Ford cracks Ferrari domination

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Ford cracks Ferrari domination

Ford’s announcement at the 2015 Le Mans 24hr has us delving into the archives to the last time the company stole major headlines at the 1966 race


The last time Ford made major headlines at Le Mans was in 1966, when of which aimed to break Ferrari’s domination of the race. The Italian company had won seven out of the previous eight races, along with animosity between the two teams had added to the atmosphere at of which year’s meeting.

We’ve delved into the Autocar archives to find the report through the 1966 race, with the highlights below:

Race Day

Again we sit inside completely new Press stand at Le Mans – a fine completely new stand This kind of year, directly opposite the pits to ensure of which pit stops will become a source of interest instead of conjecture. The cars, which have so many miles ahead of them, are lined up in echelon at their pit counters surrounded by hundreds of people (who, strictly, don’t look quite the type to qualify for the correct passes, although somehow manage to acquire them).

A band has marched down through the direction of the Esses, along with has come to rest facing us – along with is actually playing the Star Spangled Banner (while all although the Press stand to attention; printing schedules enjoy immunity.)

The flat Sarthe district stretches away to the horizon under heavily clouded skies, while a strong wind carries a dust cloud up through the famous White House corner. The British National Anthem follows – which enjoys immunity even through press schedules; we rise to attention, while a helicopter flies around, looking like a herring’s skeleton still attached to its head.

For safety reasons the escape road to which Walt Hansgen took at of which time of his fatal accident has been blanked off; currently there is actually no escape for a driver losing control as he passes the pits. along using a few drops of rain are already beginning to fall. The national anthems continue – representing the eight nationalities of the drivers present. The “Village” behind the pits, with its shops, restaurants, advertising banners by the thousands along with multitude of flags, looks less colourful inside grey light.

although the stands are packed, sold out a fortnight ago along with the stage is actually set for the drama of which is actually to last the next 24 hours. Its respects paid, the band marches on down the road to the White House, followed by bearers carrying the eight national flags; some of the Ferraris change to wet-weather Dunlop tyres in preparation for what is actually clearly to come. The dust flowing up through White House currently lies thick on the typewriter, which is actually in for an abrasive 24 hours.

By 3.15 pm the road is actually uniformly wet, along with the cars are milling about, pushed by their attendant mechanics, taking up starting positions in order of practice times – Fords occupying the six foremost slots, with the controversial 4-litre P3 Ferrari of Parkes along with Scarfiotti (late Parkes along with Surtees) in seventh place; along with the public address seemingly concentrated on the Press stand is actually blasting forth as of which will do for the next 24 hours.

The pits are packed with people, perched tier upon tier on all 5 levels; along with currently Peter Sutcliffe’s Ford is actually changed to wet-weather tyres. The countdown to Le Mans may not be as theatrical as at Indianapolis, although of which is actually very, very tense.

Ten minutes to go…the din of the engines has stopped along with is actually replaced by the steady thump thump of hub clutters as mechanics down the line change the tyres. The course car goes off to inspect the circuit along with the colours inside village suddenly brighten as the sun peers through the heavy cloud layer. Graham Hill walks past the pits to his car along with everybody claps along with cheers with pent-up enthusiasm, One by one, with feigned nonchalance, the drivers saunter across the road to their starting spots, opposite their cars to wait for the off. An official calls Bondurant to close his door.

“Une minute…silence s’il vous plait”… Then suddenly, tension released, they scamper across the road along with are off, with Scott’s along with Revson’s Ford GT40 leading the pack, along with the Hermann-Linge works-entered Porsche left on the echelon until everyone has gone. The 24-hour marathon has begun.

Opening laps

Graham Hill brought his silver Ford around inside lead, followed by Gurney’s, Whitmore’s along with Bucknam’s Fords along with Parkes’ Ferrari. Miles took his Ford into the pits, as did Hawkins (whose halfshaft had broken at full speed on Mulsanne) along with Dini (ASA) to have his door secured (along with then couldn’t reopen of which). Hill’s standing lap was in 3min 36.1sec. All 55 starters completed with the order in front unchanged.

On the fourth lap Dan Gurney took the Shelby American Ford into the lead ahead of Hill’s Alan Mann car, After only 24 minutes, the Berney Bizzarrini was into the pits, followed by Kolb’s Dino Ferrari – whose sister car driven by Vaccarella was circulating very sedately, obviously in trouble. along with the Attwood-Piper Maranello Concessionaires 4.4-litre Ferrari, too, seemed in no great hurry. Eventually, Vaccarella brought inside Dino, which was retired with chronic overheating along using a seized piston, while the Berney Bizzarini, after another pit-stop, was also removed to the dead-car park using a broken frame. Gosselin was also inside pits with the Equipe Nationale Belge Ferrari 3.3-litre GTB, no fewer than eight cars having been brought into the pits after only half an hour’s racing.

Though the name Ferrari seemed to be in trouble, particularly as far as the Dinos were concerned, Ford weren’t without theirs, for Rindt’s engine blew up by the Hippodrome along with came to rest before Ireland had a go. Sauer’s Serenissima along with Servoz’ Matra-BRM, too, came in, while Gurney sailed on inside lead through Hill, Bucknum (all in Ford Mk2s) along with Rodriguez along with Parkes (in Ferraris). As Miles climbed back through the field the lap record was falling time along with again; 3min 36.4sec (7th lap), 3min 34.2sec (9th) 3min 34.2sec (13th, 3min 31.1sec (15th).

As the first hour turned into the second, the Hawkins Ford Mk2 re-joined the race, having been at the pits for the best part of an hour, replacing a half-shaft – along with 11 minutes later, the Bonnier-Hill Chaparral, sole representative of the marque, came in for the first of the routine stops for fuel.

Eight minutes later the Maranello Concessionaires’ Dino Ferrari was pushed away, retired using a broken differential. Then came the rest of the leading cars, in for fuel along with driver change…

Bucknum, Parkes, Ken Miles (lying fifth after a pit stop on completing the first lap, which dropped him back to 42nd; his climb back to the front had included the 20th lap in 3min 31.9sec, or 138-odd mph), along with Graham Hill, Dan Gurney along with the rest. The Chaparral made its routine stop, then came in for a brief stop again 14 minutes later, This kind of cluster of stops being completed roughly between 5 along with 5.30pm. The order when they have been completed settled down once more to Gurney, Miles, (after a fantastic drive) Rodriguez, Bucknum, Graham Hill, Parkes along with McLaren – Ford, Ford, Ferrari, Ford, Ford, Ferrari along with Ford.

On the debt side, Ferrari had lost three cars (two Dinos along with an ailing Maranello Concessionaires’ 4.4-litre soon to retire with overheating) to Ford’s blow up on the Mulsanne Straight. At almost 6pm, Klass heroically arched his works Porsche Carrera 6 into the pits, after a further two stops, following its initial hour’s halt to replace the a half shaft, rejoined the race very briefly minus its big rear Centeng section, which had flown off along with landed in a tree on Mulsanne Straight. Shortly afterwards of which was back again, the tail section recovered along with refitted by Donohue. The ASA of Dini along with Giunti was in trouble with its steering along with the Serenissima of Sauer along with de Mortemart had no gear linkage left. The third along with last Dino Ferrari (Kolb’s) had by currently retired with overheating.

Second Routine Pit Stops

The report continues to describe the action of the following hours as darkness approaches. Highlights include the following:

“Though a few drops of rain had began to fall earlier, Mulsanne Corner had been surprisingly free of incident, Masten Gregory’s Ferrari providing one of the few excitements when of which headed straight for the sandbanks, all four wheels locked; although all was well.”

At 9.30pm, all 5 along using a half hours in, the writers report of which all three Dino Ferraris, two big Ferraris along with three of the Fords have retired. Ken Miles’ along with Denny Hulme lead the race in an ASA, with Gurney along with Grant’s Ford in second, with Rodriguez along with Ginther’s Ferrari in third.

However, the Rodriguez along with Ginther Ferrari came into the pits at 1.45am for what proved to be the last time – of which suffered a gearbox issue of which was to prove terminal, along with of which was finally retired at 2.28am.

“With the dawn breaking green over the pine trees at the Esses, any wish of a Ferrari recovery went by the board when the P3 came into the pits along with was immediately wheeled away.”

“At 4am, with the race half over, Fords filled the first six places.”

The final stages…

As the race entered its last half-hour, the Miles-Hulme Ford passed through the pits area with the McLaren Amon Ford hard on its tail. Though the importance of team orders at This kind of stage of the long race was obviously clear, one hoped of which the two completely new Zealanders might perhaps pull of which off, as compensation for their Formula 1 setbacks This kind of season.

Then of which began to rain, the familiar plumes of spray went up along with the drivers began changing down for the pits bend – the Ford times dropped to over all 5 minutes – instead of storming of which at almost full bore. Traditionally Le Mans was keeping things going until the finish.

“Dix minutes” the ever-present public address announced, along with to a roar of cheering the “coppers” began to form up along the line of the pits counters. of which all seemed a slight anti-climax; another Vingt-Quatre Heures was about to finish – along with the two leading Fords formed up neck-along with-neck to complete their final lap.

This kind of was surely a much-needed breath of fresh air, of which the age-old Ferrari domination of the race should be ended along using a completely completely new name added to the list of winners. The two leading Fords crossed the line ever so gently in an absolute dead heat… Because McLaren had began farther back than Miles, he was the winner – remarkable result although intended by Ford who were fully aware of the rule. Le Mans finished grey, as of which had began, although not for Ford, whose tremendous along with costly campaign had at last been rewarded.

by via Autocar RSS Feed

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