1939 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 16th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the 16th Grand Prix d' Endurance les 24 Heures du Mans, was held from June 17 to 18, 1939 at the Circuit des 24 Heures.

The race

The race in 1939 was the last 24 - hour race at Le Mans before the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939 Bugatti had -. After the French automobile company had 1938 waives participation due to technical problems - announced his return to Le Mans. Officially, the 3.3 -liter 57C tank from Le Mans winner of 1937, Jean -Pierre Wimille has been reported, but behind it was the work of Molsheim with its entire logistics. A total of 25 vehicles came from France, including works cars from Delahaye, Delage and Talbot. Anthony Lago had had converted 4.5-liter Grand Prix car so that they are now in line with the regulations of Le Mans.

The Adlerwerke brought one of her Trump racing sedans to the Sarthe. The car received a new 2.5 -liter engine, but was so badly damaged in an accident in training that could not be considered for participation in the race. The German automotive industry was represented by BMW; the Munich-based company launched three factory BMW 328 to Le Mans.

Came from Great Britain, besides many private teams, two Lagonda V12. This 4.5 -liter sports car came in this form for the first time to Le Mans. In Lagonda - led by Alan Good - Walter Owen Bentley had found after the sale of Bentley to Rolls -Royce, a new field of activity. The British automobile pioneer was able to draw on a wealth of experience after half a dozen victories at Le Mans. But to the chagrin of the two V12 Bentley racing cars were finished so late that they could be tested for the first time only in training. In Lagonda one still meant the summer of 1939, that this year's Le Mans race was only a test run for later use. One of the cars was rolled as a unit carriage, driven by Arthur Dobson and Charles Brackenbury at the start. The second vehicle was delivered to Peter Mitchell - Thomson, 2nd Baron Selsdon, who played the race together with Lord William Waleran.

Favorite to win but was back Raymond Sommer. Summer brought a new Alfa Romeo coupe at the start, which he piloted in collaboration with the Thai Prince Bira.

Raymond Sommer and Jean -Pierre Wimille, a fierce battle for the lead - until Saturday night to Luigi Chinetti in Talbot, Louis Gérard delivered in Delage, Robert Mazaud - set the fastest race lap. Until the early Sunday morning, then led the Gérard / Monneret - Delage, as the French team got problems with the engine. One last long pit stop they finally tasted the victory, Pierre Veyron Bugatti could go by. The Delage was second ahead of the two Lagondas that could finish all astonishment without any technical problems the race on the third and fourth places.


Pilot after Nations

  • Elder drivers: Deutsches Reich Nazi Max zu Schaumburg -Lippe (40 years)
  • Youngest Driver: United Kingdom Rob Walker (22 years)

Final ranking

Only in the message list

Here are the teams, drivers and vehicles that were originally registered for the competition, but it did not participate for various reasons.

Class winner

Race data

  • Reported: 48
  • Starter: 42
  • Weather during the race weekend: sunny
  • Distance: 13.492 km
  • Distance of the winning team: 3354.760 km
  • Winners section: 139.781 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: Robert Mazaud - Delahaye 135CS (# 15) - 5.12.100 = 155.627 km / h

Pictures of 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans