Homage to cars from 1949 to 1968!
Le Mans Legend is back at Le Mans on Saturday 13th June 2015. It will be one of the curtain-raisers before the Le Mans 24 Hours with a huge field of no fewer than 61 cars! Organised every two years this race highlights an era in the history of the greatest endurance race in the world.
14 of the cars entered actually raced at Le Mans in period, and the remainder of the grid boast their own impressive competition histories.
The red GT40 of US drivers Philippe Mulacek and Alain Vinson took part in the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours, Marc Doncieux’s GT40 raced there in 1966, and Claude Nahum/Bernard Thuner’s Mk 1 in 1968, with Eric Lidell replacing the car’s regular driver that season David Piper to share with Mike Salmon. Bernard is the son of Jean Jacques Thuner, a four-times competitor in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The remarkable seven-GT40 entry also includes the ex-Scuderia Bear/Essex Wire Corporation 1965 Mk1 which finished 3rd in the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours (Skip Scott/Peter Revson) and was put out of the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours when it was struck by a works-entry GT40 during qualifying. Present-day renowned GT3 and historic racer Andrew Smith will share the car with James Cottingham.
Another newcomer that the extended age range admits to the Le Mans Legend grid is the Alpine-Renault A220 of French drivers Sylvain Stepak and Jean Luc Blanchemain. This car was standing 5th overall in the 1968 Len Mans 24 Hours in the hands of Mauro Bianchi and Patrick Depailler before brake failure caused it to crash with Bianchi at the wheel. This was the race at which Alpine and Michelin revolutionized racing with the first use of ‘slick’ tyres.
The A220 and the seven GT40s are joined in what promises to be a stunning class battle by Rainer Becker’s Porsche 910, again, a new addition to the grid. Originally owned and raced by Bill Bradley, with Vic Elford and Tony Dean, this car enjoyed a number of notable results in period, including 1st in class and 5th overall at Hockenheim in 1968 and 5th overall in the 1969 1000km Nurburgring.
Sam Thomas/Andy Dee-Crowne’s Allard J2X was a 1952 Le Mans 24 Hours competitor, while Paul Griffin/Gillian Carr’s Connaught ALSR raced there in 1955. Class competition for the Allard comes from another of the same marque. Touring Car driver Patrick Watts will be out in a J2. The Connaught faces sporting competition for class honours from a veteran of the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hours, the beautiful Panhard Monopole X86 of François Cointreau and from former England Rugby, Captain David Cooke, in the yellow Lotus 11 Le Mans he shares with Neil Twyman.
The Aston Martin Festival of Le Mans will return in 2015 but bigger than ever before.
Up to 60 racing cars from the last 11 years will take part in the support race on Saturday morning ahead of the main 24-hour race.
Fan favourites that have all raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the Aston Martin Lola LMP1(DBR1-2) and the GT class-winning DBR9 will race against current models such as the V8 Vantage GTE and V12 Vantage GT3. Here’s an opportunity perhaps to judge the relative speeds on the full Le Mans circuit of current spec GT3 machinery, this race the only one to allow this comparison to happen!
In addition, fans and media can enjoy watching exclusive demonstration laps from Aston Martin road cars of the future as they are unveiled on-track for the first time.
The Aston Martin Festival of Le Mans paddock will be situated in the karting area.