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Le Mans Test Days 1972


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#1 Odseybod

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 19:37

Asa kid, I was lucky enough to be dragged along to several Le Mans Test Days - not ccomplaining too loudly, as the March/April date invariably clashed with the annual camp of the school's Boy Scout troop (I managed to hide my terrible disappointment) 

 

I made my 'debut appearance' in 1963, so saw the begnning of the end of the front-engined era with the Aston Project cars, the following year was our first sight of the GT40 (or Ford GT at the time), which because of their stop-gap Indy engine sounded nothing like the rumbliong V8s we were becoming used to, then came the brutal Mark IIs and later still the beautiful P4s. In those days (and with a suitable parental chaperone to reassure les flics) you could stand right next to the Mulsanne straight as the cars passed faster than you could pan the camera (a 50mm lens slightly too long), in the paddock and pits were various aerodynamic wheezes (some more credible than others), while within the hallowed portals of the press tribune was a large barrel of Beaujolais with attendant paper cups (a certain Henry Manney suggested I might enjoy it more than the Coca Cola that was my normal beverage of choice, and he was absolutely right), and even by the standard of the '60s and '70s, access everywhere was generally free and easy, though the business on-track was deadly serious, as poor Lucky Casner and Walt Hansgen would have confirmed, had they been able to. 

 

By 1972, I was elsewhere, distracted by the run-up to university finals - funny priorities - but though my Dad was no longer Sports Editor, he still found an excuse to be there. Scanning his pics gave me a strange longing  for a beaker of Beaujolais ...

 

Two shots of getting the Ferrari 312PBs ready for action.

 

Ferrari-312-PB.jpg

 

Ferrari-pit.jpg

 

Chris Amon in the Matra pit , keeping his mind on the job

.

Chris-Amo-in-Matra-pit.jpg

 

And with the MS660 he'd be co-driving with Francois Cevert

 

Matra-MS660-Chris-Amon.jpg

 

Matra tails being tweaked

 

Matra-tails.jpg

 

A Ligier JS2 attracts some paddock admirers - French Lotus?

 

Ligier-JS2-front.jpg

 

I can't find this 365 GTB/4c on any entry but like its front fences - and its cooking brother in the background.

 

Ferrari-365-GTB4.jpg

 

The De Tomaso Pantera GT4 arrives, if not in style.

 

Pantera-transport.jpg

 

Later in the pit-lane, to be co-driven by Herbert Muller and Mike Parkes.

 

De-Tomaso-Pantera-GT4-Herbert-Muller-Mik

 

DSJ  was not one for sitting on the fence but here he is with Maurice Rowe.

 

Maurice-and-Jenks.jpg

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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#2 dolomite

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 20:35

Thanks, fabulous photos!

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 21:08

Absolutely gorgeous -  I always remember your dad with his camera around his neck and his quietly studious, enquiring, demeanour.  Maurice particularly enjoyed trips with him because they always, always lunched so well...  Jenks rated him highly and he was always unfailingly helpful to the young sprog new boy, me.

 

DCN



#4 john winfield

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 21:30

Thanks Odsey, really interesting. So frustrating that the Ferraris didn't race in June! At least they had a good go in 1973.



#5 LittleChris

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 22:26

Great pics  :up: 

 

Is that Little Art with the "interesting" hat to the left of the BP sign in the 2nd one ?



#6 john winfield

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 22:43

Great pics  :up:

 

Is that Little Art with the "interesting" hat to the left of the BP sign in the 2nd one ?

The Racingsportscars site has the two Ferraris entered for the test days, with just two drivers, Ickx and Regazzoni. But that does look like Art doesn't it, with one of those caps he wore before he moved to cowboy hats? 



#7 arttidesco

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 22:50

Asa kid, I was lucky enough to be dragged along to several Le Mans Test Days - not ccomplaining too loudly, as the March/April date invariably clashed with the annual camp of the school's Boy Scout troop (I managed to hide my terrible disappointment) 

 

I made my 'debut appearance' in 1963, so saw the begnning of the end of the front-engined era with the Aston Project cars, the following year was our first sight of the GT40 (or Ford GT at the time), which because of their stop-gap Indy engine sounded nothing like the rumbliong V8s we were becoming used to, then came the brutal Mark IIs and later still the beautiful P4s. In those days (and with a suitable parental chaperone to reassure les flics) you could stand right next to the Mulsanne straight as the cars passed faster than you could pan the camera (a 50mm lens slightly too long), in the paddock and pits were various aerodynamic wheezes (some more credible than others), while within the hallowed portals of the press tribune was a large barrel of Beaujolais with attendant paper cups (a certain Henry Manney suggested I might enjoy it more than the Coca Cola that was my normal beverage of choice, and he was absolutely right), and even by the standard of the '60s and '70s, access everywhere was generally free and easy, though the business on-track was deadly serious, as poor Lucky Casner and Walt Hansgen would have confirmed, had they been able to. 

 

By 1972, I was elsewhere, distracted by the run-up to university finals - funny priorities - but though my Dad was no longer Sports Editor, he still found an excuse to be there. Scanning his pics gave me a strange longing  for a beaker of Beaujolais ...

 

I can't find this 365 GTB/4c on any entry but like its front fences - and its cooking brother in the background.

 

Ferrari-365-GTB4.jpg

 

 

Cheers!

 

Thanks for sharing these wonderful photo's, the Ferrari chassis #14049 driven by Phillipe Cornet - Epinat finished the 4 hour race 8th, 5 laps down 



#8 Odseybod

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 12:48

Thanks, another piece of the jigsaw drops into place. Must confess I hadn't realised there was a 4-Hour race that weekend, presumably as a support event for the Test Days - won by Jo Bonnier's Lola T280.

.



#9 MCS

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 12:56

The Racingsportscars site has the two Ferraris entered for the test days, with just two drivers, Ickx and Regazzoni. But that does look like Art doesn't it, with one of those caps he wore before he moved to cowboy hats? 

Jo Bonnier slightly further back with yellow jacket. 

 

Wonderful pictures!



#10 wolf sun

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 13:11

Well spotted, MCS  :up: 

 

And Tony, those images are absolutely wonderful - more of the same, please!!!

 

 

(edited to correct typo)


Edited by wolf sun, 19 June 2020 - 21:19.


#11 Odseybod

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 15:56

Thank you, Wolfgang. Very much Work In Progress!



#12 Doren

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 15:58

True and honest Motorsport. Literally "made by hand." Respect.



#13 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 16:35

Wonderful, evocative images, an excellent way to start the weekend.

 

The old pits were horrible to work in but they certainly had atmosphere.

 

Thanks for posting these fabulous photos.



#14 E1pix

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 18:20

... you could stand right next to the Mulsanne straight as the cars passed faster than you could pan the camera (a 50mm lens slightly too long)...

Chills — and apologies for my predictable quote edit. ;-)
 

Later in the pit-lane, to be co-driven by Herbert Muller and Mike Parkes.
 
De-Tomaso-Pantera-GT4-Herbert-Muller-Mik

One must sit pretty low in the Pantera, no bubble roof for Parkes.

We may have all noticed, but great to see Herbert Muller next to the car. Long been a big fan of “Stumpen’s.”


Absolutely wonderful images, Tony. Thanks.