 LM

Ferrari 2.5L S4

107

DNF

Frazer Nash Sebring

23

 Automobiles Frazer Nash Ltd.

 Richard ‘Dickie’ Stoop
 Tony Gaze

Frazer Nash Sebring

Bristol 1977cc S6

100

DNF

Still Looking

16

 Automobiles Gordini

 Hermano da Silva Ramos
 André de Guelfi

Gordini T23S

Gordini 2.5L S6

90

DNF

Grand Prix Models; Lotus 11; 1957 24h Le Mans 9th; Chamberlain & MacKay-Fraser; RN62 (example)

35

 Lotus Engineering

 Cliff Allison
 Keith Hall

Lotus 11

Climax FWA 1098cc S4

89

DNF

Still Looking

15

 Automobiles Gordini

 Robert Manzon
 Jean Guichet

Gordini T15S

Gordini 2.5L S8

80

DNF

Valou; 1954 Salmson 2300S Barquette Philippe Charbonneau; Blue (example)

19

 J.-P. Colas
(private entrant)

 Serge Nersessian
 Georges Monneret

Salmson 2300S Coupé

Salmson 2.3L S4

80

DNF

Ferrari 500TRC

20

 Equipe Nationale Belge

 Lucien Bianchi
 Alain de Changy

Ferrari 500 TR

Ferrari 1985cc S4

76

DNF

Still Looking

29

 Automobiles Gordini

 André Milhoux
 Clarence de Clareur

Gordini T17S

Gordini 1495cc S6

67

DNF

Still Looking

48

 Moretti Automobili

 Marcel Lauga
 Jean-Michel Durif

Moretti 750 Gran Sport

Moretti 747cc S4

62

DNF

Ferrari 500TR (example)

21

 P. Meyrat
(private entrant)

 Pierre Meyrat
 Fernand Tavano

Ferrari 500 TR

Ferrari 1985cc S4

61

DNF

Porsche 356A Carrera (example)

26

 Porsche KG

 Max Nathan
 Helmut ‘Helm’ Glöckler

Porsche 356 Carrera

Porsche 1498cc F4

61

DNF

Mercedes-Benz 300SL (example)

7

 P. Metternich

 Fürst Paul von Metternich- Winneburg
 Wittigo von Einsiedel

Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Mercedes-Benz 3.0L S6

58

DNF

Still Looking

49

 Automobiles Panhard

 Jean Hémard
 Pierre Flahaut

Panhard-Monopole X89

Panhard 745cc F2

50

DNF

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder

(example)

27

 W. Seidel
(private entrant)

 Carel Godin de Beaufort
 Mathieu Hezemans

Porsche 550 RS Spyder

Porsche 1498cc F4

48

DNF

Still Looking

50

 Automobiles Panhard

 Pierre Chancel
 André Beaulieux

Panhard-Monopole X88

Panhard 745cc F2

46

DNF

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder

(example)

28

 G. Olivier
(private entrant)

 Claude Storez
 Helmut Polensky

Porsche 550 RS Spyder

Porsche 1498cc F4

45

DNF

Stanguellini 1100 Sports (example)

52

 Automobili Stanguellini

 René-Philippe Faure
 Gilbert Foury

Stanguellini 750 Sport

Stanguellini 741cc S4

36

DNF

Maserati 150s (example)

31

 L. Cornet
(private entrant)

 Louis Cornet
 Robert Mougin

Maserati 150S

Maserati 1487cc S4

35

DNF

Talbot Lago Maserati (example)

18

 Automobiles Talbot

 Jean Lucas
 Geoffredo Zehender

Talbot-Lago Sport

Maserati 2.5L S6

32

DNF

Stanguellini 1100 Sports (example)

53

 Automobili Stanguellini

 Pierre Duval
 Georges Guyot

Stanguellini 750 Sport

Stanguellini 741cc S4

23

DNF

Still Looking

47

 Moretti Automobili

 Marceau Esculus
 François Guillaud

Moretti 750 Gran Sport

Moretti 747cc S4

22

DNF

Still Looking

51

 L. Héry
(private entrant)

 Louis Héry
 Lucien Pailler

Monopole X86

Panhard 745cc F2

5

DNF

OSCA MT4

(example)

42

 Automobili O.S.C.A.

 Jean Laroche
 Rémy Radix

O.S.C.A. 750 S

OSCA] 749cc S4

4

DNF

Jaguar D Type

3

 Jaguar Cars Ltd.

 Jack Fairman
 Ken Wharton

Jaguar D-Type

Jaguar 3.4L S6

3

DNF

DB HBR5 Antem Cabriolet (example)

44

 Automobiles
Deutsch et Bonnet

 Fernand Carpentier
 Pierre Savary

DB HBR-5 Coupé

Panhard 747cc F2

2

DNF

Still Looking

11

 Scuderia Ferrari

 Alfonso, Marquis de Portago
 Duncan Hamilton

Ferrari 625 LM

Ferrari 2.5L I4

2

DNF

Jaguar D Type

2

 Jaguar Cars Ltd.

 Paul Frère
 Desmond Titterington

Jaguar D-Type

Jaguar 3.4L S6

2

 

 

 


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Last Edit: 22/08/2020 Page Created 19/08/2020