07/12/2006 Le Mans Legend 2007 1956-1968: Return of the Ford vs Ferrari Battles
On the morning of Saturday 16th June 2007, a few hours before the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours, a grid of 61 Le Mans cars from 1956 to 1968 will take to the famous La Sarthe circuit for a one-hour, two-driver historic support race. These cars represent one of the greatest eras in the history of Le Mans, as Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends – organiser of the support race – explains.
“The period we have chosen for the 2007 Le Mans Legend race covers the great ‘Ferrari era’ at Le Mans, and leads to the emergence of the Ford GT40 and Ford’s eventual domination of the 24 Hours. To many, the Ford vs Ferrari battles of the 1960s encapsulate the very essence of Le Mans history. But by taking the eligible years back to 1956, we will also cover the two Ecurie Ecosse wins in Jaguar D-types; followed by Ferrari’s incredible string of victories from 1958 to 1965, broken only by Aston Martin’s win in 1959 with its fabulous DBR1.
“The chosen era is also the time of the Aston Martin DB4 GT and Project cars; of the Lightweight E-types, not to mention an immense variety of Porsches; plus MGA and MGB; Maserati Birdcage and AC Cobra; Triumphs and Lotuses; Austin-Healey Sprite and Morgan; and a wealth of other intriguing models from the Alfa Romeo T33 to Alpine A210 Renault, Bizzarrini, Morgan and Abarth. In short, we are highly excited at the prospect of revisiting so many historic battles at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend.”
The Le Mans Legend race is for actual cars which ran at Le Mans and genuine sister cars of the same specification. This historic support race to the Le Mans 24 Hours is run on the full 8.5-mile circuit and starts with the traditional ‘ear of corn’ formation, in which drivers run across the track to their cars. It has become a vital part of the Le Mans experience, and is tremendously popular with the 230,000 spectators who flock to the 24 Hours race weekend.
In addition to the Le Mans Legend race, Motor Racing Legends and its sister company, Motoring Adventures, are entrusted with organising a range of activities at the 24 Hours weekend. The Le Mans Cavalcade is a trip for owners of original Le Mans and Le Mans-type cars, incorporating the rare privilege of driving a parade lap of the circuit just before the start of the 24 Hours race. There are also the Clubs Parades: each year, a selected marque with historical connections to Le Mans is chosen, and owners are again given the opportunity to drive the full Le Mans circuit, early on the Saturday morning of the 24 Hours weekend. For 2007, the selected marque is Bentley.