1975 24 Hours of Le Mans

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1975 24 Hours of Le Mans
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Index: Races | Winners

The 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 43rd Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 14 and 15 June 1975. Colloquially called the “Le Mans Economy Run”,[1][2][3] stringent refuelling regulations were put in place. Unable to match the requisite 7mpg fuel economy the manufacturer teams from Ferrari, Alfa Romeo withdrew and Matra had retired from the sport at the end of 1974. Therefore, this only left Gulf and Ligier as front-running works-teams.

The race was won by Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell in their Gulf GR-8, finishing just a lap ahead of the Ligier of Jean-Louis Lafosse and Guy Chasseuil. It was the first victory for an all-British car since the Aston Martin in 1959, and for running at a ‘economic’ speed, the winner covered just one lap less than the winning car of the previous year.[2]

Le Mans in 1975

Regulations[edit]

The ongoing fuel-crisis was having a growing impact on international motor-racing, as critics saw the sport as a profligate waste of petrol. The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), ever wanting to follow its original mandate to advance automobile technology,[4] put in radical measures to provide a solution. All cars had to go 20 laps before refuelling with petrol and oil – roughly equivalent to 270 km (170 mi), around 7mpg, for a 25% improvement.[2] As a reference, the Matras had only done 16 laps between their fuel stops in 1974.[5] Fuel tank sizes were also limited in size.[2]

These, however, put it out of step with the CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale - the FIA’s regulations body) and the FIA therefore removed the Le Mans 24 Hours from the World Championship calendar. This had happened before when the FIA had excluded Le Mans in 1956 because of their stricter safety requirements.[2][6] It can also be pointed out that Le Mans races prior to 1960 had run to refuelling restrictions.[2] For its part, the CSI had postponed the introduction of its new Group 5 “silhouette” rules until 1976.[7]

The ACO also introduced a new “GTX” (Le Mans Grand Touring Experimental) class for GT cars to use non-homologated equipment. It also opened up its entry list to Group 3 GTs, alongside the Group 5, 4 and 2 cars. Finally, the ACO allowed teams to replace any pieces of equipment during the race, but the defective parts had to be given to the ACO technical team.[5][8] This year, the ACO also gave a prize to the car which used the smallest amount of fuel. Also the Index of Thermal Efficiency was now opened to all car classes.[9]

Since the race’s inception in 1923, the Le Mans circuit had incorporated using public highways. An ambitious plan in the early 1970s had been proposed to build a new Mulsanne Straight parallel to the main road and bypassing the Mulsanne corner.[10] However, by 1975 with the economic recession and reduced interest in motor-racing, no work had been started, and in the end the project was cancelled later in the year.

Entries[edit]

To general surprise, the ACO received a commendable 101 applications, which became 71 arriving for qualifying and a final 55 in the race.[11] However, Matra had followed Ferrari out of Sports-Car racing. Alfa Romeo works team Autodelta had sold its cars to German Willi Kauhsen,[6] who chose not to enter, saying there was no way the Alfas could make the necessary fuel economy. Alpine-Renault cited the same reason.

Category Sports-Prototype
Group 5
GT Experimental
GTX
Special GT
Group 4
Production GT
Group 3
Special Touring
Group 2
Total
Entries
Large-engines
>2.0L classes
13 / 11 4 / 1 27 / 22 9 / 7 7 / 5 60 / 46
Medium-engines
< 2.0L classes
11 / 9 0 0 0 0 11 / 9
  • Note: The first number is the number of arrivals, the second the number who started.

Although John Wyer had semi-retired, he saw an opportunity for his Gulf-Mirage cars with the fuel-formula and the lack of big opposition. Last year the Gulfs had achieved fuel consumption of 6.1mpg.[12] So he and JWA designer John Horsman set about adapting and optimising a new model, the Gulf GR-8 for this single race in the season. It had a long-wheelbase and low-drag body. They detuned the Cosworth DFV to run at a 8400rpm rev-limit, down about 2000rpm.[13][14] The engine would now put out 380 bhp capable of 310 kp/h (195 mph). Chemists at Gulf Oil developed a fuel for the cars and put together they could achieve an impressive 7.25mpg.[13] Once again, Wyer was able to call upon Jacky Ickx to drive, partnered with Derek Bell, while the other car had Vern Schuppan and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud.

In the absence of other manufacturers, it was Guy Ligier who would be Gulf’s biggest competition. With the economic downtown, Ligier realised he would not have sufficient cars built to get Group 4 homologation. Having purchased the facilities of the defunct Matra Sport at the end of 1974, Ligier was preparing to enter Formula One. With the services of Matra's engineer Gérard Ducarouge[14] and ace driver Henri Pescarolo he also adapted his JS2 cars to carry the Cosworth DFV engine (detuned to about 410 bhp[3]) and Hewland gearboxes. However, being about 10% heavier than the Gulfs meant the Ligiers were slightly slower in a straight line. For the race, regular drivers François Migault and Jean-Louis Lafosse were split: Migault drove with Pescarolo, while Lafosse teamed up with Ligier-regular Guy Chasseuil. As a late entry,[14] the team also ran a 320 bhp[8] Maserati-engined version for two other former Matra drivers, Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Jean-Pierre Jarier.[15]

Meanwhile, in the World Championship, it had been the five-year old,[16] 360 bhp[3] Porsche 908/03 of Joest Racing taking the battle to Willi Kauhsen’s Alfa Romeos. Norbert Singer, Porsche works engineer, was seconded to the team and gave the car a longtail chassis. Team-owner Reinhold Joest drove with Mario Casoni and Jürgen Barth.[7] British privateer Alain de Cadenet arrived with a new car – a Lola T380 fitted with a Cosworth DFV capable of 400 bhp by engine-specialist John Nicholson. Despite this the chassis was very new, and nearly 40 kp/h slower on the straights than the Gulfs and Ligiers.[8] It was driven by regular racing duo of de Cadenet with Chris Craft.[17] Swiss privateer Heinz Schulthess likewise entered a new Lola-Cosworth T284, tuned by another engine-specialist, compatriot Heini Mader.[18] Shin Kato returned with his latest Sigma model, the MC-75, that was now powered by a 1.6-litre Toyota turbo engine which put it in the 3-litre class because of the x1.4 equivalency factor for turbo engines[19][18] (in sports car racing, the factor in Formula 1 was x2.0[20]).

The fuel-economy regulations now made S-2000 class a lot more competitive. Renault Sport had won the inaugural 1973 World Rally Championship, and was now focused on Sports-car racing.[21] Along with its subsidiary companies Gordini (engines) and Alpine (chassis) had been working on a new sports car. For 1975, the new turbo-powered A442 made an immediate impression beating the Alfa Romeos at Mugello. However their cars were very new and proved fast but unreliable.[20] The works team did not enter, however a non-turbo, A441 arrived in the colours of Elf Switzerland for the all-female team of Marie-Claude Beaumont and Lella Lombardi.[21] It was the first Alpine to race at Le mans for six years.[2] André Moynet, French war hero, politician and amateur racer, had been building his own sports car, based on a Chappe et Gesselin chassis with a 2-litre Simca-JRD engine and Porsche transmission. He gained sponsorship from Elf’s competitor Esso-France, who suggested also compiling an all-female driving team. Moynet hired Michèle Mouton, Christine Dacremont and Marianne Hoepfner for his car.[22]

The strong showing by the new 2-litre Simca-ROC engines in the 1974 race saw five cars with Fred Stadler’s engine including three Lolas of his own team.[23]

In lieu of the works team, Ferrari was represented primarily by the North American Racing Team (NART) bringing four different cars in three categories. The 308 special returned in Group 5, and a regular 365 GTB/4 for Ronnie Bucknum/Carlo Facetti in Group 4. The other two were entered in the new GTX category: a new 365 Berlinetta Boxer and a 365 Daytona spyder.[24]

The Group 4 Special GT class was dominated by the Porsche RSR teams. This year’s most successful team - Georg Loos’ Gelo Racing - had three cars entered, for John Fitzpatrick (the current European GT champion)/Gijs van Lennep, Tim Schenken / Howden Ganley and Toine Hezemans/Manfred Schurti. Their main competition came from their compatriot Kremer Racing and Tebernum teams (supported by Joest Racing), the Swiss Porsche Club Romand, Spanish Escuderia Montjuïch along with the local French ASA Cachia-Bondy team and owner-engineers Robert Buchet and Louis Meznarie.[25]

Up against the armada of 911s (comprising half the field with 28 of 55 starters[3]) alongside the NART Ferrari, were two other 365s for the Ecurie Francorchamps and French privateer Marcel Mignot.[24] Along with Henri Greder’s Chevrolet Corvette was also a De Tomaso Pantera and a Datsun 240Z. As expected, Porsche dominated the new Group 3 entry with eight of the nine cars against Wicky Racing’s lone De Tomaso Pantera.

There was renewed interest in Group 2 this year, with seven cars arriving for qualification. These included two Ford Capris from the French Shark Team and the return of Claude Buchet’s Mazda twin-rotary RX-3. Against them were three BMWs: defending class-winner Jean-Claude Aubriet brought his 3.0 CSL back. Lichtenstein engine-specialist Max Heidegger prepared a BMW 2002 TI with a F2 engine (capable of 260 bhp) for French privateer Daniel Brillat.[26] The third was another French privateer. Hervé Poulain, an art dealer and keen racer, entered another 3.0 CSL and convinced his friend, artist Alexander Calder, to paint it. Although not the first “art car” (Porsche had raced the psychedelic Martini-917 in 1970 and “Pink Pig” in 1971), it was to become the first of many BMW Art Cars. BMW insured it for DM 1 million (~US$430 000),[27] and Poulain got 1964-winner Jean Guichet and American IMSA-BMW driver Sam Posey as co-drivers.[28][27] The last entry was a big American “muscle car” – a Plymouth Barracuda with a big 426cu in Hemi engine entered by French privateer Michel Guicherd.

Practice[edit]

The ACO cancelled the March Test Weekend, when the CSI scheduled a championship race at Mugello on the same weekend.[3] Thus, many teams came to Race Week with no real idea of their racing fuel economy. The ACO required every car to prove some time during the practice sessions that it could run at least 20 laps at a race pace before refuelling.[11][29] This meant at least one 60-90 minute run. But in compensation, the total practice time was increased to ten hours over the Wednesday and Thursday. Also, every driver now had to pass a minimum lap-time in both daylight and night.[5]

Jacky Ickx immediately set the pace on Wednesday night with a 3:49.9 lap that would put his Gulf on pole.[14] This was fully fourteen seconds slower than the Matra’s pole time the previous year. After initial issues, on Thursday Jean-Pierre Jaussaud put the sister Gulf on the front row with a 3:51.8.[14] Third was Lafosse in the Ligier with Casoni fourth in the Joest-Porsche and Pescarolo in the other Ligier.[11] Then came the two Lolas of Schulthess and De Cadenet, joined by 2-litre Lola-ROC (4:02.8) fractionally ahead of the women in the Alpine. Tenth on the grid was the Ligier-Maserati of Beltoise/Jarier. Eleventh was the BMW “art-car” (4:06.0) proving significantly faster than the Group 4 GTs, the quickest of which was the Buchet Porsche in 13th (4:16.0) ahead of the Tebernum Porsche. The Buchet Porsche’s stablemate, of Wollek/Grandet, was the first of the Group 3 cars down in 38th with a 4:28.9. Slowest qualifier was the little BMW 2002 with a 4:47.9, although it was still quicker in its class than a Ford Capri and the ‘Hemicuda’[30]

A major argument broke out on Friday when the officials declared that the NART Ferrari 308 had not qualified, although it had met the qualification requirements. Team manager Luigi Chinetti was incensed and when his appeal was denied he pulled all four of his Ferraris off the dummy grid in protest, as the cars were forming up on Saturday.[24] Some last minute calls and preparation got the Japanese Sigma and the Claude Buchet Mazda RX-3 there in their stead.[18] Paul Rilly, running the Lamborghini that had not qualified in the GTX category was not at home and missed his call to bring the car back to the track.[11]

The Ecuador-Marlboro team had brought two cars, neither of which qualified. However, in a race-first, the team still managed to sneak onto the back row of the dummy grid with its 911, and even got to run three laps in the race until it was spotted and black-flagged by the officials.[25]

Race[edit]

Start[edit]

Two-litre class-winning Moynet LM 75 of Mouton, Hoepfner and Dacremont

On a hot Saturday afternoon,[14] Bell took the lead from the rolling start. Schuppan then overtook him heading onto the Mulsanne Straight for the first time and proceeded to build a lead.[8] Joest slotted into third with Craft then Pescarolo, in the first of the Ligiers, and the Group 2 BMW “art-car” in a credible sixth. As always there were a number of cars pitting with early problems: The Schulthess Lola had not been able to fire up in time and started the race a lap behind after the rolling start had passed by.[18][14] Lafosse brought his Ligier in when a warning light came on, and lost a lap only to find that it was the light at fault.[15] The BMW art-car pitted with a broken brake-line, dropping it well down the order,[8] and two of the ROC-Lolas pitted with the start of many electrical issues.[14]

The Gulfs were able to maintain a strong 4-minute pace right through to their first pit-stops after 21 laps, and soon afterward Ickx took the lead the car was never going to forfeit thereafter. It was at the first stops that the only victim was afflicted by the fuel regulations. Marie-Claude Beaumont, in the Alpine 2-litre running sixth, came to a stop at Mulsanne corner with no fuel three laps before her scheduled refuelling stop. The team had managed 26 laps on a tank during practice.[8] Able to manually pump some fuel she could only get as far as Indianapolis. A faulty fuel system was blamed,[31] but team principal Gérard Larrousse later admitted the team had got their fuel calculations wrong.[21]

Going into the third hour, the Gulfs were 2 seconds apart, with de Cadenet, Joest and Casoni now the last on the lead lap. Migault was a lap down and the other two Ligiers a further lap back with Posey in the BMW catching up again and the Poirot Porsche in eighth. Schickentanz in the Tebernum Porsche lead the GTs by ten seconds from the Fitzpatrick Gelo-Porsche.[31] Beltoise in the Ligier-Maserati was running sixth when he tried to outbrake a Ferrari going into Indianapolis,[8] but only ended up getting pushed off into the Armco barrier.[15] Craft pitted the de Cadenet from third. The notorious vibration of the Cosworth engine had popped rivets in the engine case and broken the exhaust. The repairs took 45 minutes, and when Craft came back out he set the fastest lap rushing back through the field.[17] The third Gelo Porsche (Hezemans/Schurti) crashed when its suspension failed. They continued on until nightfall when the car was retired and the drivers were transferred to the team’s leading car, now running fifth.[25]

Night[edit]

Around 9.30pm, as night fell, the second-placed Gulf of Schuppan/Jaussaud spent 25 minutes in the pits replacing an alternator, dropping it to 5th, six laps behind the teammates[8] The BMW ‘art-car’ had got back up to 6th when a broken CV joint left Posey stuck out on the circuit.[28] In the GTs it was Fitzpatrick two laps ahead of the “Beurlys” car with the Kremer car closing.[31]

Just before midnight Alain De Cadenet, running third, was completely unaware[8] when the engine-cover of his Lola flew off while at speed on the Mulsanne Straight.[2] It landed on the track and fourth-placed François Migault had the misfortune to hit it at full speed in the dark with his Ligier. Although repaired (taking three-quarters an hour) a faulty alternator in the small hours dropped them out of contention.[15]

Around 2am the second-placed Joest Porsche collided with Poirot’s 908 (running 6th) at Mulsanne corner. Repairs took 20 minutes and dropped them down to fourth.[7][31] By half-time, the Gulf cars were back running 1-2 (albeit 6 laps apart), ahead of the Lafosse/Chasseuil Ligier and the repaired Joest Porsche. The Gelo Porsche still led the GT class, and running fifth overall, now ahead of the Kremer Porsche up to second in class.[31]

Morning[edit]

Soon after dawn Pescarolo suffered a puncture on his Ligier, ruining the bodywork, and stranding him out on the track.[15][31] About the same time a very similar accident happened to Joest but he was more fortunate to be able to get the Porsche back to the pits.[7] However the repairs put the car 15 laps behind the leader and only two ahead of the Gelo Porsche.[8][31]

By the time the sun was up, Ickx and Bell had built up a sizeable lead. Right on 6am Jaussaud pitted complaining of an excessive rear-end vibration. Subsequent checks and work took a quarter-hour and put them on the same lap, two minutes behind the Ligier.[13][31] Joest had yet another puncture at 8am, but kept his place. The Gelo Porsche was now four laps back, still holding a two-lap lead over the Kremer and “Beurlys” cars. Throughout the morning the Ligier traded places with the second Gulf which would power past only to then come into the pits to investigate its engine vibration further.[31]

Soon after midday the rain arrived. The Gulf of Schuppan/Jaussaud pitted yet again, when water got into its electrics. Drying them out cost fifteen minutes which finally gave the Ligier breathing space in second place.[13]

Finish and post-race[edit]

The leading Gulf also had the same ongoing vibration as their stablemate and it finally came to a head when it was forced to pit at 2.30pm with an exhaust shaken apart by the vibration.[16] While repairs were being done, the Ligier closed in. It had just got onto the lead lap when Bell took the Gulf back out, fuelled to the finish. When the Ligier subsequently pitted for its final fuel stop, the race was secure for JWA. About the same time, the Kremer Porsche had to pit with a major engine failure. Amazingly, the team was able to replace the whole engine in 30 minutes and they only lost ten laps to finish 9th.[25]

Going into the final hour Bob Wollek, running 12th, spun his Porsche damaging the exhaust. While pitted, the crew mistakenly refuelled the car, before its requisite 20 laps and was disqualified.[25] The fastest S-2000, the Lola-ROC of Ferrier/Lapeyre/Ethuin had issues from the start but was stopped at its final pitstop when the starter motor broke.[23]

In the end Ickx and Bell won by a lap from the Lafosse/Chasseuil Ligier. Schuppan/Jaussaud were third, five laps back, with Joest’s Porsche 908 another five laps back. The next eight places were Porsche GTs lead home by the Gelo car of van Lennep/Fitzpatrick/Hezemans winning Group 4 by four laps from the veteran Jean Blaton’s privateer entry with Belgian racing-journalist Nick Faure.[16]

De Cadenet's Lola was 14th, finishing the race with a bodywork stuck together with a lot of adhesive tape. First of the S-2000 class home was the Moynet with the all-female crew, finishing 21st, after a careful and trouble-free run.[22] The last classified finisher, and winner of the Group 2 category by attrition, was the little BMW 2002 having spent the first half of the race battling with the Mazda RX-3 for last place.[26]

Winner of the Index of Thermal Efficiency was the second X-Racing Group 3 Porsche. The privateer Lola-ROC (although slowest of the S-2000 class) came second in class four laps behind the Moynet, and comfortably used the smallest amount of fuel.[23] It was the first Le Mans victory for the nine-year old Cosworth-DFV engine finally proving its reliability. This was the fourth win for John Wyer, dating back to the Aston Martin triumph in 1959 and the second for Jacky Ickx.[32] After the race, Wyer retired for good and the JWA team was disbanded.[13]

After an impressive start, the BMW “art car” had been retired with a damaged driveshaft in the sixth hour.[33] Having been displayed in the Louvre and in Munich before the race, afterward it went onto the Museum of Modern Art in New York.[27] As it was, Ickx and Bell covered only one lap less than the winning Matra of the previous year.[2] With the cars run at far lower engines revs, the mechanical wear was far lower and thirty cars were running at the end – equalling the record of 1923 and 1951. Ironically that meant there was much more fuel consumed overall than in the previous year’s race.[32] Although derided at the time,[12][34][3][35] the ACO regulations would, in fact, be a predecessor to the Group C era of the 1980s.

Official results[edit]

Finishers[edit]

Results taken from Quentin Spurring's book, officially licensed by the ACO[36] Class Winners are in Bold text.

Pos Class No. Team Drivers Chassis Engine Tyre Laps
1 S
3.0
11 United Kingdom Gulf Research Racing Belgium Jacky Ickx
United Kingdom Derek Bell
Gulf-Mirage GR8 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 G 337
2 S
3.0
5 France Automobiles Ligier Gitanes France Jean-Louis Lafosse
France Guy Chasseuil
Ligier JS2 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 M 336
3 S
3.0
10 United Kingdom Gulf Research Racing Australia Vern Schuppan
France Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
Gulf-Mirage GR8 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 G 331
4 S
3.0
15 Germany Joest Racing Germany Reinhold Joest
Italy Mario Casoni
Germany Jürgen Barth
Porsche 908/03 Porsche 3.0L F8 G 326
5 GTS 58 Germany Gelo Racing Team Netherlands Gijs van Lennep
United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick
Liechtenstein Manfred Schurti
Netherlands Toine Hezemans
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 G 316
6 GTS 69 Belgium "Beurlys"
(private entrant)
Belgium “Beurlys” (Jean Blaton)
United Kingdom Nick Faure
United Kingdom John Cooper
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 312
7 GTS 53 France ASA Cachia-Bondy France Henri Cachia
France Jacques Borras
France Pascal Moisson
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 310
8 GTS 55 France Écurie Robert Buchet France Claude Ballot-Léna
Canada Jacques Bienvenue
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 305
9 GTS 65 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Team Mexico Juan Carlos Bolaños
Mexico Andres Contreras
United States Billy Sprowls
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 305
10 GT 84 Switzerland G. Maurer
(private entrant)
Switzerland Gerhard Maurer
Switzerland Christian Baez
Switzerland Eugen Strähl
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 D 296
11 GT 67 France A.-C. Verney
(private entrant)
France Anne-Charlotte Verney
France Yvette Fontaine
France Corinne Tarnaud
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 D 295
12 GTS 47 Belgium Ecurie Francorchamps France Jean-Claude Andruet
Belgium Teddy Pilette
Belgium Baron Hughes de Fierlandt
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Ferrari 4.4L V12 M 294
13 GTS 48 France M. Mignot
(private entrant)
France Marcel Mignot
France Philippe Gurdjian
United States Harry Jones
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Ferrari 4.4L V12 M 294
14 S
3.0
4 United Kingdom A. de Cadenet
(private entrant)
United Kingdom Alain de Cadenet
United Kingdom Chris Craft
Lola T380 LM Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 G 292
15 GTX 20 Switzerland Porsche Club Romand Switzerland Claude Haldi
France Bernard Béguin
Switzerland Peter Zbinden
Porsche 911 Carrera
RSR Turbo
Porsche 2.2L F6 Turbo M 291
16 GTS 43 Belgium Team Claude Dubois
(private entrant)
Ecuador Ecuador Marlboro Team
Switzerland Pierre Rubens
Italy Paolo Bozzetto
De Tomaso Pantera Ford 5.8L V8 M 291
17 GT 77 France P. Dagoreau
(private entrant)
France Philippe Dagoreau
France Thierry Sabine
Switzerland Jean-Pierre Aeschlimann
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 M 285
18 GT 80 France X Racing France Raymond Touroul
France Philippe Hesnault
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 D 284
19 GT 63 Switzerland Porsche Club Romand Switzerland Jean-Claude Bering
Germany Klaus Utz
Germany Horst Godel
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 D 284
20 GT 87 France X Racing France Philippe Demagne
France René Boubet
Porsche 911 Carrera S Porsche 2.7L F6 D 282
21 S
2.0
35 France Société Esso
(private entrant)
France Michèle Mouton
France Marianne Hoepfner
France Christine Dacremont
Moynet LM75 Simca-JRD 1994cc S4 M 270
22 S
2.0
30 France J.-M. Lemerle
(private entrant)
France Jean-Marie Lemerle
France Patrick Daire
France Alain Levié
Lola T292 Simca-ROC 1994cc S4 G 266
23 GTS 61 France Écurie Armagnac Bogorre
(private entrant)
France Christian Bussi
France Patrick Metral
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 266
24 S
2.0
28 France Société Racing Organisation
Course
France François Sérvanin
France Jacques Henry
France Albert Dufrène
Lola T294 Simca-ROC 1994cc S4 G 258
25 GTS 71 France J. Laplacette
(private entrant)
France Joël Laplacette
France Alain Leroux
France Claude Pigeon
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 M 258
26 GTS 72 France A. Haller
(private entrant)
France André Haller
Germany Hans Schuller
France Benoit Maechler
Datsun 240Z Datsun 2.4L S6 B 254
27 TS 91 Germany Heidegger Racing Team France Daniel Brillat
Italy Giancarlo Gagliardi
Switzerland Michel Degoumois
BMW 2002Ti BMW 1990cc S4 K 252
N/C* GTS 50 France L. Meznarie
(private entrant)
France Hübert Striebig
France Hugues Kirschoffer
France Pierre Mauroy
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 243
N/C* S
2.0
38 United Kingdom Rays Racing United Kingdom Nigel Clarkson
United Kingdom Derek Worthington
Lola T292/294 Cosworth BDA 1950cc S4 G 241
N/C* S
2.0
23 United Kingdom Madison Racing Team United Kingdom Richard Knight
United Kingdom Mike Knight
France “Cyprien” (Christian Mons]
March 75S Cosworth BDG 1975cc S4 G 218
  • Note *: Not Classified because did not cover sufficient distance (70% of the leader) at the 12, 18 and 24-hour intervals.[37]

Did Not Finish[edit]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Tyre Laps Reason
DSQ GT 78 France Écurie Buchet
France C. Grandet (private entrant)
France Cyril Grandet
France Bob Wollek
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 M 294 Premature
refuel (24hr)
DNF S
3.0
3 France C. Poirot
(private entrant)
France Christian Poirot
France Gérard Cuynet
Ecuador Guillermo Ortega
Porsche 908/02 Porsche 3.0L F8 D 249 Transmission
(21hr)
DNF S
2.0
27 France Société Racing Organisation
Course
France Xavier Lapeyre
France Christian Ethuin
France Laurent Ferrier
Lola T294 Simca-ROC 1994cc S4 G 223 Starter motor
(24hr)
DNF S
2.0
29 France Société Racing Organisation
Course
France Pierre-Marie Painvin
France Franz Hummel
Lola T292 Simca-ROC 1994cc S4 G 206 Transmission
(23hr)
DNF S
3.0
1 Switzerland Wicky Racing Team Morocco Max Cohen-Olivar
Switzerland Philippe Coran
France Joël Brachet
Porsche 908/02K Porsche 3.0L F8 G 161 Transmission
(17hr)
DNF S
3.0
6 France Automobiles Ligier Gitanes France Henri Pescarolo
France François Migault
Ligier JS2 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 M 146 Puncture
(14hr)
DNF GTS 59 Germany Gelo Racing Team Australia Tim Schenken
New Zealand Howden Ganley
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 G 106 Gearbox
(21hr)
DNF GTS 52 France Écurie du Nord Switzerland William Vollery
France Roger Dorchy
Switzerland Eric Chapuis
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 93 Engine
(13hr)
DNF GTS 68 France G. Verrier
(private entrant)
France Guy Verrier
Switzerland Florian Vetsch
Switzerland Jean-Robert Corthay
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 M 91 Engine
(10hr)
DNF TS 98 France Auto Mazda Claude Buchet France Claude Buchet
France Jean Rondeau
RX-3 Coupé Mazda 12A 2-Rotor
(2.3L equiv.)
D 78 Engine
(13hr)
DNF TS 93 France H. Poulain
(private entrant)
France Hervé Poulain
United States Sam Posey
France Jean Guichet
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 D 73 Transmission
(9hr)
DNF GTS 96 France J. Bonnemaison
(private entrant)
France Lucien Nageotte
France Gérard Picard
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 D 48 Electrics
(5hr)
DNF GTS 16 Germany Joest Racing
Germany Tebernum Racing
Germany Clemens Schickentanz
Germany Hartwig Bertrams
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 42 Engine
(5hr)
DNF GTS 60 Germany Gelo Racing Team Netherlands Toine Hezemans
Liechtenstein Manfred Schurti
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 G 41 Accident
(10hr)
DNF S
3.0
18 Japan Sigma Automotive Japan Hiroshi Fushida
Japan Harukuni Takahashi
Sigma MC75 Toyota 1636cc S4 Turbo D 37 Oil pump
(7hr)
DNF S
3.0
97 France Automobiles Ligier Gitanes France Jean-Pierre Beltoise
France Jean-Pierre Jarier
Ligier JS2 Maserati 3.0L V6 M 36 Accident
(4hr)
DNF TS 95 France Shark Team France Jean-Claude Guérie
France Dominique Fornage
Ford Capri LV Ford 3.0L V6 D 27 Engine
(4hr)
DNF GTS 7 Belgium Beurlys International
Auto (private entrant)
France Pietro Polese
Italy "Willer" (Germano Premol)
De Tomaso Pantera Ford 5.8L V8 M 22 Engine
(9hr)
DNF S
2.0
26 Switzerland Equipe Elf Switzerland France Marie-Claude Beaumont
Italy Lella Lombardi
Renault-Alpine A441C Renault 1997cc V6 M 20 Fuel pump
(8hr)
DNF GTS 57 Germany Ganto Racing United States John Rulon-Miller
United States Tom Waugh
United Kingdom Serge Godard
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 D 16 Oil leak
(10hr)
DNF S
3.0
12 Switzerland Racing Team Schulthess
(private entrant)
Switzerland Heinz Schulthess
France Hervé Bayard
Switzerland André Savary
Lola T284 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 G 16 Chassis
(3hr)
DNF S
2.0
40 France P. Mettetal
(private entrant)
France Jean Ragnotti
France Michel Lateste
Tecma 755 Ford-Hart 1790cc S4 M 11 Fuel injection
(2hr)
DNF GT 83 France J.-Y. Gadal
(private entrant)
France Jean-Yves Gadal
France "Segolen" (André Gahinet)
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 2.7L F6 M 6 Electrics
(3hr)
DNF TS 90 France J.-C. Aubriet
(private entrant)
France Jean-Claude Aubriet
France "Depnic” (Jean-Claude Depince)
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 D 1 Accident
(3hr)
DNF GTS 42 France H. Greder
(private entrant)
France Henri Greder
France Alain Cudini
Chevrolet Corvette C3 Chevrolet 7.0L V8 M 0 Oil pump
(1hr)

Did Not Start[edit]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Tyre Reason
DNS GTX 45 United States North American Racing Team United States Ronnie Bucknum
Italy Carlo Facetti
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Ferrari 4.4L V12 M Withdrawn
DNS GTS 46 United States North American Racing Team France Jean-Pierre Malcher
France Patrick Langlois
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Spyder Ferrari 4.4L V12 M Withdrawn
DNS GTS 62 Spain Escuderia Montjuïch Spain Juan Fernández
Spain Francisco Perez
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 M Practice accident
DNS GTX 99 United States North American Racing Team France Lucien Guitteny
France Jacky Haran
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta Boxer Ferrari 4.4L V12 M Withdrawn
DNQ S
3.0
2 Ecuador Ecuador Marlboro Team
(private entrant)
Ecuador Guillermo Ortega
Ecuador Lothar Ranft
Porsche 908/02 Porsche 3.0L F8 G Did not qualify
DNQ S
3.0
9 Ecuador Ecuador Marlboro Team
(private entrant)
Ecuador Fausto Merello
Ecuador Francisco Madera
Ecuador Louis Larrea
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 D Did not qualify
DNQ S
3.0
17 United States North American Racing Team United Kingdom Richard Bond
Italy Giancarlo Gagliardi
United States Harley Cluxton
Ferrari 308 GT4 LM Ferrari 2.9L V8 G Did not qualify
DNQ S
2.0
33 France J.-L. Gama
(private entrant)
France Jean-Louis Gama
France Franc Leclercq
France “Deneulin”
GLD 910/6 Porsche 1991cc F6 G Did not qualify
DNQ GTX 34 France P. Rilly
(private entrant)
France Paul Rilly
France Roger Le Veve
Lamborghini 400 GT Lamborghini 3.9L V12 M Did not qualify
DNQ S
2.0
39 France M. Lateste
(private entrant)
France Michel Lateste
France Gilbert Sedergo
Sederap Cosworth BDG 1844cc S4 F Did not qualify
DNQ GT 54 Switzerland A. Pallavicini
(private entrant)
Switzerland Angelo Pallavicini
Italy Marco Vanoli
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0 F6 D Did not qualify
DNQ GTS 70 France Les Maisons de Week-End
(private entrant)
France Jean-Louis Ravenel
France Jacky Ravenel
Belgium Dany Wauters
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0 F6 D Did not qualify
DNQ GTS 73 France T. Perrier
(private entrant)
France Thierry Perrier
France Jean Belliard
Porsche 911S Porsche 2.3L F6 M Did not qualify
DNQ GT 75 Switzerland Wicky Racing Team Switzerland André Wicky
France José Thibault
France Elio Cogo
Switzerland Philippe Carron
De Tomaso Pantera Ford 5.8L V8 M Did not qualify
DNQ TS 89 France M. Guicherd
(private entrant)
France Michel Guicherd
France Jean-Claude Géral
France Christian Avril
Chrysler Hemicuda Chrysler Hemi 7.0L V8 M Did not qualify
DNQ TS 94 France Shark Team France Christian Gouttepifre
France Jean-Pierre Bodin
Ford Capri RS Ford 3.0L V6 D Did not qualify

Class Winners[edit]

Class Winning Car Winning Drivers
Group 5 S
Sports Over 2-litre
#11 Gulf-Mirage GR8 Ickx / Bell
Group 5 S
Sports Under 2-litre
#35 Moynet LM75 Hoepfner / Mouton / Dacremont
Group 4 GTS
Special GT
#58 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Fitzpatrick / van Lennep / Hezemans / Schurti
Group 3 GT
Production GT
#84 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Maurer / Baez / Strähl *
GTX
Le Mans Experimental
#20 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo Haldi / Béguin / Zbinden *
Group 2 TS
Special Touring
#91 BMW 2002 Ti Brillat / Gagliardi / Degoumois
  • Note: setting a new class distance record.

Index of Thermal Efficiency[edit]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Score
1 GT 87 France X Racing France Philippe Demagne
France René Boubet
Porsche 911S 19
2 GT 84 Switzerland G. Maurer
(private entrant)
Switzerland Gerhard Maurer
Switzerland Christian Baez
Switzerland Eugen Strähl
Porsche 911 Carrera RS 20
3 GTS 55 France Écurie Robert Buchet France Claude Ballot-Léna
Canada Jacques Bienvenue
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 20
4 GTS 53 France ASA Cachia-Bondy France Henri Cachia
France Jacques Borras
France Pascal Moisson
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 20
5 GTS 58 Germany Gelo Racing Team Netherlands Gijs van Lennep
United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick
Liechtenstein Manfred Schurti
Netherlands Toine Hezemans
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 20
6 GT 77 France P. Dagoreau
(private entrant)
France Philippe Dagoreau
France Thierry Sabine
Switzerland Jean-Pierre Aeschlimann
Porsche 911 Carrera RS 22
7 GTS 65 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Team Mexico Juan Carlos Bolaños
Mexico Andres Contreras
United States Billy Sprowls
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 23
8 GT 67 France A.-C. Verney
(private entrant)
France Anne-Charlotte Verney
France Yvette Fontaine
France Corinne Tarnaud
Porsche 911 Carrera RS 25
9 GTS 69 Belgium "Beurlys"
(private entrant)
Belgium “Beurlys” (Jean Blaton)
United Kingdom Nick Faure
United Kingdom John Cooper
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 25
10 S
3.0
5 France Automobiles Ligier Gitanes France Jean-Louis Lafosse
France Guy Chasseuil
Ligier JS2 26
  • Note: Only the top ten positions are included in this set of standings.[9]

Fuel Consumption Prize[edit]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Score
1 S
2.0
30 France J.-M. Lemerle
(private entrant)
France Jean-Marie Lemerle
France Patrick Daire
France Alain Levié
Lola T292 23
2 S
2.0
23 United Kingdom Madison Racing Team United Kingdom Richard Knight
United Kingdom Mike Knight
France “Cyprien” (Christian Mons]
March 75S 25
3 S
2.0
38 United Kingdom Rays Racing United Kingdom Nigel Clarkson
United Kingdom Derek Worthington
Lola T292/294 25
4 S
2.0
35 France Société Esso
(private entrant)
France Michèle Mouton
France Marianne Hoepfner
France Christine Dacremont
Moynet LM75 25
5 GT 87 France X Racing France Philippe Demagne
France René Boubet
Porsche 911S 26
6 S
2.0
28 France Société Racing Organisation Course France François Sérvanin
France Jacques Henry
France Albert Dufrène
Lola T294 26
  • Note: Only the top six positions are included in this set of standings, which is a ranking of the cars using the least volume of fuel during the race.[5][38]

Statistics[edit]

Taken from Quentin Spurring's book, officially licensed by the ACO

  • Fastest Lap in practice –J.Ickx, #11 Gulf-Mirage GR8 – 3:49.9secs; 213.59 km/h (132.72 mph)
  • Fastest Lap – C. Craft, #4 Lola T380 – 3:53.8secs; 210.03 km/h (130.51 mph)
  • Winning Distance – 4,595.58 km (2,855.56 mi)
  • Winner’s Average Speed – 191.50 km/h (118.99 mph)
  • Attendance – ~80000[8][39][40]
Citations
  1. ^ Spurring 2011, p.171
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clausager 1982, p.167-9
  3. ^ a b c d e f Clarke 1997, p.10: Motorsport July 1975
  4. ^ Clausager 1982, p.24
  5. ^ a b c d Spurring 2011, p.174
  6. ^ a b Wimpffen 2007, p.158
  7. ^ a b c d Spurring 2011, p.180
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Clarke 1997, p.7-8: Autocar Jun21 1975
  9. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.9
  10. ^ Clausager 1982, p.23
  11. ^ a b c d Spurring 2011, p.173
  12. ^ a b Clarke 1997, p.6: Autocar Jun14 1975
  13. ^ a b c d e Spurring 2011, p.176-7
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Clarke 1997, p.17-8: Autosport Jun19 1975
  15. ^ a b c d e Spurring 2011, p.178
  16. ^ a b c Clarke 1997, p.13-4: Motor Jun21 1975
  17. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.187
  18. ^ a b c d Spurring 2011, p.191
  19. ^ Spurring 2011, p.84
  20. ^ a b Automobile Year 1976, p.145
  21. ^ a b c Spurring 2011, p.182-3
  22. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.184
  23. ^ a b c Spurring 2011, p.190
  24. ^ a b c Spurring 2011, p.186
  25. ^ a b c d e Spurring 2011, p.181-2
  26. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.189
  27. ^ a b c Clarke 1997, p.11: Road&Track Oct 1975
  28. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.188
  29. ^ Clarke 1997, p.17-18: Autosport Jun19 1975
  30. ^ Spurring 2011, p.195
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clarke 1997, p.19-20: Autosport Jun19 1975
  32. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.175
  33. ^ Clarke 1997, p.9: Road&Track Oct 1975
  34. ^ Clarke 1997, p.6a: Autosport Jun12 1975
  35. ^ Automobile Year 1976, p.159
  36. ^ Spurring 2011, p.2
  37. ^ Spurring 2011, p.8
  38. ^ Spurring 2011, p.197
  39. ^ Laban 2001, p.179
  40. ^ "World Sports Cars". World Sports Racing Prototypes.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.

References[edit]

  • Chilvers, Tim – English editor (1976) Automobile Year #23 1975-76 Lausanne: Edita S.A.
  • Clarke, R.M. - editor (1997) Le Mans 'The Porsche Years 1975-1982' Cobham, Surrey: Brooklands Books ISBN 1-85520-387-1
  • Clausager, Anders (1982) Le Mans London: Arthur Barker Ltd ISBN 0-213-16846-4
  • Laban, Brian (2001) Le Mans 24 Hours London: Virgin Books ISBN 1-85227-971-0
  • Spurring, Quentin (2011) Le Mans 1970-79 Yeovil, Somerset: Haynes Publishing ISBN 978-1-84425-539-9
  • Wimpffen, János (2007) Spyders and Silhouettes Hong Kong: David Bull Publishing ISBN 1-893618-83-8

External links[edit]

  • Racing Sports Cars – Le Mans 24 Hours 1975 entries, results, technical detail. Retrieved 6 Jul 2018
  • Le Mans History – Le Mans History, hour-by-hour (incl. pictures, quotes, YouTube links). Retrieved 20 Jul 2018
  • World Sports Racing Prototypes – results, reserve entries & chassis numbers. Retrieved 20 Jul 2018
  • Team Dan – results & reserve entries, explaining driver listings. Retrieved 20 Jul 2018
  • Unique Cars & Parts – results & reserve entries. Retrieved 20 Jul 2018
  • Formula 2 – Le Mans results & reserve entries. Retrieved 20 Jul 2018
  • Motorsport Memorial – details of the year’s fatal accidents. Retrieved 20 Jul 2018
  • YouTube – Colour footage of the start preparation in French (4mins). Retrieved 8 Aug 2018
  • YouTube – The Calder BMW art-car (1min). Retrieved 8 Aug 2018