1970 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 38th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the Grand Prix d' Endurance les 38e 24 Heures du Mans, was held from June 13 to 14 take place in 1970 at the Circuit des 24 Heures.

  • 2.1 Ferrari disaster in Maison Blanche
  • 2.2 The rest of the race
  • 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


After Porsche had the overall win in the previous year just barely lost the leadership of the racing team in Zuffenhausen wanted nothing more left to chance. At the beginning of the season concluded an agreement with John Wyer Porsche, paving the British team to a factory team. John Wyer Automotive Race Director John Horsman had during test drives for the 1000 - km race at Austria ring a brilliant idea, which improved the delicate handling of the Porsche 917 sustainable. He left at the rear of the car mount small aluminum strips, which gave the car an improved stability. This short-tail versions were used by Wyer in the manufacturers' world championship, where the team of victory rushed to victory.

After Le Mans, the Wyer team came up with three vehicles. Pedro Rodríguez, who won the race in 1968 for John Wyer on a Ford GT40, divided his 917 with the Finn Leo Kinnunen. David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood, in the prior year third in the overall standings, piloted the second Porsche. The fastest duo formed the two Porsche works driver Jo Siffert and Brian Redman.

Martini Racing, the factory team, established a fast 917 long-tail. Dangers, the car was by Gérard Larrousse and Willi Kauhsen. The team also appointed an already long in the Porsche 908 Lang heck, the two Austrian Helmut Marko and Rudi Lins drove. Although the 908 was not nearly as fast as the 917, but was considered particularly stable and was used as a " safe option ".

What was surprising was the Participation of third Porsche team. Louise Piëch, the daughter of Ferdinand Porsche was to bring about their Salzburg Porsche Holding two 917 to Le Mans. A 917 long-tail, which was driven by Vic Elford and Kurt Ahrens and had a new 4.9 - liter engine. A 917 short-tail drove Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood.


Enzo Ferrari had sold 1969 shares in the company to FIAT and invested a portion of the proceeds in the construction of the required 25 copies of a five-liter sports car. At the end of 1969, at least half a calendar year and a full racing season later than the 917, the 512S was introduced and produced the required by the regulations small series.

After Le Mans came the factory team with four vehicles, driven by Jacky Ickx, Peter Schetty, Derek Bell, Clay Regazzoni, Arturo Merzario, Ronnie Peterson, Nino Vaccarella and Ignazio Giunti.

In addition to some private 512er also the Scuderia Filipinetti, the Ecurie Francorchamps and the North American Racing Team put this Ferrari prototypes in the race.

Matra and Alfa Romeo

The Matra team came up with the 3-liter V12 Spydern to the Sarthe. Two MS650 were driven by Patrick Depailler, Jean -Pierre Jabouille and Tim taverns and François Cevert and the three -time Formula 1 World Champion Jack Brabham, who gave a surprising comeback in Le Mans. The new MS660 piloted Jean -Pierre and Henri Pescarolo Beltoise.

Autodelta Alfa Romeo Tipo came with four 33 to Le Mans. When Alfa Romeo was understood as the appearance of another academic year, as the person in charge of the Italian team was clear that the Spyder would be unlikely to pass through without technical problems. As a top driver alongside the German Rolf Stommelen the British Formula 1 driver Piers Courage was committed.

The camera car

A special privilege was given to the American actor Steve McQueen. The message to take part, together with Jackie Stewart, in a Porsche 917 in the race, was indeed rejected by the Automobile Club de l' Ouest, but the officials allowed the participation of a camera carriage to rotate authentic material for his Le Mans Fim. Dangers was the Porsche 908 - which was equipped with three cameras - by Herbert Linge and Jonathan Williams.

As a starter acted co-owner of Porsche, Ferry Porsche.

The race

In training, Vic Elford had undercut the time of Rolf Stommelen from the previous year by 3 seconds. The lap time of 3.19.080 corresponded to an average speed of 242.685 km / h So fast has never been a racing car driven at Le Mans.

The traditional Le Mans start was in its old form history. The race cars were still more obliquely to the road, in the order of training times, situated. However, the pilots did not have to run across the street to get to their cars, but were already strapped in the cars, as the starting flag fell.

Ferrari disaster in Maison Blanche

In the second hour of the race of the race, a veritable disaster struck for Ferrari, as the Swede Pure Wisell, of a Ferrari 512 Scuderia Filipinetti with Jo Bonnier divided, hampered by an oil- smeared windshield, driving slowly came to the pits. Clay Regazzoni in the Ferrari factory could not dodge in time and drove into the car of Wisell. Mike Parkes, the close behind followed by the second Filipinetti -512, had no chance to avoid the transverse cars and completed the crash trio. To make matters worse approached the scene of the accident Derek Bell, who braked sharply and another accident avoided, while the engine of his Ferrari but turned over and also retired. At a stroke, four 512er were eliminated. But it got worse. On the night of lying in second place Jacky Ickx had a serious accident, which killed a marshal. Only the U.S. duo Sam Posey and Ronnie Bucknum for the North American Racing Team Ecurie Francorchamps and the 512, with Alistair Walker and Hughes de Fierlandt at the wheel came through and finished fourth and fifth overall, but with more than 400 km behind the winning Porsche.

The rest of the race

At this time, the Porsche 917 was turned out of Rodriguez / Kinnunen with a broken radiator and rolled out of the factory of Ferrari Vacarrella / Giunti with engine failure. When Mike Hailwood just after the Ferrari disaster in the Porsche curves had an accident, seven vehicles of the ten quickest in qualifying were excreted after 1 ½ hours of racing. This already lost the race at the beginning of tension.

One reason for the many gaffe was rain, which continued to increase until the onset of the evening. All three Matra fell by defective cylinder before midnight. Also from the Alfa Romeo's no one came to the finish. For the John Wyer team also ended the race on Saturday yet. Jo Siffert over turned - in the lead - the engine of his Porsche at a lapping and had to retire.

Until the 18th hour of the race led the Elford / Ahrens- Porsche, then strike the new 4.9 - liter engine. Ironically, Hans Herrmann, who had so narrowly lost the race against Jacky Ickx in the previous year, drove a Porsche first overall victory at Le Mans. The Porsche -Austria team led to a Porsche - three victory. Hans Herrmann, a veteran of motorsport, who made his Formula 1 debut in 1954 and was still at the Mille Miglia at the start, said at the press conference after the race his retirement from racing.

16 vehicles - including the camera car - finished the race, but only seven were counted. Even before the race over the years to attractions not just poor event was robbed of another. A team from the Bahamas failed to qualify. It would have been the first racing team from the island state, which participates in the 24 - hour race.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

1 withdrawn 2 accident in training 3 4 replacement car does not qualify

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: 100
  • Started: 51
  • Weather during the race weekend: rain
  • Distance: 13.469 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Ferry Porsche, owner and CEO of Porsche
  • Distance of the winning team: 4607.810 km
  • Winners section: 191.992 km / h
  • Pole Position: Vic Elford - Porsche 917L (# 25) - 3.19.080 = 242.685 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: Vic Elford - Porsche 917L (# 25) - 3.21.000 = 241.235 km / h
  • Race series: 8th round of the World Sportscar Championship