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Author Topic: Ok, so what is it?  (Read 7174 times)
mgmark
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« on: November 03, 2007, 08:45:37 pm »

Straightforward question really - saw it in a museum I visited this summer - what is it, and what made the LM entry unusual? 

MG Mark
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Nordic
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 10:05:21 am »

Its the Moynet Simca LM 75 from the 1975 Race were is was driven to 21st (and 1st in class) by Michele Mouton/Marianne Hoepfner/Christine Dacremont. The names woud suggest 3 women drivers.

As far as I can tell it was Moutons only Le Mans apperance and maybe came about due to an Esso/simca connection, and the fact that she is very talented?

Nice looking car
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mgmark
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 12:49:46 pm »

To the top of the class, indeed it is!  It was (according to the museum blurb) the only race outing for that car and has been (it said) the only all-female entry at Le Mans, although I have a vague recollection that there was an all-female British entry either in the 30s or the 50s?

MG Mark.   
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 06:28:12 pm »

100% sure it was not the only all woman team to enter, a Lola 296 was entered in 1978 for Martine Renier/Anna Cambiaghi and Pascale Geurie. It ran in practice but had many problems including the bodywork falling off, the gear ratios incorrectly installed and tyres coming of the rims so the car did not make the race.

So the Moynet may well have been the only all women team to take the start.

(Some records show the entry as Martine Renier/Anna Cambiaghi and Jean-Claude Guerie. The ACO book has photos of all three women and either Jean Claude is a snappy cross dresser or it was his wife, sister etc )
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 09:22:53 pm »

To the top of the class, indeed it is!  It was (according to the museum blurb) the only race outing for that car and has been (it said) the only all-female entry at Le Mans, although I have a vague recollection that there was an all-female British entry either in the 30s or the 50s?

MG Mark.   
The blurb is wrong.
The first all-female entry was in 1930 - Marguerite Mareuse/Odette Siko in a Bugatti T40. They finished 7th and entered again in the same car the following year, only to be disqualified for refuelling too early.
In 1931 Two British women - The Hon. Mrs Joan Chetwynd/Mrs H.H. Stisted - started in an MG Midget but retired with broken timing gear after only 30 laps.
In 1934 Miss Dorothy Champney/Mrs Kay Petre finished 13th in the former's Riley Nine Ulster Imp.
1935 was the year in which the most women (10) started the race.
There were three MG PA Midgets entered in 1935 by Capt. G.E.T. Eyston with all-female crews  of whom five were British and one Australian. They all finished - 24th, 25th and 26th.
Another all-female (and all-British) Capt. Eyston-entered MG Midget - Miss Dorothy Stanley-Turner/ Miss Enid Riddell - finished 16th in 1937.
In 1938 Mme Fernande Roux/Mme Germaine Rouault retired their Amilcar G36 "Pegase Special" after 101 laps.
In 1939 Mme Anne-Cecile Rose-Itier/Mme Suzanne Largeot retired the former's Simca huit-Fiat following an accident after 26 laps.
In 1950 Mme Germaine Rouault/Mme Regine Gordine retired their Simca Gordini TMM following an accident after 143 laps.
In 1951 Mme Yvonne Simon/Mrs Betty Haig finished 16th in Luigi Chinetti's Ferrari 166 MM
In 1974 Christine Beckers/Yvette Fontaine/Marie Laurent finished 17th in the Ecurie Seiko Chevron B23-Cosworth
In 1975 Anny Charlotte Verney/Yvette Fontaine/Corinne Tarnault's  Porsche Carrera RS finished 11th - and the Michele Mouton/Marianne Hoepfner/Christine Dacremont Moynet Simca finished 21st.
In 1976  Christine Dacremont/Lella Lombardi finished 20th in Robert Neyret-Chardonnet's Lancia Stratos
In 1977 Marianne Hoepfner/Christine Dacremont's Lancia Stratos (Esso sponsored) retired with engine failure after 5 hours.
In 1991 Lyn St James/ Desiré Wilson/ Cathy Muller retired their Spice SE90 C following an accident after 6 hours.
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 09:35:01 am »

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/1057.html

Moynet was a bit of a French hero. My French is not what it should be, but it seems to me that he may have been a Pilot for the Free French at some point based at Biggin Hill?

« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 09:37:36 am by Nordic » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 11:46:21 am »

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/1057.html

Moynet was a bit of a French hero. My French is not what it should be, but it seems to me that he may have been a Pilot for the Free French at some point based at Biggin Hill?


Well dug out - there's a background and a half.  It seems that he joined as a volunteer, qualified as a pilot in France just before the invasion, escaped to England to fly with the Free French, flew operations in Dakar, Gabon and Chad, returned to England for training, flew sweeps over England and northern France, was then an instructor, followed by flying on the Eastern front, and then back to Europe to fly 115 offensive support missions.  Became Head of the French Fighter school after the war.  Then went into politics at ministerial level, but was recalled for Algeria in 1956, where he flew a further 76 missions. 

In parallel with that he was a test pilot as well, and built his car to compete at Le Mans in 1975.  A full life it would seem!

MG Mark
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2007, 08:38:58 am »

He seems to have picked up a USA silver star as well on the way.

What are they handed out for?
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mgmark
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2007, 11:07:30 am »

He seems to have picked up a USA silver star as well on the way.

What are they handed out for?

The Silver Star Medal is the United States' third highest award exclusively for combat valour, and ranks fifth in the precedence of military awards behind the Medal of Honor, the Crosses (DSC/NC/AFC), the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and the Distinguished Service Medals of the various individual US services.  It is the highest award for combat valor that is not unique to any specific branch and it may be given by any one of the individual services to not only their own members, but to members of other branches of service, foreign allies, and even to civilians for "gallantry in action" in support of combat missions of the United States military.

Without more detailed research, I can only read between the lines of Moynet's CV, but what is apparent from that is that on returning from the Eastern front to operate over northern France in 1945 as a captian, he is credited with 115 operational missions there, including 12 confirmed and 4 probable aircraft kills, damage to 2 FW190s, and the destruction on the ground of 2 comms posts, a radio station, a train, and numerous lorries and heavy vehicles, and the strafing of ground troops.

Based on that, his flying must have involved missions in support of the Allied offensive, which of course involved plenty of American forces.  As the Silver star is a gallantry award for specific action, rather then just generally being there, he may have been particularly courageous or diligent during a sortie in pressing home an attack on, or suppression of, enemy forces probably in the face of danger to himself, the result of which either protected US troops who were in a "tight spot" or enabled them to advance.  Someone else at the time would have recognised this and, with everything else going on, took the time to put in a report, which in turn would have led to someone tracking down who the pilot was, and then getting the award approved.  Only a guess without access to the actual citation, but probably not far off the mark.

MG Mark
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