1973 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 41st 24 - hour race at Le Mans, the 41e Grand Prix d' Endurance les 24 Heures du Mans, took place from 9 to June 10, 1973 held at the Circuit des 24 Heures.

Before the race

1973 celebrated the Automobile Club de l' Ouest, the organizer of the 24- hour race, 50 years Le Mans. 1923 took place the first time the long-distance race, and the racing community celebrated this anniversary with a parade of historic racing cars.

The nominal list of the "correct " 24 -hour race consisted of racing cars Matra, Ferrari, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, BMW and Ford with Sigma Automotive for the first time was a manufacturer from Japan at the Sarthe circuit at the start.

In addition to the previous year's winning team Matra, Ferrari was declared the favorite to win. The Scuderia had renounced last year to participate, because you did not trust the Ferrari 312PB, to keep the entire race distance by. The three works cars were controlled by the driver pairings Jacky Ickx / Brian Redman, Arturo Merzario / Carlos Pace and Tim gifts / Carlos Reutemann. The Matra team brought four works cars to Le Mans. Also the works team of Porsche returned after a year with two Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 back to Le Mans.

Following the withdrawal of Alfa works team only a privately reported Tipo 33 was at the start. Ligier had developed a new prototype, the JS2, were reported of which three in Le Mans. John Wyer and his technicians had also built a new sports car, the Mirage M6. Two cars were used in Le Mans.

In the GT class nine Ferrari 365 GTB / 4 and three Chevrolet Corvette were reported.

In the touring car class factory teams from BMW and Ford faced each other as in the European Touring Car Championship.

The race

From the start, the race to a dramatic duel between Matra and Ferrari. The first two hours of racing led the Merzario/Pace-312PB whose original mission was to act as a pacemaker. After the second set of pit stops, the Matras took the lead. But both Beltoise / Cevert cars and the Depailler/Wollek-MS670B, fell in the lead with a technical defect.

After six hours of Tim giving and Carlos Reutemann led in the second works Ferraris, but stopped at midnight with an engine failure before the Mulsanne. The race was only decided in the last hour of the race, as well as the engine of the leading 312PB of Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman went on strike and the Scuderia the first Le Mans overall win since 1965, lost half an hour before the race ended.

Henri Pescarolo, with a new team partner Gérard Larrousse, could repeat his victory last year and won safely before Merzario/Pace-312PB, who already had six laps down. Third overall was Jean -Pierre and Jean -Pierre Jabouille Jaussaud who piloted the fourth plant -Matra.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

1 not qualified 2 3 not qualified not qualified not qualified 4 5 6 not qualified not qualified

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: 121
  • Started: 55
  • Weather during the race weekend: warm and sunny
  • Distance: 13.640 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Sylvain Floriat, CEO of Matra
  • Distance of the winning team: 4853.945 km
  • Winners section: 202.247 km / h
  • Pole Position: Arturo Merzario - Ferrari 312PB (# 16) - 3.37.500 = 225.766 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: Francois Cevert - Matra Simca MS670B (# 10) - 3.39.600 = 223.607 km / h
  • Race series: 8th round of the World Sportscar Championship