10th -11th June

55 starters 22 classified finishers

Thanks to their fifth victory Ferrari equalled the score of their illustrious predecessors Bentley and Jaguar, both 5 time winners on the Sarthe circuit. Barnato and Chinetti, joint record holders with 3 victories Aeach in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, were joined by Olivier Gendebien. For the first time ever the 4400 km and the 185 km/h barriers were broken. The race was an all - Ferrari battle with the Rodriguez brothers (Pedro and Ricardo aged 19 and 21 respectively), cheered on by the crowd, mercilessly hounding the future winners for almost 22 hours. The much - fancied rear - engined V12 Tipo 63 Maseratis with birdcage style chassis were never in the hunt. D. B was back in the winner's circle triumphing in the Index of Performance while the The.rmal Efficiency prize was won by a Sunbeam. In the GT category the 250 Ferraris made short shrift of the Zagato bodied DB 4 Aston Martins on their Sarthe debut. The Noblet - Guichet 250 GTO, third overall, did better than the 1960 outright winners! The 250 GT V 12 Experimentale with Pininfarina bodywork and 6 carburettors driven by Tavono and Baghetti was never in contention. Porsche's new 2 litre coupe entrusted to 2 Americans, Gregory and Holbert, won its class. The 2 Austin Healey Sprites had different bodywork and engines. Ecurie Ecosse lost both their cars through accidents, Halford crashing the Cooper Monaco (which had a modified F1 engine) just after the pits without serious damage to himself, while MacKay went off in the Sprite at Maison Blanche injuring himself badly in the process. One of the Oscas had a centrally mounted engine. The start was given by Paul Panhard, the president of the manufacturers sydicate.


Scrutineering was moved from Les Jacobins in Le Mans itself and was carried out beside the circuit. A computerised race control system was instigated. Length of the circuit unchanged 13, 461 kms.


The number of laps per driver stint increased from 52 to 60. Last lap had to be covered in 20 minutes maximum. Slope of the windscreen regulated.


55 cars 4 nations 14 makes

France: 6 D. B. s

Germany: 5 Porsches.

Great Britain: 2 A. C. s, 5 Aston Martins, 3 Austin Healeys, 1 Cooper, 5 Lotuses, 1 . M. G. , 2 Sunbeams, 3 Triumphs.

Italy: 11 Ferraris, 5 Fiat Abarths, 4 Mciseratis, 2 Oscas.


As the field weaved away from the start led by Jim Clark's Aston Martin, Mike Parkes in one of the Ferrari 250 TR 61s was almost the last to leave the pits as his car showed a marked reluctance to start. Yet by the end of lap 1 he was up with the leaders having overtaken at least 40 cars! The Pabst - Thompson Maserati refused to fire at all and could not be started without the assistance of the chief mechanic, Bertocchi. The new 246 SP Ferrari, a Dino with a centrally - mounted. 2.4 litre engine ran out of fuel during the night after having been in the lead at 18hOO. Behind the 250 TRs, Stirling Moss and Graham Hill in Rob Walker's 250 GT Ferrari split the sports racing Aston Martins. They ran as high as fourth place before retiring when a fan blade sliced the radiator hose. This was Moss's last Le Mans appearance as a driver. Late on Saturday afternoon the quickest of the Maseratis crashed at the start of Les Hunaudieres. Shortly after, the Serenissima - entered Tipo 63 blew its cylinderhead gasket. This made life easier for the works Ferraris as their only opposition came from the NART - entered Ferrari TR 60 driven by Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez. The brothers' relentless pursuit of the leaders was the highlight of the race. At 7HOO on Sunday morning they were a-mere two and a half seconds behind the Gendebien - P. Hill car. Just afterwards the N. A. R. T Ferrari came in with a misfire losing half an hour due to a faulty condenser. Again the Mexicans thrilled the crowd as they fought their way back to second before the engine cried enough just after 14HOO much to the relief of the Scuderia personnel whose tempers were beginning to fray. Thus, the two remaining TR61 only had to cruise home while the fastest of the 250 GTOs proved quicker than the sole surviving V12 Maserati. It was an all - Ferrari rostrum. Unlike the previous year the 3 Triumphs figured in the final results. Consolation for Britain caine in the form of a Lotus Elite class win and the Sunbeam Alpine Thermal Efficiency victory. The Index of Performance fell to the Laureau - Bouharde D. B Panhard. One of the drivers of the only Fiat Abarth to reach the finish was a little - known New Zealander called Denny Hulme.


Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill set a new distance record of 4476, 580 kms, some 79, 472 kms

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Sports Car Races

Targa Florio 1963

Sebring 1966

Stardust GP 1968

Le Mans 1930

Le Mans 1949

Le Mans 1950

Le Mans 1951

Le Mans 1952

Le Mans 1953

Le Mans 1954

Le Mans 1955

Le Mans 1956

Le Mans 1957

Le Mans 1958

Le Mans 1959

Le Mans 1960

Le Mans 1961

Le Mans 1962

Le Mans 1963

Le Mans 1964

further than the previous one. The same pair also set a new average speed record at 186, 527 km/h. Mike Hawthorn's 1957 lap record remained unbeaten.

Author: ArchitectPage

Phil Hill