1961 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 29th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the Grand Prix d' Endurance les 29e 24 Heures du Mans, was held from June 10 to 11 took place in 1961 at the Circuit des 24 Heures.

The race

As the 24 -hour race this year was over, the Ferrari brand had caught up with the fifth overall victory at Bentley and Jaguar. When the drivers Olivier Gendebien reached his third overall victory and had thus retracted equal many successes as Woolf Barnato and Luigi Chinetti. Together with Phil Hill he drove a Ferrari 250TRI/61. The duo scored two Le Mans records. For the first time the 4400 km mark was surpassed in the total distance and the winner average was just over 185 km / h The favorites were from the beginning to the Ferrari team cars, the two Mexican Rodriguez Brothers - 19 and 21 years old - had captured the attention of the public by storm.

The best Le Mans start caught Jim Clark, who took the lead with the Aston Martin DBR1. The worst start had Mike Parkes, who drove off last. After the first round of the British but had overtaken the amazing number of 40 vehicles and was already among the best. The Briggs Cunningham Maserati Tipo 63, with Augie Pabst at the wheel, not at all came off and had to be started by a mechanic. Shortly after the Ferrari 246SP, driven by Wolfgang von Trips and Richie Ginther, the peak took over, rolled the Dino without gasoline before the Mulsanne. The night was dominated by two works Ferraris. The only pressure came from the NART -Rodriguez - Ferrari. On Sunday morning at 7 clock, the two brothers were brought up to within two seconds of the leading Gendebein - Ferrari. Rarely were in Le Mans, at this point of the race, as well occupied in 1961 to cheer on the bleachers at the Rodriguez brothers. At this time, the Aston Martin and Scuderia Serenissima Maserati had long since failed. On the morning of the NART Ferrari lost almost half an hour in the pits. But the Mexicans launched a terrific comeback and were by 14 clock again in second place, before the Ferrari failed with engine failure.

At the end of Ferrari still celebrated a triple victory, as the 250GT by Pierre Noblet and Jean Guichet crossed the finish line before the Tipo 63 by Augie Pabst and Dick Thompson third.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

1 Not started 2 Not Started 3 Scrutineering failed 4 First Reserve 5 Reserve 6 Second Third Reserve 7 replacement car, accident in training

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: 69
  • Starter: 55
  • Weather during the race weekend: cold, windy and again rain showers
  • Distance: 13.461 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Paul Panhard, president of the Association of French automobile manufacturer
  • Distance of the winning team: 4476.580 km
  • Winners section: 186.427 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: Ricardo Rodriguez - Ferrari 250TRI/61 (# 17) - 3.59.090 = 201.202 km / h
  • Race series: 4th round of the World Sportscar Championship; 4th round of the FIA ​​GT Cup