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Alpine, Le Mans & Christian Heins


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#1 550spyder

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 20:31

I would like to know the details of "Bino" Heins death in Le Mans driving an Alpine. Even though he was a brazilian pilot and one of the pioneers that went to Europe, we have little information about his brief european career.

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#2 Felix Muelas

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 21:29

From the archives of my friend Jose Luis Otero de Saavedra. (Translation mistakes and weird-sounding words are mine, my apologies)

Heins was driving a works Alpine sharing it with José Rosinski. The so-called model M63 that had as powerplant the engine that Renault had commissioned in 1962 to Amedée Gordini to be used in the René Bonnet´s Aerodjets: a four cilynder, 996 cm3, DOHC unit. As he noticed that he was not being taken care of properly, Jean Redelé demanded Renault to provide him with units of such engine for his Alpine and the Régie had accepted.

Saturday night (15th June), around 22:00 the beautiful Aston Martin DB 4 GT/DP 214 nº 8 that, driven by Innes Ireland and Bruce McLaren was occupying the sixth place overall and the leadership in the GT category, suffered an engine breakage, spilling all its oil on the part of the track immediatly after the fast corner after Hunaudières. Four accidents took place as a result of that, involving the participants that were following the Aston :
-Roy Salvadori (Jaguar E-Type Lightweight nº 16) stops violently against the dicth.
-Then the Aston-Martin DB4 GTZ nº 19 of "Franc" (Jacques Dewes) spins, whilst the René Bonnet Aérodjet LM6 nº 52 driven by Jean-Pierre Manzon tries to avoid it, loses control, overturns and leaves its driver on the track.
It is then that the Alpine-Renault nº 48 driven by Heins arrives on the scene and, trying to avoid running over Manzon, spins and hits a pole, the car taking fire immediatly. It is understood that poor Heins died almost immediatly.
Looks like the extinguishers available on the area were all useless and the ones that were brought into the scene by an assistance jeep, although bigger in size, were not enough to extinguish the fire.

Christian Bino Heins (aged 28 at the time) was an excelent driver, one of the best brazilian drivers of his generation. His early local years were spent driving against Wilson Fittipaldi, Luis Pereira-Bueno, Bird Clemente and others, including the then youngest José Carlos Pace at the wheels of the Alpine-Renault that Willys-Overland manufactured under license in Brazil under the name Willys-Interlagos. Although he had clinched a National Title, he was a complete unknown in Europe so it was a surprise to find him winning one of his first races in Europe, the well-known hill-climb Bolzano-Mendola in 1958.

(to follow)

#3 550spyder

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 13:22

Dear Felix
Thank you for the information. I appreciate the details. I never heard this details here in Brasil. There photos of the car? Even though we can say that Bino Heins started the modern era of racing in Brasil, there are little refferences of him. You know, young country and no habit of keeping memories and register facts. All people know here is Emerson, Piquet and Senna. Even Pace is forgoten.
I saw Bino race VW with Porsche engines. I saw in another tread that Bino bought Hans Stuck Porsche Spyder, true, but I believe he never raced it here, only in Uruguay and Argentina, and gave to Porsche works a run for they money. There are gossips that after the last Uruguay race, water was found in the tank. It is believed that was the only way to stop Bino winning over the works cars.
He raced a Alfa Romeo 2000 sedan and won the Mil Milhas with Chico Landi. This car was made here with JK name in honor to the president (Juscelino Kubitschek - the Brasilia constructor). He started the Willys Overland race team with Dauphines and Alpines A108 Berlinetes and this race team was very sucessful; The two Fittipaldis and Pace raced in this team.
I understand that you have more details to come. I am very courious about the whole history.
Best regards,

#4 Felix Muelas

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 14:27

Still in 1958, he won for Porsche two more hill-climbs whilst also winning both the "Le Tour des Deux Mers" and the 10 Hours of Messina. In the Tourist Trophy 1958, run at Goodwood, he was partnering Carel Godin De Beaufort, and they finished 2º in their class (and 8th overall).

In 1959 he made his debut at Le Mans (again partnering De Beaufort and at the wheel of the Porsche 718 RSK nº 36) but, just after 12 hours they were forced to retire with engine trouble.

At the G P de Messina (23 August 1959) he finished in second position driving a Stanguellini-Fiat, following the similar car of Fritz d'Orey home. Then he suffered an accident at Spa -he had already had a serious one at the Nürburgring- , and Bino decided to return home, where he settled to an easier and less dangerous position, as manager of the competition department at the Willys-Interlagos outfit.

But later he would be tempted back by Jean Redelé himself, so Christian Heins returned to Europe to participate in the 1963 Le Mans 24 Hours. :cry:

Eight years later, his friend Wilson Fittipaldi will name his own son after Christian "Bino" Heins

#5 550spyder

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 15:38

I never knew this Bino career in Europe. There were no news of these races at that time. I remember him very well but I was born in 1948 and was a child in the fifties. Wilson was born in 1944 and I think was very close to Bino and received help from him in his starting career. Emerson was born in 1946 and did not started to race at Bino times at Willys.
Also you mention anothe forgoten brazilian, Fritz D´Orey the "portugues voador" (flying portuguese) because of portuguese ancestry. Do you have detais about Fritz career? I believe he had a big shunt in le Mans.

#6 Felix Muelas

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 13:15

Please take a look at this thread
Felix

#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 17:13

During that tragic sequence of events on the Mulsanne Straight, I believe Roy Salvadori was thrown out through the rear screen of his E-Type Jaguar when he crashed. We have film of the aftermath and in that peculiarly horrible French manner the marshals seem to have decided that there was no saving Heins in his burning Alpine, and having exhausted the few extinguishers they had they simply stood back and left the car to burn, with his body still inside it. Which it did. For a very long time.

This was one of the factors which left my photographer colleague Geoff Goddard with his toxic detestation of the French in general and of Le Mans in particular, and which - I must confess - coloured my attitudes in this direction too... :rolleyes:

DCN

#8 Felix Muelas

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 20:11

Originally posted by Doug Nye
...the marshals seem to have decided that there was no saving Heins in his burning Alpine, and having exhausted the few extinguishers they had they simply stood back and left the car to burn, with his body still inside it. Which it did. For a very long time.


[speechless mode on]
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

[merde alors mode on]
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 22:51

Yes indeed Felix...exactly.................

DCN

#10 550spyder

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 23:00

thank you doug and felix,

very sad to hear these details. I remember Heins racing the 55 or 56 Brazilian Mil Milhas in Interlagos with a VW with porsche engine.
it was the first race that I saw. I was 7 or 8 and all the kids cheered Heins, even though he was not leading the race. he became an idol to the kids on the spot.
you know, he was young, racing a tiny VW against the gigantic "carreteras" with corvette engines and making a lot of noise. you never forget the first race.
I have a theory. If a child goes to a race when he has 7 to 10 he become adicted to this money sinking sport. well, cost a lot but give a big pleasure and this is priceless. The only price that is significant is the sadness of these facts like one with Heins.

#11 Tim Moores

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 10:07

There is reference to Bino Heins in the book Alpine au Mans 1963 - 1995 which details entries of Alpines during that period. the book is by Francois Hurel, published by Editions du palmier and the ISBN is 2-914920-00-8. The book has text on French and English.
The car was an Alpine M63, chassis number 1702, registration 3534 W 75 and details, including a photograph of the car at scrutineering with Guy Verrier, Jean Redele, Piero Frescobaldi, rene Richard, Jose Rosinski and Bino Heins appears on Page 14. there is also a small piece about Bino Heins on page 15.
Tim Moores, A110 Registrar, Club Alpine Renault, UK

#12 Barry Boor

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 10:24

Posted Image

43rd scale diecast of the Heins/Rosinski Alpine.

Interesting that the car's registration number does not tally with the info given above.

#13 rudi

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 12:37

The registration 405 W 92 was changed after practice. It was hand painted or just written with chalk as it was usual in those years when number were not definitive.

#14 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 23:14

This kind of license numbers, with a W as the letter between two groups of digits (the latter for the department) are trade plates. They can be changed, because they are not really belonging to that car, only to its owner. Therefore this kind of license is no proof to the identity of a car, certainly not between meetings.

Regards,

Henk Vasmel

#15 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 23:22

As an addendum to my previous post, the 72 number is a Sarthe (Le Mans) registration. 75 is a Paris registration, and on Alpines also the number 76 is often seen. This is Seine Inférieure or Seine Maritime (Rouen). Dieppe lies in that departement.

Regards,

Henk Vasmel