1960 Le Mans fastest lap/fastest qualifier
Posted 31 May 2008 - 18:02
Seeking confirmation of the 1960 Le Mans 24-Hour race result I found conflicting references.
Most seem to choose Masten Gregory's 4mins 04.00secs as fastest in the Camoradi 'Longtail' Maserati 'Birdcage'. But some non-contemporary references either credit Dan Gurney and the Cunningham-entered Jaguar 'E2A' with FL in preference to Gregory, or in a couple of cases declare a shared FL, Gurney and Gregory equal. Some also give Dan credit as fastest qualifier in 'E2A'.
But neither Jaguar nor the contemporary British media seemed to make any fuss about such alleged pace on the prototype car's behalf. Hmm - that gives one cause to wonder...because at that time they had little else to crow about.
The Italian press gave FL to the Maserati alone. There's a surprise... But I don't have adequate French reference to that year's race, nor have I found the contemporary official bulletins from the ACO. Might anyone out there be able to assist with contemporary confirmation, either way?
Posted 31 May 2008 - 18:31
for the Maserati,Gregory,21e lap 4' 04" (the fastest lap of the race)
for the Jaguar,Hansgen,20e lap 4'10" 3.
Posted 31 May 2008 - 18:39
Le Mans Register www.formula2.net has Gregory and Gurney at 4.04.0
David Hodges has Gregory 4.04.0
Michel Bollee : A son volant Gurneyrealise le meilleurchrono des essaisen 4.04.6 contre 4.09.1 en Avril
Wimpffen has Gurney
This probably wont help you , sorry !
Posted 31 May 2008 - 19:18
April Practice weekend:
Day 1: Hansgen in 4' 08 [fastest, then the aluminum engine blew]
Day 2 : Phil Hill in 4' 01"4 [250TR]
Trips/Hill 250TR #9 in 4' 04"6 [fastest]
Gregory in 4' 14"2
Gregory in 4' 04"0 [fastest]
all research Willem Oosthoek.
Posted 31 May 2008 - 19:21
"Gurney drove that new Jaguar E-type which had the half shafts that were part of the suspension. Dan was going really well. Then we looked under the back of the car, inspecting the suspension and I said 'Gurney, the U-joints are only designed to be strong one way. They aren't strong the other way at all.' That slowed him down about 10 seconds a lap."
Working on the auction write up for E2A, Doug?
above research Willem Oosthoek.
Posted 31 May 2008 - 19:33
I do NOT want to claim something for Dan and the car which they did not achieve...
Posted 31 May 2008 - 20:05
1 Cunningham,Chevrolet Corvette 18et 4'39"5
2 Thompson,Chevrolet Corvette 183et 4'26"2
3 Grossman,Chevrolet Corvette 192et 4'27"5
4 Gambles,Chevrolet Corvette 175et 4'46"3
5 Flockhart,Jaguar 21et 4'15"3
6 Hansgen,Jaguar 20et 4'10"3
7 Clark,Aston Martin 17et 4'20"5
8 Baillie,Aston Martin 153e 4'21"1
9 von Trips,Ferrari 8et 4'09"
10 Mairesse,Ferrari 21et 4'09"
11 Gendebien,Ferrari 19et 4'06"8
12 Scarfiotti,Ferrari 22et 4'10"1
15 Taylor,Ferrari 211et 4'18"7
16 Tavano,Ferrari 9et 4'08"6
17 Rodriguez R,Ferrari 21et 4'06"8
18 Connell,Ferrari 180et 4'14"5
19 Pabst,Ferrari 297et 4'21"5
20 Sturgis,Ferrari 170et 4'28"6
21 Beurlys,Ferrari 21et 4'22"3
22 Elde,Ferrari 193et 4'29"2
23 Sears,Austin Healey 6et 5'02"
24 Gregory,Maserati 21et 4'04"
25 Casner,Maserati 7et 4'24"6
26 Munaron,Maserati 17et 4'17"3
28 Becquart,Triumph 7et 4'56"
29 Bolton,Triumph 7et 4'55"2
30 Gachnang,AC Bristol 17et 5'06"4
32 Lund,MG 157et 5'03"8
33 Hill,Porsche 174et 4'23"9
34 Trintignant,Porsche 24et 4'26"7
35 Linge,Porsche 166et 4'50"
36 Kerguen,Porshe 19et 4'44"7
38 de Beaufort,Porsche 20et 4'29"7
39 Barth,Porsche 19et 4'32"1
40 Consten,Conrero Alfa Romeo 7et 5'16"9
41 Marsh,Lotus 181et 5'03"8
42 Allen,Lotus 156et 4'40"2
43 Parkes,Lotus 14et 4'47"
44 Laurent,Lotus 153et 5'03"1
45 Ashdown,Lola 16et 5'10"4
46 Dalton,Austin Healey 166et 5'31"
47 Van den Bruwaene DB Panhard 170et 5'25"3
48 Laureau,DB Panhard 21et 5'21"2
49 Féret,Fiat Abarth 20et 5'19"5
50 Guichet,Fiat Abarth 166et 5'12"
51 Vinatier,DB Panhard 9et 5'29"3
52 Bartholoni,DB Panhard 7et 5'45"3
53 Laroche,Osca 16et 5'21"4
54 Bentley,Osca 156et 5'37"2
55 Reis,Stanguellini 155et 6'05"7
56 Bouharde,DB Panhard 3et 5'26"3
57 Boutin,AC 99et 5'09"1
59 Les Leston,Triumph 21et 4'57"6
60 Rigamonti,Fiat Abarth 19et 5'26"3
63 Rosinski,Alfa Romeo 14et 5'20"3
For the E2A,the answer is probably in the very detailed Philip Porter Jaguar E-type book.
Posted 31 May 2008 - 20:38
Posted 31 May 2008 - 21:38
They had good source for le Mans.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 00:07
Fascinating list indeed. Interesting how slow the Astons were already, one year after their Championship title, with Baillie's fastest time not far from Jim Clark's best. Scarfiotti recorded the slowest works 250TR time, while one of my sources has him with the second fastest top speed [after Gregory] down Les Hunaudieres. Slow cornering?
And look at those 250GT Ferrari times. I expected local hero Tavano to be fast, but how about Alan Connell in #18, in his first time at Le Mans; seven seconds faster than Augie Pabst and four seconds faster than Taylor!
What to make of the relatively slow fastest time by Bill Sturgis in his Ferrari California? His co-driver was future Formula One ace Jo Schlesser and you would expect Schlesser to be faster than an SCCA racer from Nevada.
all research Willem Oosthoek.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 07:41
"Walt Hansgen remarks Mason was as regular as a railway train,going round in something like 4'16" regular as clockwork,and Gurney wasn't in the same league at all.Everly time he would come back in a complain bitterly about that car,which really infuriated Norman.I think Norman would have strangled the bugger,if he'd dared to."
"I mentioned to Cunningham that Hansgen was the quicker of the two."Well maybe he liked the car better.Dan,if he liked the car would go,but he didn'the was a little bit leery about it.Dan was pretty tall and maybe Walt fitted the car better."
"The car was credited with the fastest practice lap at 4'04"5 even through the fastest recorded by Tom Jones was 4'14" !"
"Hansgen was to take the first stint and made a good start.By the second lap he was lying third to a flying Masten Gregory....On Gurney's second lap it began to rain and on his third he pitted very briefly to check for damage."
"Down came the rain reported Autosport,to be followed by hailstones.Visibility became worse and worse,and headlights had to be switched on at 6.15' ."
"According to Jones,the car was lying in sixth position after 3 1/4 hours and Gurney,who seemed to be doing a good job in the conditions,was generaly lapping between 4'45" and 4'55"......All cars had refueeled and changed drivers,the rain eased off ,but the roads were still terribly slippery.Speeds began to rise,then down came the rain again this time in earnest.....As Gurney's times increased to 5'47",he was brought in,the car was refuelled,fitted with wet weather tyres and Hansgen sent out for his second stint.He proceeded to lap in just over 5' and the fifth hour passed....injection pipe changed....plugs....radiator blanked....another plugs change...Gurney came straight back again .He then made five more stops in the next six laps....problems with the injection...."
"Tom Jones observations:The fastest laps he recordd during the race were:Maserati 4'04"4,Ferrari 4'08" and modified D 4'10"."
The begining of the bad weather coincide with the second relay,it explain the times,
With the new rule for the winshield the cars were slower,Astons were not fast but the two cars see the finish line,Clark /Salvadori in third position.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 08:49
Gurney was quoted thus: "I don't want to upset people, but up until we got them to change it, I'd say the worst car I drove was the prototype E type I shared with Walter Hansgen at Le Mans in 1960." He went on to explain "For whatever reason, they insisted on running it with toe out in the rear wheels. It was exceedingly difficult, especially if you were in a passing move or got into any kind of side wind configuration."
There was more comment along these lines and Gurney noted that "Finally they decided to put a little toe-in before the race, and that transformed it into a fine car."
Pre-race the E type collided with D'Orey's Ferrari 250GT and after the nose damage was repaired Gurney went out but according to Jesse Alexander writing for Car & Driver, DG could not better 4m 20sec due apparently unequal braking, too soft suspension and high speed instability. Later still the car was being tested on nearby public roads after handling adjustments.
Interestingly the car in its original form without the trademark tailfin supposedly posted 4m 9.1sec driven by Walt Hansgen during the April Le Mans test weekend according to my original source before the engine broke. The car was geared to reach 200 mph in top at 7,000rpm and according to Malcom Sayer speaking to Roger Woodley had pulled 6,800rpm.
However the official Mulsanne speeds during the race itself quote the following:
Maserati Birdcage 169mph
Best Testa Rossa 162mph
Ecosse D type 157mph
Border Reivers DBR1/300 149mph
The Birdcage's clever interpretation of the windscreen rules seems to have been very effective but E2A's rather pedestrian 153mph rather contradicts Sayer's claimed circa 194mph at 6,800rpm in April.
Others better informed can possibly confirm that the Mulsanne max speed figures were taken at a point before the cars had reached their ultimate velocity. I think that period lap times should be treated with some caution, ditto the aforementioned top speeds.
Speaking wholly from memory the enormous drag created by the daft Appendix C windscreens can be measured by the fact that Moss's fastest 1959 race lap in the works DBR1/300 was stated as 4m 3.0sec with a maximum speed of approximately 165mph. Of course this was SCM and the car was being driven flat out.
Given the obvious contradictions, handling problems and Gurney's comments it seems highly unlikely that E2A set the fastest race or qualifying lap or indeed managed 190 odd during April.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:33
"Grâce à l'appareil perfectionné mis au point par le néerlandais Gastonidès,on a pu contrôler sur la ligne droite des Hunaudières la plus grande vitesse de la journée qui fut effetuée par Gregory sur Maserati à 273 kmh,devant Scarlatti (Ferrari,261)"
Incidently,in L'Automobile 8/60,for the Grand Prix de France:
"Maurice Gastonides,l'homme de l'électronique,a enregistré lors des essais de vendredi,la plus retentissante vitesse qu'il ai jusqu'à présent relevé sur le circuit de Reims:la Ferrari de Phil Hill:292 kmh dans la descente de la Garenne."
in Les 24 heures du Mans 1949-1973 /Christian Moity:
Maserati Gregory:273 km/h
Ferrari TR Scarfiotti:261 km/h
Jaguar E Hansgen:254 km/h
Porsche RS Trintignant:234 km/h
DB Laureau:180 km/h
Posted 01 June 2008 - 12:52
Described as "legendary", "unique and celebrated" and more of the typical auctioneer's jargon, one wonders what the fuss is all about. E2A was a failure during its competitive career.
Now the current owner expects bids in excess of several millions for a car that never lived up to its expectations? Did he remember to put the fin back on? As it was taken off in the 60's.
all research Willem Oosthoek.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 13:57
$7million looks a generous value but, there again, it is unique and in its brief career was driven by some of the 'greats' and was developed into a 20th century automotive icon.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 16:14
The E2A competition write up is a little overblown. At Le Mans its hourly positions were: 31st, 18th, 10th, 10th, 9th, 15th, 14th, 20th and 34th.
Its victory at the Bridgehampton Regional was against meager opposition, mostly the Cunningham team cars: a 2-year old knobbly Lister driven by Bob Grossman and a still to be run in, fresh off the boat 2-liter Tipo 60 driven by Bill Kimberly. Since Cunningham was the Jaguar distributor at the time, the E2A win was a good commercial decision.
Walt Hansgen's 3rd place in the Road America 500 was a good result, helped by a one-stop strategy. However, the stop took more than 3 minutes and probably cost Hansgen the race, as he finished on the leader's lap. With hindsight it was the car's best performance, thanks to Walt's racing skill.
Jack Brabham did not qualify the car in the Times GP but, much to the relief of the organizers who had paid him substantial appearance money, he managed to make the field by finishing 2nd in one of the consolation races. In the feature he finished 10th, one lap down.
Bruce McLaren finished 12th [2 laps down] in the first heat of the Pacific GP at Laguna Seca, and 17th [3 laps down] in the second heat, for a combining 14th overall.
all research Willem Oosthoek.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 22:55
It is their only important prototype to have escaped destruction as was standard factory practice, while also being the only one to have escaped factory captivity (unlike the rebuild of XJ-13).
It is a car which was driven in contemporary competition by Dan Gurney, Walt Hansgen, Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren....no less.
It is the iconic landmark link between D-Type and E-Type - itself a matter for Jaguar fans to savour.
It has had in effect only one family ownership ex-works. It is - and always has been - a gorgeous thing in the metal - more like a contemporary military aircraft than a car in much of its workmanship.
And we love it.
The fascinating thing about Le Mans 1960 is the fact that the Jaguar crew seem to have arrived there for the race inflated with their own record of five 24-Hour race wins in ten years, and to a certain extent thinking they knew it all, even though they had not raced there themselves for three years. If you read test driver Norman Dewis's book his memories of race weekend are revealing in the extreme. According to his account Gurney was very slow in early practice and did nothing but complain about the car. He even recalls that Briggs Cunningham himself said that he would drop Gurney, and put Dewis in the car instead for the race.
Yeeeesssssss.....Okay Norman, if you say so....
One crew member recalls Norman's disaffection, and he's the witness who believed that Norman would have "cheerfully strangled the bugger" - i.e. Gurney - which would have been quite a sight to see, considering little Norman is about a full foot shorter than lanky Dan, and he'd have to clamber up onto the pit counter probably to launch his assault.
However, Dan questioned why the car felt so peculiar, especially at high speed along The Muldoon, and when he didn't get a straight or convincing answer he questioned some more, and then more, and still more.
As Mike Argetsinger explains in his superb Walt Hansgen biography (don't hesitate, just buy it!) both Briggs Cunningham and Walt were amongst old friends and heroes with Jaguar, and both were very reticent about asking questions as searching as those which young Dan was pursuing.
Picture the scene. It would have been rather like taking a young friend to a houseproud aunt's home, only to find he suddenly starts criticising the curtains, running his finger along the sideboard-top and loudly pointing out the dust on it, and then moving the armchairs to reveal there are holes in the carpet...
While Jaguar's inflated egos were wilting under the Californian's laser questions, and gentlemanly Briggs and Jaguar dealer Walt were no doubt cringeing, Dan just kept tenaciously pursuing the reasons WHY 'E2A' should be wandering all over the road, and why it went down the straight after the Kink in a series of tank slappers...
And finally he found his answer. The car had been set up at the MIRA test track - presumably acting upon Norman Dewis's recommendations - with 1-degree toe-OUT on each rear wheel. With the independent rear suspension that meant that as load transferred laterally from one wheel to the other over bumps or under cornering forces so the car's tail was deflected alternately in the direction the loaded-wheel was pointing at the time...
To quote from Walt's own notes - as cited by Mike in his superb book - “…it was decided to try…⅛-inch toe-in and 2° negative camber…at 12.30 Friday night the car was tried down the Mulsanne Straight. The handling was completely transformed and I was able to go down the road with one hand on the wheel, yet completely relaxed… As a matter of fact once the car was broken (away) or committed into a turn the road holding was excellent. In practice I crossed the car up on purpose going through the Indianapolis turn and was very pleased with the recovery…”
Dan was vindicated - Norman Dewis seems to have felt demeaned by the manner in which his race set-up was found to have been so seriously wanting, and never forgave the young American for his apparent lack of respect. I genuinely have a lot of time for Norman - a wartime RAF Bristol Blenheim turret gunner (!), respect indeed! - but I think he has a real blind spot on this one. His version of Gurney's performance at Le Mans 1960 reeks of a need to get even, which at best is unfortunate - and at least seems rather unworthy.
Which opens the window on another aspect of Jaguar's return to Le Mans with 'E2A' in 1960.
They hadn't been there in such a serious way since Ecosse's last win in 1957, and then largely by proxy. Look at the drivers they had worked with over many years, and there's a family feel to them all, up to and including Mike Hawthorn, or they were factory friends, chums, buddies, semi-pros or gentleman amateurs.
Then here for the race in 1960 they came up against one of the most hyper-competitive of an entirely new generation of rabidly focused young professional RACING drivers, in Dan Gurney.
They didn't know him from a hole in the ground. And he didn't know them from a carrot. The last such single-track, me-first professional they had worked with to any great extent had been Stirling Moss back in 1954. And they hand't liked his demanding nature either.
Dan didn't take any bluster or avuncular assurances of "trust us, we are The Engineers" from Coventry's finest.
He was on a roll at that time. He and Stirling had shone in the Camoradi Maserati Birdcage at Sebring, and they had won in fog and drizzle at the Nurburgring, with Dan contributing a huge share to that wonderful success - as Stirl has always readily acknowledged.
Dan knew an enormous amount about dodgy or badly set-up independent rear suspension systems - he was a works Formula 1 BRM P48 driver for heaven's sake - and he recognised that 'E2A' should not possibly be as bad as it felt. So he ferreted out the problem - he sought the car's intrinsic quality - there was obviously some shame-faced shuffling of feet and clearing of throats before Coventry's best adjusted it - and then both he and Walt Hansgen found the car transformed....into what it could and should have been all along.
So then what happened?
More British Midlands motor industry hubris simply bit them in the bum. Lap 2 and the Prince of Darkness's fuel injection system split a pipe. Running lean overheated the head, eventually to burn a piston and ruin the head seal - and after ten hours' catch-up the car just had to be retired.
But 'E2A' was good enough for Walt's outstanding drive to follow at Elkhart Lake in the 500-miles - hardly a Le Mans-type circuit, note - but she was always too heavy because she had been tailored to 24 hours and more. Which is why the old lady is still around in original ex-works order (without the fin Jerry, removed during the mid-'60s when the car was used to decoy unwanted press interest from the rear-engined V12 XJ-13 out testing) and running like a train today.
Thank you, everyone, for your input. All I wanted was confirmation that the info in 'Time and Two Seats' is seriously misleading. I thought it was just me.
PS - Oh yes, one other thing - if you just settle into 'E2A's cockpit, and look around you, and savour its long history, and sense the fingerprints it carries - trust me - this is one HORNY motor car.
Posted 02 June 2008 - 00:09
I feel that the Corvette StingRay led the same fate. Everyone was thinking with Chevrolet behind that car and the factory knowledge that it would run with any sportscars out there. It didn't. Probably because it was heavier then need be and because of the factory politics involved in trying to make the car better. I also believe from what I have been told that the brakes were an issue on the StingRay.
Posted 02 June 2008 - 07:03
Posted 02 June 2008 - 07:13
PS. Jerry , I liked your remarks on the Sting Ray too!
Posted 02 June 2008 - 11:50
Bruce McLaren getting ready to give E2A a whirl.
Bruce seems to be thinking "Gee, Mr. Momo, do I really have to drive this ill handling monster?" And yes, that is Mr. Momo bending into the cockpit, leaving either his fingerprints on this "iconic landmark" or perhaps having foreplay with a "HORNY motor car."
photo lent site Willem Oosthoek collection.
Posted 02 June 2008 - 12:44
Bruce McLaren and E2A at Monterey
Bruce having a moment. I think he was zigging when he should have been zagging.
photo lent site Willem Oosthoek.
Posted 02 June 2008 - 14:56
Walt Hansgen and E2A at Elkhart Lake in 1960.
This photo was obviously taken before the rain came. Four laps from the finish Walt Hansgen was still running 4th overall, but in the downpour 3rd overall Fitch spun and stalled the Cunningham Tipo 60. Walt Hansgen beat him by 16 seconds to the finish. He ran a set of Firestones that lasted 500 miles.
photo lent site Tom Schultz-copyright Tom Schultz 2008.
all research Willem Oosthoek.
Posted 02 June 2008 - 15:00
Alfred Momo and Walt Hansgen and E2A on the grid at Elkhart Lake
If not for a lenghty pit stop E2A would have surely shone on this day. Finished 3rd overall.
photo lent site Tom Schultz - copyright Tom Schultz 2008
Posted 02 June 2008 - 17:57
Dan Gurney studying the rear suspension on E2A.
When it came to E2A, Dan Gurney was not the first American to have a fall-out with the factory. The first one was Eddie Crawford, a demon Porsche driver in the mid 50s until Cunningham offered him a ride in his D-types and Lister/Jags.
E2A was not ready for Sebring in March 1960, but it made it to the Le mans practice weekend in April. Still without paint and tail fin, the car was tested by Hansgen and Crawford. On Saturday, after two hours of track time, Hansgen recorded the fastest time of the day, 4' 08"4, but when Crawford's turn came, the new aluminum engine broke a connecting rod. The Jaguar people [Norman?] blamed the driver for missing a shift and overrevving, a claim eagerly picked up by the British press. Yet Crawford stated that both he and Hansgen were holding 1,000 rpm in reserve and that the engine blew while he was shifting normally from 2nd to 3rd. A large oil deposit marked the spot at the beginning of the Mulsanne straight and Eddie pointed out that this was a very unlikely location for a missed shift. But the Jaguar people were adamant and told Cunningham they did not want Crawford to drive the E2A in the upcoming 24 Hours.
Since the E2A was technically owned by Jaguar, Briggs had to hire Gurney as Hansgen's co-driver. Crawford was offered a spot in one of the three Cunningham Corvettes but he declined. He never drove for the Cunningham team again, a deliberate decision by this stand-up driver.
all research Willem Oosthoek.
photo Willem Oosthoek collection.
Posted 30 June 2008 - 16:16
Posted 17 August 2008 - 22:23
Posted 18 August 2008 - 06:32
I am sure it was in the Jack Brabham/Nye book where Sir Jack made the comment along the lines that, Gurney was an excellent driver, among the very best, IF and WHEN he was happy with his car and was not over-stressed by some technical "fault" - whether real or imagined - the inescapable inference being that the latter situation occurred quite regularly.
Incidently, the comments also seem to confirm a sneaking suspicion I have had for a long time and that is, that Walt Hansgen was the best American driver of his era ..by a fair margin.