1966 24 Hours of Le Mans

 

The 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 34th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 18 and 19 June 1966. It was also the seventh round of the 1966 World Sportscar Championship season. This was the first overall win at Le Mans for the Ford GT40 as well as the first overall win for an American constructor. It was also the debut Le Mans start for two significant drivers: Henri Pescarolo, who went on to set the record for the most starts at Le Mans; and Jacky Ickx, whose record of six Le Mans victories stood until beaten by Tom Kristensen in 2005.

After 2 years of its 3-year program, Ford had very little to show for its immense investment. Extensive work was done in the wind tunnel, and improving the brakes, handling and engine – not least improving the fuel economy. The 7-litre Ford NASCAR race engine now put out ca. 550 bhp but was registered as "485 hp" as a result of Ford's lowered rev-limit setting for the 24h race. But the new year started with promise with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby winning both the inaugural 24 Hours of Daytona and then 12 Hours of Sebring. Copying Ferrari's tactic of overwhelming numbers, they put in fifteen Mark II entrants; eight were accepted by the ACO. This time six were built and prepared by Holman & Moody. Shelby ran three cars for Americans Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant, Miles was now paired with New Zealander Denny Hulme after Ruby had been injured in a plane crash a month earlier. The third car was the all-Kiwi pairing of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. Holman & Moody, the successful Ford NASCAR race team also brought another trio of GT40`s as backups, – for Mark Donohue/Paul Hawkins, Ronnie Bucknum/Dick Hutcherson, and Lucien Bianchi/Mario Andretti. One of the big improvements Holman & Moody brought with them was a quick-change brake pad system to save time in the pits.

The British team Alan Mann Racing had two cars prepared by Ford Advanced Vehicles, for Graham Hill/Dick Thompson and John Whitmore/Frank Gardner. Each of the eight cars was painted in a colour from the Mustang road-car range.

Ferrari's response to the Mk II was the new Ferrari 330 P3. Shorter and wider than the P2, it kept the same 4-litre engine but with fuel-injection now put out 420 bhp. The works team had a pair of closed-cockpit versions for John Surtees/Ludovico Scarfiotti and former winners Lorenzo Bandini/Jean Guichet. An open-cockpit variant was given to the North American Racing Team (NART) for Pedro Rodriguez/Richie Ginther. But their race preparation had been limited by strike action in Italy.

1966 saw the advent of a completely new set of regulations from the CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale – the FIA's regulations body) – the FIA Appendix J, redefining the categories of motorsport in a numerical list. GT cars were now Group 3 and Prototypes were now Group 6. Two new classes for Sports Cars were Group 4 and Group 5 for 'Special Sports Cars' (Group 1 and 2 covered Touring Cars, Group 7 led to the Can-Am series, with Group 8 and 9 for single-seaters).

As Group 7 were ineligible for FIA events, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) opened its entry list to Group 3, 4 and 6. The FIA mandated minimum annual production runs of 500 cars for Group 3 (up from 100 previously) and 50 for Group 4, which also had a maximum engine capacity of 5000cc. There were no engine limits on the GTs or Prototypes. As before, the Groups were split up in classes based on engine size, there was a sliding scale of a minimum weight based on the increasing engine size (from 450 to 1000 kg for 500 to 7000cc) as was fuel-tank capacity (60 to 160 litres).

Along with the new Appendix J, after four years of focus on GT racing the FIA announced the International Manufacturer's Championship, for Group 6 Prototypes (2L / >2L), and the International Sports Car Championship for Group 4 (1.3L / 2L / 5L).

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

Pos

Car

No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps
1 Ford GT40 2  Shelby American  Bruce McLaren
 Chris Amon
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 360
2 Ford GT40 1  Shelby American  Ken Miles
 Denny Hulme
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 360
3 Ford GT40 5  Holman & Moody  Ronnie Bucknum
 Dick Hutcherson
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 348
4 Porsche 906LE 30  Porsche System
Engineering
 Jo Siffert
 Colin Davis
Porsche 906/6 LH Porsche 1991cc F6 339
5 Porsche 906LE

(example)

31  Porsche System
Engineering
 Hans Herrmann
 Herbert Linge
Porsche 906/6 LH Porsche 1991cc F6 338
6 Porsche 906LE

(example)

32  Porsche System
Engineering
 Udo Schütz
 Peter de Klerk
Porsche 906/6 LH Porsche 1991cc F6 337
7 Porsche 906LE 58  Porsche System
Engineering
 Günter Klass
 Rolf Stommelen
Porsche 906/6 Carrera 6 Porsche 1991cc F6 330
8 Ferrari 275 GTB 29  Maranello Concessionaires  Piers Courage
 Roy Pike
Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 3.3L V12 313
9 106716

(example)

62  Société Automobiles
Alpine
 Henri Grandsire
 Leo Cella
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1296cc S4 311
10 Ferrari 275 GTB

(example)

57  Ecurie Francorchamps  Pierre Noblet
 Claude Dubois
Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 3.3L V12 310
11 106716

(example)

44  Ecurie Savin-Calberson  Roger Delageneste
 Jacques Cheinisse
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1296cc S4 307
12 106716

(example)

45  Société Automobiles
Alpine
 Robert Bouharde
 Guy Verrier
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1296cc S4 307
13 106716

(example)

46  Société Automobiles
Alpine
 Mauro Bianchi
 Jean Vinatier
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1296cc S4 306
14 Porsche 911 35  J. Franc
(private entrant)
 "Franc" (Jacques Dewes)
 Jean Kerguen
Porsche 911S Porsche 1991cc F6 284
15 Mini Marcos GT 50  J-L Marnat & Cie
(private entrant)
 Jean-Louis Marnat
 Claude Ballot-Léna
Mini Marcos GT 2+2 BMC 1287cc S4 258
DNF Porsche 906LE

(example)

33  Porsche System
Engineering
 Peter Gregg
 Sten Axelsson
Porsche 906/6 Carrera 6 Porsche 1991cc F6 321
DNF Ford GT40 3  Shelby American  Dan Gurney
 Jerry Grant
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 257
DNF Austin Healy Le Mans Sprite

(example)

49  Donald Healey Motor Company  Paddy Hopkirk
 Andrew Hedges
Austin Healy Le Mans Sprite BMC 1293cc S4 237
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

14  Scuderia Filipinetti  Dieter Spoerry
 Peter Sutcliffe
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 233
DNF Ferrari 330-P3

(example)

21  SpA Ferrari SEFAC  Lorenzo Bandini
 Jean Guichet
Ferrari 330 P3 Ferrari 4.0L V12 226
DNF Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Lightweight 26  E. Hugus
(private entrant)
 Giampiero Biscaldi
 Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parma
Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 3.3L V12 218
DNF Ferrari 250 LM

(example)

28  Equipe Nationale Belge  Gustave ‘Taf’ Gosselin
 Eric de Keyn
Ferrari 250 LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 218
DNF 106716

(example)

47  Société Automobiles
Alpine
 Berndt Jansson
 Pauli Toivonen
Alpine A210 Renault 1296cc S4 217
DNF Ford GT40 MkII 59  Essex Wire Corporation  Peter Revson
 Skip Scott
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 212
DNF Ford GT40 MkII 15  Ford France S.A.  Guy Ligier
 Bob Grossman
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 205
DNF Ferrari 365 P2/3 19  Scuderia Filipinetti  Willy Mairesse
 Herbert Müller
Ferrari 365 P2 Ferrari 4.4L V12 166
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

60  Essex Wire Corporation  Jochen Neerpasch
 Jacky Ickx
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 154
DNF Ferrari 330-P3 27  North American Racing Team  Richie Ginther
 Pedro Rodríguez
Ferrari 330 P3 Spyder Ferrari 4.0L V12 151
DNF Austin Healy Le Mans Sprite 48  Donald Healey Motor Company  John Rhodes
 Clive Baker
Austin-Healey Sprite Le Mans BMC 1293cc S4 134
DNF Ferrari 365 P2/3

(example)

17  Ecurie Francorchamps  "Beurlys" (Jean Blaton)
 Pierre Dumay
Ferrari 365 P2 Ferrari 4.4L V12 129
DNF Ferrari 330-P3

(example)

20  SpA Ferrari SEFAC  Ludovico Scarfiotti
 Mike Parkes
Ferrari 330 P3 Ferrari 4.0L V12 123
DNF 106716

(example)

55  Société Automobiles
Alpine
 André de Cortanze
 Jean-Pierre Hanrioud
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1005cc S4 118
DNF Still Looking 41  Matra Sport  Johnny Servoz-Gavin
 Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Matra MS620 BRM 1915cc V8 112
DNF Chaparral 2D 9  Chaparral Cars  Phil Hill
 Jo Bonnier
Chaparral 2D Chevrolet 5.4L V8 111
DNF Ford GT40 MkII 7  Alan Mann Racing  Graham Hill
 Brian Muir
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 110
DNF Porsche 906LE

(example)

34  Auguste Veuillet  Robert Buchet
 Gerhard 'Gerd' Koch
Porsche 906/6 Carrera 6 Porsche 1991cc F6 110
DNF Still Looking 42  Matra Sport  Jo Schlesser
 Alan Rees
Matra MS620 BRM 1915cc V8 100
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

6  Holman & Moody  Mario Andretti
 Lucien Bianchi
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 97
DNF Still Looking 53  Automobiles CD  Georges Heligouin
 Jean ‘Johnny’ Rives
CD SP66 Peugeot 1130cc S4 91
DNF Ferrari 365 P2/3

(example)

18  North American Racing Team  Masten Gregory
 Bob Bondurant
Ferrari 365 P2 Ferrari 4.4L V12 88
DNF Still Looking 51  Automobiles CD  Claude Laurent
 Jean-Claude Ogier
CD SP66 Peugeot 1130cc S4 54
DNF ASA Ferrarina

(example)

54  North American Racing Team  François Pasquier
 Robert Mieusset
ASA GT RB-613 ASA 1290cc S4 50
DNF Still Looking 24  Scuderia San Marco  Jean-Claude Sauer
 Jean de Mortemart
Serenissima Spyder Serenissima 3.5L V8 40
DSQ Bizzarrini P536

(example)

11  Prototipi Bizzarrini  Sam Posey
 Massimo Natili
Bizzarrini P538 Super America Chevrolet 5.4L V8 39
DNF Still Looking 43  Matra Sport  Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
 Henri Pescarolo
Matra MS620 BRM 1915cc V8 38
DNF Ferrari 365 P2/3 16  Maranello Concessionaires  Richard Attwood
 David Piper
Ferrari 365 P2 Ferrari 4.4L V12 33
DNF ASA Ferrarina

(example)

61  Autocostruzione Societa
per Azione
 Ignazio Giunti
 Spartaco Dini
ASA GT RB-613 ASA 1290cc S4 31
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

8  Alan Mann Racing  Sir John Whitmore
 Frank Gardner
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 31
DNF Still Looking 52  Automobiles CD  Pierre Lelong
 Alain Bertaut
CD SP66 Peugeot 1130cc S4 19
DNF Ferrari 206C

(example)

36  Maranello Concessionaires  Mike Salmon
 David Hobbs
Dino 206 S Ferrari 1986cc V6 14
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

4  Holman & Moody  Mark Donohue
 Paul Hawkins
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 12
DNF Ferrari 206C

(example)

38  North American Racing Team  Charlie Kolb
 George Follmer
Dino 206 S Ferrari 1986cc V6 9
DNF Bizzarrini P536

(example)

10  Prototipi Bizzarrini  Edgar Berney
 André Wicky
Bizzarrini P538 Sport Chevrolet 5.4L V8 8
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

12  Comstock Racing
 F.R. English Ltd
 Jochen Rindt
 Innes Ireland
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 8
DNF Ferrari 206C

(example)

25  Scuderia San Marco
 North American Racing Team
 Nino Vaccarella
 Mario Casoni
Dino 206 S Ferrari 1986cc V6 7
DNS Still Looking 56  Société Automobiles
Alpine
 Henri Grandsire
 André de Cortanze
Alpine A110 M64 Renault-Gordini 1005cc S4 Did not start
DNS Ford GT40

(example)

63  Scuderia Bear  Dick Holqvist
 M.R. Wylie
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 practice accident
DNA Ferrari 330-P3

(example)

22  SpA Ferrari SEFAC  Giancarlo Baghetti
 Umberto Maglioli
Ferrari 330 P3 Ferrari 4.0L V12 Did not arrive
DNA Still Looking 23  Scuderia San Marco  Louis Corbero
 
Serenissima Spyder Serenissima 3.5L V8 Did not arrive
DNA Ferrari 206C

(example)

37  SpA Ferrari SEFAC  Giampiero Biscaldi
 Mario Casoni
Dino 206 S Ferrari 1986cc V6 Did not arrive
DNA Ferrari 206C

(example)

39  P.Dumay
(private entrant)
 Pierre Dumay
 Gustave ‘Taf’ Gosselin
Dino 206 S Ferrari 1986cc V6 Did not arrive
DNA Alfa Romeo Giulietta GTZ II

(example)

44  Equipe Nationale Belge  Georges Harris
 Gerhard Langlois van Ophem
Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2 Alfa Romeo 1570cc S4 Did not arrive
DNR Jaguar XJ13 Prototype   Jaguar Cars Ltd        

 


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Last Edit: 16/04/2022 Page Created 09/04/2022