1956 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 24th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the Grand Prix d' Endurance les 24e 24 Heures du Mans, was held from July 28 to 29 in 1956 performed at the Circuit des 24 Heures.

  • 3.1 pilots after Nations
  • 3.2 Final ranking
  • 3.3 Only in the message list
  • 3.4 Class Winner
  • 3.5 racing data

Before the race

Changes to the track

As a result of the fatal accident at the race the year before the circuit was completely rebuilt in some places. The pit area was renovated and widened the distance between the pits and the grandstands. Although still separated only a white line on the road, the stopping racing car racing, but the track was so wide that several cars were able to drive side by side without any problems. The spectators on the grandstands were now protected by a security fence. The radius of the first curve before the Esses was changed, as has the entrance to the Tertre Rouge and the infamous Maison- Blanche- curve. Through these alterations, the track length shortened from 13,492 to 13.461 km.

Since the renovations were not timely completed, the race had to be postponed by one month and found for the first time since 1923 back in July.

Changes to the regulations

Also, the regulations have been adjusted. The capacity of the prototypes - had to be of which at least 50 units built - was reduced to 2500 cc. The capacity of the tanks was limited to 130 liters, and between two refueling stops had a racing car driven at least 34 rounds. The windshields have been enlarged and now had a height of 20 cm.

No driver was allowed more than 72 rounds without interruption behind the wheel and drive a total of no more than 14 hours. The workouts were moved into the evening, so the driver had to go on Wednesday and Thursday before the race even in the dark. The race director Charles Faroux was made a deputy to the side with Charles de Cortanze.

The race

The race was no two laps old when triggered the message via a renewed serious accident horror in the pit lane. The first time was Charles Faroux with the idea to cancel the event immediately. When the information arrived, neither drivers nor spectators had come to grief, made ​​himself generally wide relief. The Belgian Jaguar works driver Paul Frère had mentioned the Esses lost control of his Jaguar D -Type and right touched the limit. Its just following teammate Jack Fairman had nowhere to go and crashed into the rear of the Jaguar. The Chaos FULL Alfonso de Portago who fully met with his factory Ferrari 625LM Spyder Touring Fairmam and both Jaguar and himself pushed to the sidelines. Within seconds, two Jaguar factory and a factory Ferrari were thus eliminated.

As soon as the excitement had settled over this incident as another accident news reached the pit facilities. This accident ended but fatal. Louis Hery had in the Maison Blanche with his little Panhard a rollover and died of his injuries in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Overall, there were 13 accidents in the race.

After an early long pit stop of last year's winner Mike Hawthorn in the third factory Jaguar Ninian Sanderson and Ron Flockhart took the lead in the Ecurie Ecosse D - Type. The Scottish Jaguar delivered himself a fierce duel with the factory Aston Martin Stirling Moss and Peter Collins. The race was only decided just before the end, as the DB3S broke the second gear. This handicap that manifested itself especially in the slow passage between the Indianapolis and Arnage curve, the Aston Martin team cost a round. Third place was reached Maurice Trintignant and Olivier Gendebien in a Ferrari; so they saved the honor of the Scuderia. The main index of performance gained Gérard Laureau and Paul Armagnac for German & Bonnet.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

Ill 1 driver

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: 60
  • Starter: 49
  • Weather during the race weekend: warm, in between some rain showers
  • Distance: 13.461 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Simon de Peyerimoff, President of the Automobile Club de France
  • Distance of the winning team: 4034.929 km
  • Winners section: 168.122 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: Mike Hawthorn - Jaguar D -Type ( # 1) - 4.20.000 = 186.383 km / h