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Ed Hugus, 1965 Le Mans winner...


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#51 RA Historian

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 23:50

And -to put it bluntly- two Belgian privateer drivers were robbed of a historic win......

IF the event in question happened, and so far there is no proof whatsoever that it did.........

Absent any proof, it did not happen.

Regarding those 'in the know' keeping their mouths shut, for 44 years?? That certainly stretches the limits of credulity.

I'll admit that I have been on the fence about this for a number of years, since I first heard of it, but frankly, with the only case being the statement of the driver in question, and with absolutely no corroboration, confirmation, affirmation, witnesses, statements, writings, proof of any kind, I have to conclude it did not happen.

Hence, the two Belgian drivers of the second place 275-LM were not robbed at all.

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 01 November 2009 - 23:52.


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#52 scheivlak

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 00:36

And -to put it bluntly- two Belgian privateer drivers were robbed of a historic win......

Oops, I mean a Frenchman and a Belgian!
(Note to myself: always check first)

#53 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 06:15

My belief is that officially it did not happen due to obvious reasons , but unofficially it did . I do not see any reason why Ed Hugus should write a handwritten letter which is not true. Can anyone ask Wimpffen ?

#54 Ralliart

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 15:08

Just to be accurate, I earlier wrote that Hugus was pushing the winning car after the race. Actually, he was sitting on the car. Like many of us, I've seen photos of drivers and mechanics riding on a winning car as it is pushed to parc ferme. Usually after a sportscar win. I can't recall, from the photos I've seen, an official from a team riding along. Not to say, for sure, that it never happened, but I think it would be unusual. Therefore, to see Hugus riding on the car - and he was ONLY the assistant team manager for the one race - is unusual. That was his recognition, his reward, for (possibly, maybe even probably) driving, his contribution to the victory. The other assistant manager. Where is he? Didn't he, theoretically, make the same contribution as Hugus? Is he sitting on the car. too? I don't know. To me, Hugus is sitting on that car because he stepped in the breach. He won't be invited, though, to the podium celebration.

#55 MCS

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 15:23

Have a look at: http://memoiresdesta...hautetfort.com/

Scroll down to: lundi, 26 octobre 2009 - Un troisième pilote dans le coffre ! (especially the letter dated 24 may 05)...


#56 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 16:53

Check out the first post in this thread, Mark ... :)

#57 MCS

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 17:39

Check out the first post in this thread, Mark ... :)


:rolleyes: Dear, oh dear, oh dear (or words to that effect). :blush:

Thanks Tim.


#58 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 20:57

No matter...

A translation of that page gives a little more information.

A third pilot in the trunk!

Posted Image

Hubert Baradat forsakes for once spangled allemandes who makes it live for gracious Italian above, gone up by far too many catches with l' exit of the race and carried out by a cockerel of too during the race. Let us see how he explains us that. ED Hugus - Mans 1965. C' is quite simple, this year both large s' all their toys were sufficiently chamaillés to break - exit Ford and Ferrari d' machine - and almost a WP was going to gain the 24 hours, controlled by the skilful amateurs - Pierre Dumay and Gustave Gosselin - d' a private stable! But Hunaudières make sometimes claquer the tires and yellow rapid LM Francorchamps tore its wing of it postpones Sunday morning and had to leave the first place to two nutcases on the same car but in red NART: Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt which were made to gain the 24 hours like Donald to marry Daisy. Qu' is known; he were perhaps three winners!

In full end of night, Masten (its glasses!), s' stopped complaining d' to be constrained by the fog, Chinetti did not know where to find Jochen and the police chief of the stand addressed as tu a good bottle behind the wall. ED Hugus was seen putting a quickly made helmet: " Take over Masten! ". Therefore, nobody n' recorded the relay of third pilot. What would have d' elsewhere prohibited with l' one of both others to take again the wheel, this qu' they made of course. With l' arrival, tiredness and confusion made qu' ED Hugus was not on the podium, nor of course with the prize list of l' year 1965. Chinetti would arrange that! It n' arranged anything the whole, and l' ACO could not recognize an error.

Completely true or arranged? Impossible with l' one to denounce its easy way cheater, with the others d' to admit a nonlawful winner? It does not matter, l' history is funny and sad. One will recall to young people the qu' Edgar Hugus was one of the most assiduous American pilots of Mans, on very diverse cars. It was always annoyed of that and l' wrote in a mail sympathetic nerve and moving, one year writes before its disappearance. There are bits of paper that l' one keeps, arranged better than the others.


Of interest also, as I don't think it's been posted before, is Hubert Baradat's letter to Ed Hugus:

Mr. Edgar HUGUS
1090 Mission road
Pebble beach CALIFORNIA
93953 USA

Rennes, May 19th 2005

Dear Sir, It is a real honor and a great pleasure for me to write to one of my heroes whom I admired at the Le Mans track when I was younger. I was really keen on the American drivers entering. This made a good mixture of cars on the grid. What a great experience you must have had with your ten races there, driving so many different cars.

Thanks to Pete Vack from Veloce Today web-magazine, I know there is a little known but amazing story about the 1965 race and your driving in it. People in France do not know anything about your driving of the NART entered 250 LM in ‘65. As I try to spread the truth in France, could you tell me more about that race ? I would be grateful to you for your answer. You may be sure that the memory of your name in Le Mans remains strong for many French racing fanatics. Thank you again for what you did here in those years and for the pleasure you gave to all of us.

Sincerely yours
Hubert Baradat


So it seems that the information was abroad, not because of the response to this letter, but because the story had been told elsewhere.

Was it told by Hugus... or someone else? Where did Peter Vack get the story?

#59 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 22:05

Everybody could seat on the winning car..... Dan Gurney said that he did not know the man who sat on his MkIV after the win in 67..... look aat the pics....he hold a bottle of champagne !!!!

So ?

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#60 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 22:25

I still feel it's hooey. I can think of several blokes I deeply respect who have romanced a story in the past, been somewhat embarrassed by the memory of that act, and have repeated it the more times the subject was raised. Such a weakness is construed by the hard heads as 'A Lie', by soft hearts as 'A Fib', by soft heads as 'A Mistake'... It happens. Which is more than I think of whether or not Ed Hugus co-drove the Le Mans '65-winning Ferrari. I still think it didn't happen. I have asked Janos Wimpffen and I will leave his response up to him. All I can say on his behalf is that there's not much mileage between his present belief, and mine.

DCN

#61 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 22:35

So it seems that the information was abroad, not because of the response to this letter, but because the story had been told elsewhere.

The information has obviously been abroad for quite a while. In the earlier thread dating from 2001 (1965 Le Mans-winning drivers – Huh?) Don Capps said that he first heard the story "years ago" and, as we know, it's included in Time and Two Seats which came out in 1999.

#62 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 23:59

See Janos reference above...

DCN

#63 Jerry Entin

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 00:10

The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:

I wonder if Doug Nye has ever met Ed Hugus in person? I have on a number of occasions, although it was long after Le Mans 1965, his Pittsburgh days and his Texas days. Ed used to host a cocktail party at his house during the Monterey Historics, until the crowd became too large to handle and the whole scene was moved to a local restaurant.

I attended a number of Ed's house parties in the late 80s/early 90s and he was an interesting character. Razor-sharp memory, lots of anecdotes [how co-driver Count de Beaufort took off with the Le Mans prize money they won one year], and what struck me most of all: very modest and self-effacing about his own race career.

When the subject of Le Mans 1965 came up, Ed was matter-of-fact. Gregory felt very uncomfortable under adverse conditions at night [a fact confirmed to me by Chuck Daigh, who had to do double stints at Le Mans in 1960 for the same reason] and at one point Ed took the wheel of the NART Ferrari, to avoid losing additional distance because of Gregory's eyesight. He described his stint as just a handful of laps. He did not brag about it. He just did it because of the circumstances and if you did not want to believe it, it was fine with him and he was still your friend.

There was absolutely no sentimentality in Ed's recollection. Having met the man a number of times, and considering the fact that the winning car would have been disqualified if anybody talked about the incident [Luigi did know the rules], I had little reason to doubt Ed's version. I described his version as such in my Birdcage to Supercage book. I am sure that after talking to Ed, Janos Wimpffen felt the same way when he described Ed's version in his book as well.

Call the inclusion a result of judging a man's character. Over the years I have heard enough BS from old race drivers about what they did or could have done to know the difference. Ed Hugus just did not fit that mold. Proving his version is another matter, though, since even a check of the lap charts would only indicate when irregular stops were made, not who was at the wheel at the time. On a dark Le Mans night, after many hours of racing, nobody seemed to have cared, apart from team leader Ed Hugus, who felt a responsibility to step up to the plate.

#64 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:06

Surely it's time for Willem to once again be allowed to join us?

His background, knowledge and willingness to share is certainly deserving of it...

#65 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 13:45

Since 1972, in Le Mans, i also heard many stories from Le Mans drivers or team managers... and some of them are just for the show and newspaper... Old people, from the race, told many stories....some are tales, some are facts....

So the only way to be sure is to prove it with an eyewitness...or it would be for a long time another fairy tales....

In the Le Mans history, there is two kind of stories : fact and tales... i appreciate both, but i try to make the difference between them...

#66 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 14:57

Surely it's time for Willem to once again be allowed to join us?

His background, knowledge and willingness to share is certainly deserving of it...

Hear, hear!!


#67 D-Type

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 16:31

I understand that some believe this is "just a story" but I find the Ed Hugus letter, which was posted on the "Ed Hugus RIP" thread, to be convincing, particularly when read in the context of how those who knew Ed Hugus describe his character. Have all who are posting here read that thread?

Edited by D-Type, 03 November 2009 - 16:37.


#68 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 16:59

I know this story for 2 or 3 year, and i spoke with some old ACO men.... And i trust some of them... in the same way that you can trust the Ed Hugus letter.... Chinetti made Le Mans has his own property but he got over the yaers some problems.... So everything it possible, BUT we need a testimony (the same story is about Steve McQueen)....

#69 Doug Nye

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 19:51

The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:

I wonder if Doug Nye has ever met Ed Hugus in person?


Yup. Nice man. But not apparently nice enough - in 1965 - to hold up his hands and say to the unfortunate Belgians, "Hey guys - had you going for a minute there, we cheated, you won...".

Find better proof or just accept that sometimes even the good guys can tell a modest porky...

DCN

#70 D-Type

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 22:52

If the story isn't true, what had Ed Hugus to gain by claiming it was?

#71 Doug Nye

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 23:26

Gain? Or retain? Many things are possible - some things are possible, but unlikely. In the deafening absence of supporting testimony I think this falls into the latter category. I should explain that my scepticism is based upon not just lack of corroboration, but upon several (unfortunately unquotable) dismissive remarks from involved parties. Why unquotable? I think quite probably because everybody liked "old Ed".

They could also, of course, be wrong, or even maliciously misleading.

What would clinch it for me is a pit stop photo of him climbing into the LM, or out of it - which is provably taken during the race, and not from night-time practice. If one is found, we can all rest easy and accept what, to the ACO, would have been the unacceptable.

Ho hum...another bloody unpaid task. :rolleyes:

DCN


#72 Roger Clark

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:16

How far is Hugus alleged to have driven? Also, did he happen to have his crash helmet in the pit, or did he borrow somebody's?

With regard to the Rindt/Gregory pact to drive flat out thinking that they had no chance in the race, it should be noted that at 4am they were second, two laps behind the leader. With all due respect to Dumay and Gosselin, two Grand Priz drivers must have fancied their chances of making up that time onver 12 hours in an identical car.

#73 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:35

You know at this time, the track was a big square with four corner.... so the power of the car was a little bit more important that the talent of the driver....

#74 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:03

You know at this time, the track was a big square with four corner.... so the power of the car was a little bit more important that the talent of the driver....


Big square, come on, you can do better than that!


#75 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:28

Officialy Rindt and Gregory were the winners. In the past 44 years this has been written in the books. The ACO confirmed it, NART stated it, Ferrari always mentions it. Gregory and Rindt were on the rostrum.

Rindt and Gregory did not think to have a chance at all to win that year. Ford had arrived at the scene and the Scuderia was there with another fleet of cars. The LM was supposed to race in GT, not go for the overall win. So Rindt and Gregory raced flat out, the car would break most probably. Rindt was already packing his stuff in the evening to go home. But at night time while the LM was not leading the race, the NART team was just trying to keep the car racing with a top ten position in grasp.

Did Hugus race or not? No one here can tell for sure. Will there ever be one who can? I doubt a photo or a film will ever show up as proof.
Fact is that in racing many things happen that never reach the books, while other true and untrue stories are over exposed and told over and over again. As long as there was racing cars, there have been stories of racing slightly beside the rules. How many stories are untold?

On Wikipedia one individual has decided to 'change' the official version and put Hugus name with Rindt and Gregory in the results. Disturbing as officialy Hugus just did not drive. Because he plainly didn't or because he and the team did not want to spoil their party (he may never have raised his hand out of loyalty to the team).

His statement in the aformentioned letter looks convincing. And it may well have happened. But then again it officially didn't.

#76 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 19:20

You know at this time, the track was a big square with four corner.... so the power of the car was a little bit more important that the talent of the driver....


Sorry. That is complete NONSENSE - the Esses, the Mulsanne Kink, Indianapolis, Arnage, White House - all pretty challenging at race pace, light or dark. GP Men against amateur Boys is also another very good point.

DCN


#77 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 20:50

The sentence "le mans was a big square" is from an old ACO man who was in charge of the track in the early seventies ! Before 1972, it was true.... flat out for many cars except at Tertre Rouge, Mulsanne and Indianapolis-Arnage for small car. With the 250LM, you should brake also at Esses de la Foret and just maybe a little bit at Maison blanche and at the Dunlop Curve..... So that make a square with 6 angles....

#78 RA Historian

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 22:21

The sentence "le mans was a big square" is from an old ACO man who was in charge of the track in the early seventies ! Before 1972, it was true.... flat out for many cars except at Tertre Rouge, Mulsanne and Indianapolis-Arnage for small car. With the 250LM, you should brake also at Esses de la Foret and just maybe a little bit at Maison blanche and at the Dunlop Curve..... So that make a square with 6 angles....

Wow, that simple. That is news to me, and certainly would be a revelation to Chinetti, Hawthorn, Flockhart, Hill, Gendebien, Barnato, and all the others who drove there. I bet they did not realize that they had is so easy.
Tom

#79 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 23:11

All the same, it was not a demanding course or it would always have seen a greater attration rate...

Mulsanne Straight is, after all, about three miles long. Where's a map of the course as used in the sixties?

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#80 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 23:22

Consider the fatalities, serious injuries and miraculous escapes at Le Mans over the years and then tell us again about how undemanding it can be...this potty thread is just becoming ever more silly...

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 04 November 2009 - 23:23.


#81 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 23:37

Right, Doug... high speeds, high closing speeds between cars of enormously different potential...

Yes, there would be some skills and anticipation required to deal with those things. And a part of that was because of the nature of the circuit, of course. But the circuit itself wasn't terribly demanding, surely?

Mind you, when I went out by White House (or was it Arnage?) and stood by the railing in the middle of the night in '81, I could have sworn that every single car was out of control until they were past me!

#82 RA Historian

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 00:31

All the same, it was not a demanding course or it would always have seen a greater attration rate...

Mulsanne Straight is, after all, about three miles long. Where's a map of the course as used in the sixties?

Oh, yeah, real simple. Three miles pre-chicane, flat out at over 200 mph, fog, rain, traffic going 70mph slower, a piece of cake.

#83 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 00:49

I already agreed that there were those difficulties...

The thing that really stands out about this thread is the testy way people treat each other today compared to the previous two threads on the same subject.

My comments about the circuit were about the circuit, not the circumstances of driving that might arise on the circuit.

#84 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 08:08

Nobody says that the track was not difficult !..... the road was tight and not very flat.... 200mph was for the big car, but some like Panhard CD, Renault 4CV, Healey Sprite, MGA, MGB, etc had a only 120 mph top speed.... The problem at Le Mans was dust, night, fog and rainn, and slowest cars... Today Le Mans is a 24 hours Grand Prix.

Just think that before 1972 and the "nouvelle portion" and in 1965, before the Chicane Ford, the track had only 4 corners and 2 curves Dunlop Curve, wich was a fast one, Esses from the Tertre, you need to brake, Tertre Rouge, brake a liitle bit but not so much ; Mulsanne Corner brake hard, Indianapolis, Arnage and the Maison Blanche Curve.

In 1965, you add the Chicane Ford just before the Grandstand straight.

In 1972, you add the "Nouvelle Portion" wich have 4 corners or curves ! And then most of the drivers said that this part of the track is the more interesting part for driving.

So before 1965, power was more important than handling.... and the big difference between cars was about the top speed in the Mulsanne straight...

Remember also that before 1963, the grid was made with the engine capacity and not the time...


#85 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 08:55

But the subject was LM 65 winners..... any testimony about somebody who saw Ed Hugus get in or get out of the car ?

And when it was ?
In the early morning ?
During night or day ?
How many laps did he make ?
How long did he drive ?

The letter did not have the answer to these questions !

#86 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:10

In my opinion, nobody in this thread think that driving au Mans is easy.
Nobody think that it was a simple job for Ed Hugus, if he really drove the 250LM #21 or not.
The 1965 race was Hugus' tenth start at La Sarthe, indeed. And five times on ten he finished in the top-ten, he was not a newcomer...

#87 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 13:25

Originally posted by AMICALEMANS
But the subject was LM 65 winners..... any testimony about somebody who saw Ed Hugus get in or get out of the car ?

And when it was ?
In the early morning ?
During night or day ?
How many laps did he make ?
How long did he drive ?

The letter did not have the answer to these questions!


Yes, the letter has the answer to all of them:

As you know I had my own entry for the 24 hrs for many years. This year I was to drive a Ferrari of Luigi Chinetti in the race. How ever, the factory did not finish the car in time, so Luigi put me on as reserve driver on the 250 LM. During the night about 4 AM ? Masten had gone out in the LM. A lot of the famous Le Mans pea soup fog moved and Masten with his bad eye sight and very thick glasses came : could not see well. Rindt had disapeared, no one knew where, so Luigi told me to get my helmet on and go so, I finished the last hour or so of Masten part. Luigi told me many times later that he had informed the pit official about this.


So... when was it? In the early morning? Yes, certainly was... "During the night about 4 AM? Masten had gone out in the LM. A lot of the famous Le Mans pea soup fog moved and Masten with his bad eye sight and very thick glasses came"

During night or day? Night, but coming towards daybreak, as Masten had gone out at 4am.

How many laps did he make; how long did he drive? "I finished the last hour or so of Masten's part."

#88 SEdward

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 13:46

AmicaLeMans.

Are you sure the Ford Chicane was introduced in 1965? I think it arrived a little later.

Edward

#89 proviz

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 14:01

1968 I would have thought...

#90 Pablo Vignone

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 14:04

The chicane came in 1968. IIRC, I was used for the first time in the test days

#91 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 17:19

Oups sorry, the Ford Chicane came in 1968.... and it was modified between april test day and september race....

So Ed Hugus claim a drive between 4? and 5? AM..... 4 is night, 5 day began to appear... at this time the car was 2nd and battling with Guichet-Parkes 330 P2 which overtake the #21 , around 6am... and then had problem around 8am. Sorry i will try to find more record of the race....