1969 24 Hours of Le Mans

 

The 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 37th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 14 and 15 June 1969. It was the eighth round of the 1969 World Sportscar Championship season.

It was the last year with the traditional "Le Mans" style start, in which the drivers run across the track to enter their cars, start them, and race away. The previous year, Willy Mairesse crashed on the first lap while trying to properly close the door of his car at speed on the Mulsanne Straight; the crash would have been avoided entirely if not for the Le Mans-style start, and it ended Mairesse's racing career. During the 1969 start, eventual winner Jacky Ickx famously staged his own one-man protest by walking to his car, and taking his time doing up his belts. Meanwhile, privateer John Woolfe ran with the other drivers, flipped his car on the opening lap near Maison Blanche corner, and not yet strapped in properly, was killed when the car broke up.

The race was one of the most exciting in the event's history. Porsche had already wrapped up the World Sportscar Championship, and were strong favourites to achieve their first outright win. More than one-third of the starting cars were Porsches, and the mighty 917s held the lead for 90% of the race. But when the Elford/Attwood car's gearbox broke at 11 a.m., it was the Ford of Ickx and Jackie Oliver that took over the lead. The race ended in a 3-hour sprint, with the Ford battling the pursuing Porsche 908 of Hans Herrmann and Gérard Larrousse non-stop. In the end, the Ford GT40 – the same chassis that had won the previous year – took the chequered flag by just 120 metres after 24 hours.

Heeding the calls of race promoters worried about diminishing fields, the FIA sought to fix things by reducing the minimum production figure to run in Group 4 from 50 to 25. Even though they had an unlimited engine capacity, it was reasoned that it would not be a difference as the cars were not usually as competitive as the Group 6 Prototypes. This however, left a large flaw in the system for big manufacturers with the resources to exploit the regulations. Porsche were able to construct 25 chassis of their new 917 prototype, with its 4.5-litre engine, to get it homologated for Group 4.

This year the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) brought the start-time forward to 2pm, to allow time for the largely French crowd to still be able to get to vote in the Presidential Elections on the Sunday afternoon. New Armco crash barriers were installed around the circuit, including on the Mulsanne Straight, where there was previously no protection from the trees, houses and embankments in the event of a car leaving the track. Sandbanks were replaced by barriers.

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 6  JW Automotive Engineering  Jacky Ickx
 Jackie Oliver
Ford GT40 Ford 4.9L V8 372
2 Porsche 908 64  Porsche System Engineering  Hans Herrmann
 Gérard Larrousse
Porsche 908LH Coupé Porsche 3.0L F8 372
3 Ford GT40 7  JW Automotive Engineering  David Hobbs
 Mike Hailwood
Ford GT40 Ford 4.9L V8 368
4 Matra 650

(example)

33  Equipe Matra – Elf  Jean-Pierre Beltoise
 Piers Courage
Matra-Simca MS650 Matra 3.0L V12 368
5 Matra 650

(example)

32  Equipe Matra – Elf  Jean Guichet
 Nino Vaccarella
Matra-Simca MS630 Matra 3.0L V12 359
6 Ford GT40

(example)

68  Deutsche Auto Zeitung  Helmut Kelleners
 Reinhold Joest
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 341
7 Matra 650 35  Equipe Matra – Elf  Giovanni 'Nanni' Galli
 Robin Widdows
Matra-Simca MS630/650 Matra 3.0L V12 330
8 Ferrari 275LM

(example)

17  North American Racing Team  Teodoro Zeccoli
 Sam Posey
Ferrari 275LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 329
9 Porsche 910

(example)

39  C. Poirot
(private entrant)
 Christian Poirot
 Pierre Maublanc
Porsche 910 Porsche 1991cc F6 312
10 Porsche 911

(example)

41  J.-P. Gaban
(private entrant)
 Jean-Pierre Gaban
 Yves Deprez
Porsche 911S Porsche 1991cc F6 306
11 Porsche 911

(example)

40  Auguste Veuillet  Claude Ballot-Léna
 Guy Chasseuil
Porsche 911T Porsche 1991cc F6 301
12 Alpine Renault A220

(example)

50  Société des Automobiles Alpine  Alain Serpaggi
 Christian Ethuin
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1005cc S4 292
13 Porsche 911

(example)

44  C. Laurent
(private entrant)
 Claude Laurent
 Jacques Marché
Porsche 911T Porsche 1991cc F6 287
14 Porsche 911

(example)

67  P. Farjon
(private entrant)
 Philippe Farjon
 Jacques Dechaumel
Porsche 911S Porsche 1991cc F6 286
DNF Porsche 917 LM 12  Porsche System Engineering  Vic Elford
 Richard Attwood
Porsche 917LH Porsche 4.5L F12 327
DNF Porsche 908

(example)

22  Porsche System Engineering  Rudi Lins
 Willi Kauhsen
Porsche 908LH Coupé Porsche 3.0L F8 317
DNF Alpine Renault A220

(example)

45  Société des Automobiles Alpine  Jean-Claude Killy
 Bob Wollek
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1470cc S4 242
DNF Porsche 911

(example)

66  J. Egreteaud
(private entrant)
 Jean Edreteaud
 Raymond Lopez
Porsche 911T Porsche 1991cc F6 241
DNF Ferrari 312P 18  SpA Ferrari SEFAC  Pedro Rodriguez
 David Piper
Ferrari 312P Coupé Ferrari 3.0L V12 223
DNF Alpine Renault A220

(example)

29  Ecurie Savin-Calberson  Patrick Depailler
 Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Alpine A220/69 Renault-Gordini 3.0L V8 209
DNF Porsche 908

(example)

23  Porsche System Engineering  Udo Schütz
 Gerhard Mitter
Porsche 908LH Coupé Porsche 3.0L F8 199
DNF Lola T70

(example)

2  Scuderia Filipinetti  Joakim 'Jo' Bonnier
 Masten Gregory
Lola T70 Mk.IIIB Chevrolet 5.0L V8 196
DNF Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark

(example)

1  Scuderia Filipinetti  Henri Greder
 Reine Wisell
Chevrolet Corvette C3 Chevrolet 7.0L V8 196
DNF Porsche 911

(example)

63  Marcel Martin
(private entrant)
 René Mazzia
 Pierre Mauroy
Porsche 911T Porsche 1991cc F6 174
DNF Alpine Renault A220

(example)

31  Société des Automobiles Alpine  Jean-Pierre Nicolas
 Jean-Luc Thérier
Alpine A220/68 Renault-Gordini 3.0L V8 160
DNF Matra 650

(example)

34  Ecurie Matra – Elf  Johnny Servoz-Gavin
 Herbert Müller
Matra-Simca MS630/650 Matra 3.0L V12 158
DNF Porsche 917 14  Porsche System Engineering  Rolf Stommelen
 Kurt Ahrens Jr.
Porsche 917LH Porsche 4.5L F12 148
DNF Alpine Renault A220

(example)

28  Société des Automobiles Alpine  Jean Vinatier
 André de Cortanze
Alpine A220/69 Renault-Gordini 3.0L V8 133
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

8  P. Sadler
(private entrant)
 Peter Sadler
 Paul Vestey
Ford GT40 Ford 4.7L V8 106
DNF Chevron B8 43  J. C. Bamford Excavators Ltd  Roger Enever
 Peter Brown
Chevron B8 BMW 1991cc S4 100
DNF Alpine Renault A220

(example)

49  Trophée Le Mans Alpine
 
 Jacques Foucteau
 Patrice Compain
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1296cc S4 97
DNF Alfa Romeo T33/2 38  Racing Team VDS  Gustave 'Taf' Gosselin
 Claude Bourgoignie
Alfa Romeo T33/B Alfa Romeo 1996cc V8 76
DNF Porsche 908 Spyder 20  Hart Ski Racing
 Porsche System Engineering
 Jo Siffert
 Brian Redman
Porsche 908/02LH Porsche 3.0L F8 60
DNF Alpine Renault A220

(example)

30  Société des Automobiles Alpine  Jean-Claude Andruet
 Henri Grandsire
Alpine A220/69 Renault-Gordini 3.0L V8 48
DNF Ford GT40

(example)

9  Alan Mann Racing Ltd.  Frank Gardner
 Malcolm Guthrie
Ford GT40 Ford 4.9L V8 42
DSQ Ferrari 275 GTB

(example)

59  Scuderia Filipinetti  Claude Haldi
 Jacques Rey
Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 3.3L V12 39
DNF Alfa Romeo T33/2

(example)

36  Racing Team VDS  Teddy Pilette
 Rob Slotemaker
Alfa Romeo T33/B Alfa Romeo 2.5L V8 36
DNF Porsche 911

(example)

42  Wicky Racing Team
(private entrant)
 André Wicky
 Edgar Berney
Porsche 911T Porsche 1991cc F6 34
DNF Kit Built; Nomad Ford Mk1; 1969 24h Le Mans DNF; Konig & Lanfranchi; RN62 62  M. Konig
(private entrant)
 Mark Konig
 Tony Lanfranchi
Nomad Mk 2 BRM 1998cc V8 28
DNF Healey SR Climax 37  Donald Healey Motor Company  Clive Baker
 Jeff Harris
Healey SR Coventry Climax 1998cc V8 14
DNF 1962 Abarth Simca 1300

(example)

51  Ecurie Fiat-Abarth France  Maurizio Zanetti
 Ugo Locatelli
Abarth 1000SP Abarth 1001cc S4 9
DNF Porsche 910

(example)

60  Robert Buchet
(private entrant)
 Jean de Mortemart
 Jean Mésange
Porsche 910 Porsche 1991cc F6 4
DNF Alpine Renault A220

(example)

46  Ecurie Savin-Calberson  Alain LeGuellec
 Bernard Tramont
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1470cc S4 1
DNF Ferrari 312P

(example)

19  SpA Ferrari SEFAC  Chris Amon
 Peter Schetty
Ferrari 312P Coupe Ferrari 3.0L V12 0
DNF Porsche 917

(example)

10  John Woolfe Racing
(private entrant)
 John Woolfe
 Herbert Linge
Porsche 917 Porsche 4.5L F12 0
DNS Porsche 917

(example)

15  Porsche System Engineering  Herbert Linge
 Brian Redman
Porsche 917LH Porsche 4.5L F12 0
DNS Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona

(example)

16  North American Racing Team  Sam Posey
 Bob Grossman
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Ferrari 4.4L V12 0
DNQ Ford GT40

(example)

58  Ecurie ASA – ESCA  Jean-Pierre Hanrioud
 Dominique Martin
Ford GT40 Ford 4.9L V8 0
DNS Ferrari 206C

(example)

61  North American Racing Team  Robert Mieusset
 Ricardo Rodriguez Cavazos
Dino 206 S Ferrari 1986cc V6 0
DNQ Still Looking 47  Unipower Cars  Piers Forrester
 Stanley Robinson
Unipower GT BMC 1293cc S4 0
DNQ Still Looking 48  Piper Cars Ltd  Tim Lalonde
 John Burton
Piper GTR Ford 1300cc S4 0
DNA Lola T70

(example)

57  Lola Cars Ltd  Ulf Norinder
 
Lola T70 Mk. III Chevrolet 5.0 L V8 0
DNA Alpine Renault A220

(example)

69  J.Bourdon
(private entrant)
 Jacques Bourdon
 Christian Ethuin
Alpine A210 Renault-Gordini 1005cc S4 0

 


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Last Edit: 18/04/2022 Page Created 16/04/2022