via the archive – 1966: Ford breaks Ferrari domination in addition to wins at Le Mans

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

Source : via the archive – 1966: Ford breaks Ferrari domination in addition to wins at Le Mans

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


Ford has announced in which the item will develop its GT supercar at to run at Le Mans in 2016.

the item’s not initially the company has made waves at the internationally renowned race. The last time Ford made major headlines at Le Mans was in 1966, when the item aimed to break Ferrari’s domination of the race. The Italian company had won seven out of the previous eight races, in addition to animosity between the two teams had added to the atmosphere at in which year’s meeting.

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

Race Day

Again we sit from the fresh Press stand at Le Mans – a fine fresh stand This specific year, directly opposite the pits to ensure in 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, yet somehow manage to acquire them).

A band has marched down via the direction of the Esses, in addition to has come to rest facing us – in addition to is usually playing the Star Spangled Banner (while all yet 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 via the famous White House corner. The British National Anthem follows – which enjoys immunity even via 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 in which time of his fatal accident has been blanked off; right now there is usually no escape for a driver losing control as he passes the pits. in addition to 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 in addition to multitude of flags, looks less colourful from the grey light.

yet the stands are packed, sold out a fortnight ago in addition to the stage is usually set for the drama in which is usually 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 usually clearly to come. The dust flowing up via White House right now lies thick on the typewriter, which is usually in for an abrasive 24 hours.

By 3.15 pm the road is usually uniformly wet, in addition to 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 in addition to Scarfiotti (late Parkes in addition to Surtees) in seventh place; in addition to the public address seemingly concentrated on the Press stand is usually blasting forth as the item will do for the next 24 hours.

The pits are packed with people, perched tier upon tier on 5 levels; in addition to right now Peter Sutcliffe’s Ford is usually changed to wet-weather tyres. The countdown to Le Mans may not be as theatrical as at Indianapolis, yet the item is usually very, very tense.

Ten minutes to go…the din of the engines has stopped in addition to is usually 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 in addition to the colours from the village suddenly brighten as the sun peers through the heavy cloud layer. Graham Hill walks past the pits to his car in addition to everybody claps in addition to 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 in addition to are off, with Scott’s in addition to Revson’s Ford GT40 leading the pack, in addition to 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 from the lead, followed by Gurney’s, Whitmore’s in addition to Bucknam’s Fords in addition to Parkes’ Ferrari. Miles took his Ford into the pits, as did Hawkins (whose halfshaft had broken at full speed on Mulsanne) in addition to Dini (ASA) to have his door secured (in addition to then couldn’t reopen the item). 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. in addition to the Attwood-Piper Maranello Concessionaires 4.4-litre Ferrari, too, seemed in no great hurry. Eventually, Vaccarella brought from the Dino, which was retired with chronic overheating in addition to a seized piston, while the Berney Bizzarini, after another pit-stop, was also removed to the dead-car park having a broken frame. Gosselin was also from the 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 in addition to came to rest before Ireland had a go. Sauer’s Serenissima in addition to Servoz’ Matra-BRM, too, came in, while Gurney sailed on from the lead via Hill, Bucknum (all in Ford Mk2s) in addition to Rodriguez in addition to Parkes (in Ferraris). As Miles climbed back through the field the lap record was falling time in addition to 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 – in addition to 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 having a broken differential. Then came the rest of the leading cars, in for fuel in addition to 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), in addition to Graham Hill, Dan Gurney in addition to the rest. The Chaparral made its routine stop, then came in for a brief stop again 14 minutes later, This specific cluster of stops being completed roughly between 5 in addition to 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 in addition to McLaren – Ford, Ford, Ferrari, Ford, Ford, Ferrari in addition to Ford.

On the debt side, Ferrari had lost three cars (two Dinos in addition to 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 in addition to landed in a tree on Mulsanne Straight. Shortly afterwards the item was back again, the tail section recovered in addition to refitted by Donohue. The ASA of Dini in addition to Giunti was in trouble with its steering in addition to the Serenissima of Sauer in addition to de Mortemart had no gear linkage left. The third in addition to last Dino Ferrari (Kolb’s) had by right now 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 the item headed straight for the sandbanks, all four wheels locked; yet all was well.”

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

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

“With the dawn breaking green over the pine trees at the Esses, any trust of a Ferrari recovery went by the board when the P3 came into the pits in addition to 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 specific stage of the long race was obviously clear, one hoped in which the two fresh Zealanders might perhaps pull the item off, as compensation for their Formula 1 setbacks This specific season.

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

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

This specific was surely a much-needed breath of fresh air, in which the age-old Ferrari domination of the race should be ended in addition to a completely fresh 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 yet intended by Ford who were fully aware of the rule. Le Mans finished grey, as the item had began, yet not for Ford, whose tremendous in addition to costly campaign had at last been rewarded.

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Source: via the archive – 1966: Ford breaks Ferrari domination in addition to wins at Le Mans

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