1966 24 Hours of Le Mans

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1966 24 Hours of Le Mans
Previous: 1965 Next: 1967
Index: Races | Winners

The 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 34th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 18 and 19 June 1966.[1] It was also the seventh round of the World Sportscar Championship. It was the first time that Henri Pescarolo entered the race, a driver who went on to set the record for the most starts.


Le Mans in 1966

Pre-race[edit]

In 1966, the Ford GT40 Mk. II had become reliable. Shelby test driver Ken Miles managed to win at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring with the big block Ford. Ford sent no less than eight Mark IIs to La Sarthe, entered by three teams: Shelby, Holman & Moody and Alan Mann Racing.

Ferrari sent only two works P3s to compete against the Ford armada. Another P3 was entered by NART, and four 365 P2 were entered by Ferrari's usual private partners.

Race[edit]

The two works P3s were involved in an accident. At 01:45 the P2s had already exhausted their engine in trying to keep contact with the Mk. II and the last Ferrari prototype, the Pedro Rodríguez/Richie Ginther NART P3 retired with overheating. The race was won for Ford. For the first time in history an American car had won Le Mans.[2]

At the last pit stop, three Mark IIs were in front. Ken Miles and Denny Hulme were leading, followed by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in the same lap. Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson were third, but twelve laps behind.

At the finish, Ford decided to stage publicity photo between Miles/Hulme and McLaren/Amon with the No. 5 following, too. According to witnesses, McLaren left a small margin to Miles and it was expected than Miles/Hulme will be declared winner after the examination of the photo finish. But the ACO declared the McLaren/Amon car had won the race, having covered more distance in 24 hours, as it had started the race several places behind the Miles/Hulme car. The ACO estimated the difference to 8 meters. This was a terrible disappointment for Ken Miles, who expected the triple crown Daytona-Sebring-Le Mans as a reward for his investment in the GT40 development. The finish remains the closest in Le Mans history.

Official results[edit]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps
1 P
+5.0
2 United States Shelby-American Inc. New Zealand Bruce McLaren
New Zealand Chris Amon
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 360
2 P
+5.0
1 United States Shelby-American Inc. United Kingdom Ken Miles
New Zealand Denis Hulme
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 360
3 P
+5.0
5 United States Holman & Moody / Essex Wire Corp. United States Ronnie Bucknum
United States Dick Hutcherson
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 348
4 P
2.0
30 Germany Porsche System Engineering Switzerland Jo Siffert
United Kingdom Colin Davis
Porsche 906/6L Carrera 6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 339
5 P
2.0
31 Germany Porsche System Engineering Germany Hans Herrmann
Germany Herbert Linge
Porsche 906/6L Carrera 6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 338
6 P
2.0
32 Germany Porsche System Engineering Germany Udo Schütz
South Africa Peter de Klerk
Porsche 906/6L Carrera 6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 337
7 S
2.0
58 Germany Porsche System Engineering Germany Günter Klass
Germany Rolf Stommelen
Porsche 906/6L Carrera 6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 330
8 GT
5.0
29 United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires United Kingdom Piers Courage
United States Roy Pike
Ferrari 275 GTB/C Ferrari 3.3L V12 310
9 P
1.3
62 France Société des Automobiles Alpine France Henri Grandsire
Italy Leo Cella
Alpine A210 Renault 1.3L I4 311
10 GT
5.0
57 Belgium Ecurie Francorchamps Belgium Pierre Noblet
Belgium Claude Dubois
Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 3.3L V12 310
11 P
1.3
44 France Ecurie Savin-Calberson France Jacques Cheinisse
France Roger Delageneste
Alpine A210 Renault 1.3L I4 307
12 P
1.3
45 France Société des Automobiles Alpine France Guy Verrier
France Robert Bouharde
Alpine A210 Renault 1.3L I4 307
13 P
1.3
46 France Société des Automobiles Alpine Switzerland Mauro Bianchi
France Jean Vinatier
Alpine A210 Renault 1.3L I4 306
14 GT
2.0
35 France "J. Franc" France Jacques Dewes
France Jean Kerguen
Porsche 911S Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 284
15 P
1.3
50 France Jean-Louis Marnat & Cie France Claude Ballot-Léna
France Jean-Louis Marnat
Marcos Mini Marcos GT 2+2 BMC 1.3L I4 258

Did Not Finish[edit]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps
16 S
2.0
33 Germany Porsche System Engineering United States Peter Gregg
Sweden Sten Axelsson
Porsche 906/6 Carrera 6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 321
17 P
+5.0
3 United States Shelby-American Inc. United States Dan Gurney
United States Jerry Grant
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 257
18 P
1.3
49 United Kingdom Donald Healey Motor Company United Kingdom Paddy Hopkirk
United Kingdom Andrew Hedges
Austin-Healey Sprite Le Mans BMC 1.3L I4 237
19 S
5.0
14 Switzerland Scuderia Filipinetti
United Kingdom F.R. English Ltd. / Comstock Racing
United Kingdom Peter Sutcliffe
Switzerland Dieter Spoerry
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 4.7L V8 233
20 P
5.0
21 Italy SpA Ferrari SEFAC Italy Lorenzo Bandini
France Jean Guichet
Ferrari 330 P3 Ferrari 4.0L V8 226
21 GT
5.0
26 United States Ed Hugus Italy Gianpiero Bascaldi
France Michel de Bourbon-Parma
Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 3.3L V12 218
22 S
5.0
28 Belgium Equipe Nationale Belge Belgium Gustave Gosselin
Belgium Eric de Keyn
Ferrari 250LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 218
23 P
1.3
47 France Société des Automobiles Alpine Sweden Berndt Jansson
Finland Pauli Toivonen
Alpine A210 Renault 1.3L I4 217
24 S
5.0
59 United States Essex Wire Corporation United States Peter Revson
United States Skip Scott
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 4.7L V8 212
25 S
5.0
15 France Ford France S.A. France Guy Ligier
United States Bob Grossman
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 4.7L V8 205
26 P
5.0
19 Switzerland Scuderia Filipinetti Belgium Willy Mairesse
Switzerland Herbert Müller
Ferrari 365 P2/P3 Ferrari 4.4L V12 166
27 S
5.0
60 United States Essex Wire Corporation Germany Jochen Neerpasch
Belgium Jacky Ickx
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 4.7L V8 154
28 P
5.0
27 United States North American Racing Team (NART) United States Richie Ginther
Mexico Pedro Rodríguez
Ferrari 330 P3 Spyder Ferrari 4.0L V12 151
29 P
1.3
28 United Kingdom Donald Healey Motor Company United Kingdom John Rhodes
United Kingdom Clive Baker
Austin-Healey Sprite Le Mans BMC 1.3L I4 134
30 P
5.0
17 Belgium Ecurie Francorchamps Belgium Jean Blaton
France Pierre Dumay
Ferrari 365 P2/P3 Ferrari 4.4L V12 129
31 P
5.0
20 Italy SpA Ferrari SEFAC Italy Ludovico Scarfiotti
United Kingdom Mike Parkes
Ferrari 330 P3 Ferrari 4.0L V12 123
32 P
1.15
55 France Société des Automobiles Alpine France André de Cortanze
France Jean-Pierre Hanrioud
Alpine A210 Renault 1.0L I4 118
33 P
2.0
41 France Matra Sports SARL France Johnny Servoz-Gavin
France Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Matra MS620 BRM 1.9L V8 112
34 P
+5.0
9 United States Chaparral Cars Inc. United States Phil Hill
Sweden Joakim Bonnier
Chaparral 2D Chevrolet 5.4L V8 111
35 P
+5.0
7 United Kingdom Alan Mann Racing Ltd. United Kingdom Graham Hill
Australia Brian Muir
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 110
36 P
2.0
34 France Auguste Veuillet France Robert Buchet
Germany Gerhard Koch
Porsche 906/6 Carrera 6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 110
37 P
2.0
42 France Matra Sports SARL France Jo Schlesser
United Kingdom Alan Rees
Matra MS620 BRM 1.9L V8 100
38 P
+5.0
6 United States Holman & Moody United States Mario Andretti
Belgium Lucien Bianchi
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 97
39 P
1.15
53 France S.E.C. Automobiles CD France Georges Heligouin
France Jean Rives
CD SP66 Peugeot 1.1L I4 91
40 P
5.0
18 United States North American Racing Team (NART) United States Masten Gregory
United States Bob Bondurant
Ferrari 365 P2 Ferrari 4.4L V12 88
41 P
1.15
51 France S.E.C. Automobiles CD France Claude Laurent
France Jean-Claude Ogier
CD SP66 Peugeot 1.1L I4 54
42 P
1.3
54 United States North American Racing Team (NART) France François Pasquier
France Robert Mieusset
ASA RB613 Ferrari 1.3L I4 50
43 P
5.0
24 Italy Scuderia San Marco France Jean-Claude Sauer
France Jean de Mortemart
Serenissima Jungla GT Spyder ATS 3.5L V8 40
44 P
+5.0
11 Italy Prototip Bizzarrini SAL United States Sam Posey
Italy Massimo Natili
Bizzarrini 5300GT Chevrolet 5.4L V8 39
45 P
2.0
43 France Matra Sports SARL France Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
France Henri Pescarolo
Matra MS620 BRM 1.9L V8 38
46 P
5.0
16 United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires United Kingdom Richard Attwood
United Kingdom David Piper
Ferrari 365 P2 Spyder Ferrari 4.4L V12 33
47 P
1.3
61 Italy ASA Italy Spartaco Dini
Italy Ignazio Giunti
ASA RB613 Ferrari 1.3L I4 31
48 P
+5.0
8 United Kingdom Alan Mann Racing Ltd. United Kingdom Sir John Whitmore
Australia Frank Gardner
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 31
49 P
1.15
52 France S.E.C. Automobiles CD France Pierre Lelong
France Alain Bertaut
CD SP66 Peugeot 1.1L I4 19
50 P
2.0
36 United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires United Kingdom Mike Salmon
United Kingdom David Hobbs
Ferrari Dino 206S Ferrari 2.0L V6 14
51 P
+5.0
4 United States Holman & Moody United States Mark Donohue
Australia Paul Hawkins
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 12
52 P
2.0
38 United States North American Racing Team (NART) United States Charlie Kolb
United States George Follmer
Ferrari Dino 206S Ferrari 2.0L V6 9
53 P
+5.0
10 Italy Prototip Bizzarrini SRL Switzerland Edgar Berney
Switzerland André Wicky
Bizzarrini P538 Chevrolet 5.4L V8 8
54 S
5.0
12 United Kingdom F.R. English Ltd. \ Comstock Racing United Kingdom Innes Ireland
Austria Jochen Rindt
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 4.7L V8 8
55 P
2.0
25 Italy Scuderia San Marco
United States North American Racing Team (NART)
Italy Nino Vaccarella
Italy Mario Casoni
Ferrari Dino 206S Ferrari 2.0L V6 7

Statistics[edit]

  • Pole Position - #3 Shelby-American Inc. - 3:30.6
  • Fastest Lap - #3 Shelby-American Inc. - 3:30.6
  • Distance - 4843.09 km
  • Average Speed - 210.795 km/h

Trophy Winners[edit]

  • Index of Performance - #30 Porsche System Engineering
  • Index of Thermal Efficiency - #33 Ecurie Savin-Calberson

References[edit]

  1. ^ Motor Sport, July 1966, Pages 596-597.
  2. ^ http://www.supercars.net/cars/692.html