There had been instant excitement when Edgar Berney spun his Bizzarrini on the start-line amongst the crowd of departing cars. , There were also two significant dramas in practice. They absolutely stole that race from Ken and it’s about time that the truth is told, Ken’s memory deserves that.”. Ken Miles was in one and Dick Hutcherson and Bruce McLaren were in the others. , At 8pm, only the Miles and Gurney Fords and Rodiguez's Ferrari were on the lead lap (#64). As before, the Groups were split up in classes based on engine size, there was a sliding scale of a minimum weight based on the increasing engine size (from 450 to 1000 kg for 500 to 7000cc) as was fuel-tank capacity (60 to 160 litres). Siffert/Davis were leading a train of Porsches in 7th and the nearest Ferrari was the Bandini/Guichet P3 limping in 12th. Jacque Passino – Special Vehicle Division, Ford Motor Company: “I guess that 1966 will always be remembered for the huge controversy that was created by the arranged finish. Sam Smith, Adam Carolla's 'The 24 Hour War' Is a Car Movie by Car People That Isn't Just for Car People, Road and Track, Jan. 18, 2017.. However it was a new design that was entered. Ken Miles takes his Ford through the Mulsanne Hairpin. Mechanics Charlie Agapiou, Max Kelly and Phil Remington watch from the pit wall, while Ford racing boss Leo Beebe points out something to Ford Division Vice President Don Frey in the top right corner. Foyt, putting the stops to Ferrari's unbroken, five-year winning streak at La Sarthe.  the car eventually came home at an incredible 15th overall. When it started raining, I told John Holman that if he wanted that sucker to go any faster he better put someone else in there because I was slowin’ my ass down. , In a race of attrition it was fortunate the big teams brought such quantity – only 3 of the 13 Fords finished and only the two GTs finished from the 14 Ferraris entered. Bruce McLaren drives to the victory stand with Chris Amon sitting on the deck lid. Such was the interest in Group 6 there were 43 prototypes on the starting grid and only 3 GT cars: After 2 years of its 3-year program, Ford had very little to show for its immense investment. Two New Zealanders in a car painted black and silver, New Zealand’s sporting colours, what could be better?”. The car was powered by a 1130cc Peugeot engine, marking the return of the French company last seen in the 1938 race. Several people searched for the car ever since, but it was only found back in December 2016 in Portugal by Dutchman Jeroen Booij. Bob Negstad – Senior Project Engineer, Ford Motor Company: “At Le Mans, I was the guy that Jacque Passino sent over to Ken Miles to tell him to back off and let the other guys catch up. , Alfa Romeo, and its works team Autodelta, had withdrawn from racing for a year to prepare a new car for 1967. After a disappointing showing at Monza a controversial denial of championship points from a Mirage win at the Spa event, Ford saw limited opportunity for taking the Manufacturers' title again and instead concentrated on a last hurrah at Le Mans, where the leading Mark IV, driven by Dan Gurney and A.J. 12. Two legends come together. Ferrari.  Chris Amon was fastest at the test weekend in the experimental Ford J-car with a 3:34.4 lap. At halfway the Ford Mk IIs held the top-4 places (Miles/Hulme, Gurney/Grant, McLaren/Amon, Bucknum/Hutcherson) with GT40s in 5-6-8: Essex, Filipinetti and Ford-France (Revson/Scott, Spoerry/Sutcliffe, Ligier/Grossman). Fourth, 20 seconds further back, was the first NART Ferrari, of Rodriguez. Who had won? : “I wanted Ford to win. II sits abandoned at the finish line as the victory celebration continues in the background. While repairing the damage, officials told the team that they were disqualified for Thompson leaving the scene of a major accident. Entered by Frenchman Hubert Giraud and driven by Jean-Louis Marnat and Claude Ballot-Lena, the team was able to get a works engine and gearbox from BMC. Ferrari never won Le Mans again, but Ford wouldn't go back until 2016. Porsche also ran three regular 906s in the Sports category, two works entries as well as one for their Paris importer Toto Veuillet. This was the first overall win at Le Mans for the Ford GT40 as well as the first overall win for an American constructor. ... you know that the winner of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans â¦ The piece below is a look back piece from Dave Friedman on the finish of the race which saw controversy surrounding the two Ford GTs gunning for the win, featuring fabulous shots and direct quotes from the key personalities involved. After the death of Walt Hansgen in a J-car Ford while testing at Le Mans in April, the decision was made to shelve the J-car and focus on the proven Mk IIs, and little development was done for the rest of the 1966 World Sports Car Championshipseason. , NART also entered a long-tailed P2, rebodied by Piero Drogo and driven by last year's winner Masten Gregory with Bob Bondurant. After a defective batch of transaxle shafts sank Ford's effort, Ferrari took a 1-2-3 finish with their new P4s and returned the favor of Ford's victory formation. Shelby American Collection Event Poster. I found a photo which graphically shows why Ken Miles did not win the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Leo Beebe came up to me and said ‘ Who do you think should win the race?’ I thought, well hell, Ken’s been leading for all of these hours, he should win the race. Ken Miles heads for the victory stand, with Denny Hulme sitting on the deck lid waving to the crowd. Meanwhile, Miles had been putting in extremely fast laps, breaking the lap record and getting back up to 5th place. At this point, there seems to be no clear cut answer and I’m sure that the controversy will continue to rage on in the eyes of those of us who were there. At the finish: "the idea was that the leading GT40s would cross the line together, but in practice, it wasn't possible to have a dead heat. Jochen Rindt, the previous year's winner, had moved across from Ferrari to Ford, in the new Canadian Comstock Racing Team. Thatâs why its distinct livery is imitated on so many kit cars, as well as quite a few modern Ford GTs.We saw a very nice replica of it in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari, which has helped educate more of the general public. Ken told me that, in spite of any Ford decision, he wasn’t going to finish second.”. 6. Ken Miles: “I took my time at the start and did up my belts, something the faster starters failed to do. , The Ford team's decision was a big disappointment for Ken Miles, who was aiming for the 'Endurance Racing Triple Crown'—winning Daytona-Sebring-Le Mans—as a reward for his investment in the GT40 development. Ken Miles is besieged by spectators seeking autographs, and press and photographers wanting to know what happened at the finish. The biggest news was the walkout of Ferrari's lead driver John Surtees. But their race preparation had been limited by strike action in Italy.  Not listened to, Surtees, Ferrari's 1964 F1 World Champion, quit the team. Defending class-champions Austin-Healey had two works entries. 2. Leo Beebe came up to me and said â Who do you think should win the race?â  Last minute raindrops caused a flurry of tyre changes and some cars switched from Firestone to Goodyear or Dunlop. , A 2016 documentary film, produced and directed by Americans Nate Adams and comedian Adam Carolla, features the Le Mans rivalry between Ferrari and Ford. 7. 24h le mans. Well, now it’s all history. Thompson was adamant he had advised pit officials, and in the hearing Ford's director of racing Leo Beebe threatened to withdraw all Fords. Production of what would become the ubiquitous Le Mans car had started in late 1964 and the new 911 S model had its ‘boxer’ 6-cylinder engine tuned to 160 bhp. That achievement was arguably the greatest in the company's history. For the 2019 film released internationally as Le Mans '66, see, Challenge Mondial de Vitesse et Endurance standings, Clarke 1997, p.10: Road & Track Sept 1966, Clarke 1997, p.11: Road & Track Sept 1966, Clarke 1997, p.12: Road & Track Sept 1966, Clarke 1997, p.13: Road & Track Sept 1966, "A look back at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours", "Watch the story of the controversy behind the Ford GT40's photo finish at Le Mans in 1966", "Le Mans 1966: The Golden Mystery – dailysportscar.com", "20 Jun 1966, Page 11 - The Cumberland News at Newspapers.com", "Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans – Book Review", "How Carroll Shelby And A Gang Of Nerds Beat Enzo Ferrari", "Ford Preparing to 'Go Like Hell!' Three days earlier Marcos-boss Harold Dermott had made a deal to buy the car with the intention to restore it and put on museum display. , On a cool and cloudy afternoon, it was Henry Ford II this year who was the honorary starter. We led most of the race, at record speed, until we retired with an overheating engine at the end of the 17th hour.”, Charlie Agapiou – Crew Chief: “There was some talk in the pits that Ford thought that Ken did not follow team orders and pushed Gurney to the point of breaking. Racing is no longer a brutally dangerous pastime or the kind of thing that puts whole countries on the edge of their seats.  But the new year started with promise with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby winning both the inaugural 24 Hours of Daytona and then 12 Hours of Sebring. As car after car ran into trouble and dropped out, the little Marcos, by this time nicknamed 'la puce bleue' (the blue flea) wailed on. Carroll Shelby: “In 1966, Ford didn’t cost Ken Miles the race at Le Mans, I did, and I regret it to this day. Both cars hit the wall and caught fire, and Ogier was taken to the hospital with two broken arms. See the distance between them? He was supported by Huschke von Hanstein who was prepared to withdraw the Porsche team as well. 9. No one in England would believe me. Leo Beebe – Manager of Ford’s Special Vehicle Dept. Victory in the 1966 24 hours of Le Mans should have gone to Ken Miles and Denny Hulme, driving the Ford GT40 Mk II that carried chassis number P/1015. The only other source that might have revealed any possibility of an irregularity in the scoring would have been the official Shelby American scorers. We finished fifth. Previously unseen amateur footage of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with reflections by Ford icons who were there that day. And in 1969, a fourth. They joined Ford France, Scuderia Filipinetti and new privateers Scuderia Bear and Essex Wire. Within another hour Miles and Hulme had taken the lead. Miles was told to ease off to allow McLaren to catch up with him. I took over from Bruce and he spoke to Firestone and they generously said we could switch to the Goodyears the other GT40s were running. For Le Mans, we decided to set a pace for ourselves. The Le Mans results boosted Ford over Ferrari for the 1966 Manufacturers' Championship. , A notable absentee at the test weekend was the Ferrari works team. 11. 10. Holman & Moody, the successful Ford NASCAR race team was brought on board to race another trio – for Mark Donohue/Paul Hawkins, Ronnie Bucknum/Dick Hutcherson, and Lucien Bianchi/Mario Andretti. My job was to know all of those things, but I wasn’t consulted when the decision was being discussed.”. We called Ken in and slowed him down so that Bruce and Chris would win. Following team orders (featured), Dan Gurney leads Ken Miles out of the Mulsanne Hairpin during the early part of the race. Finally there was a P2 Spyder for Maranello Concessionaires (Attwood/Piper). le mans 66 â six snippets on ken miles and carroll shelby. There was a bit of history to that. , After 6 hours, heavy rain was pouring down.  Another competitor in the small prototypes was ASA.  A major accident occurred when Jean-Claude Ogier's CD got loose on spilt oil at the Mulsanne kink and was hit hard side-on by François Pasquier in the NART ASA. There were also P2/P3 hybrids for the Ecurie Francorchamps (Dumay/"Beurlys") and Scuderia Filipinetti (Mairesse/Müller. Both New Zealanders who now reside in England, it was the most important victory yet for the two youngsters. At the 92nd Academy Awards, the film received four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Sound Mixing, and won for Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing. I looked at Leo Beebe and said ‘What do you think ought to happen Leo?’ He said ‘ I don’t know, I’d kind of like to see all three of them cross the finish line together.’, Leo Beebe did not tell me what to say or do so I said: ‘Oh hell, let’s do it that way then,’ not knowing that the French would interpret the rules the way that they did. The Ford-Ferrari War was ended by new rules for 1968 that eliminated the P4s and Mark IVs from eligibility for the Sports Prototype class with a 3-litre engine capacity limit. Miles would race his grandmother to the breakfast table and the other two weren’t much better. The Ford-France and Essex cars had already retired with engine issues during the night.. That first win made it onto the front pages of European newspapers, and it actually helped sell new cars. Every time you go racing, you put your reputation on the line.”, Carroll Smith – Shelby American Race Team Manager: “I knew the ramifications of a dead heat at Le Mans. We all wanted Ken to win Le Mans after his successes at Daytona and Sebring because he would have been the first to win all three of those races in one year. The Ford-Ferrari war pivoted on how these men operated and thought, and they made that story what it was."  The Chaparral had been running well initially, getting as high as 5th, until a broken alternator stopped them also just before midnight while running in 8th. Finally, in August 1966, Shelby American resumed testing and development work with Miles seâ¦ Ken Miles was to run second and lap one to two seconds slower than Gurney, while Bruce McLaren was to run third and lap between 3:41.0 and 3:42.0. Surtees was furious and stormed off to Maranello to argue his case with Enzo Ferrari. Length in 28.51 29.49 30.52 31.5 32.52. As a result, when I went to Daytona for the 24 hours, paired with Bruce, I suggested to Bruce that we set a fairly conservative pace for the race, and whilst we might be running out of the top three in the early stages, we might be the only one there at the end. Yet during raceweek, with news that new FIAT chairman Gianni Agnelli would be at the race, Dragoni changed the plan, putting Scarfiotti (Agnelli's nephew) in first. It demonstrated that production engines could compete with racing powerplants and that an American-built car could top Europe's best. The following year, they won again. Up against them was Ed Hugus’ modified Ferrari 275 GTB and the Equipe Nationale Belge ran its 250 LM. British-born Ken Miles was a gifted race car engineer and driver. 14. Driven by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme, this is the car that would have won but for the Ford decision to stage a photofinish with three cars crossing the finish line simultaneously. Chris Amon: “I remember when I came in for our last pit stop and Bruce told me that Ford wanted to do a blanket finish, I said ‘ Who is supposed to win?’ Bruce said ‘I don’t know, but I’m not going to lose.’ â. The M620 had a 2-litre version of the BRM Formula 1 engine developing 245 bhp that could match the Porsches in speed, making 275 kp/h (170 mph). When I was called in to change tires, I think Bruce's frustration had reached boiling point, he put his head through the car door and said 'Go like hell!'." Foyt, won handily. , Finally, in a subcompetition of its own, there was the tire race between Firestone, Dunlop, and Goodyear. It was the final minutes of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the race was Ford's to lose.After a long, difficult development and a year's worth of â¦ Driving into the late afternoon or early morning sun is a bloody nuisance; you can’t see anything, it absolutely blinds you.”.  Holqvist spun off with heavy damage, while Thompson was able to get back to the pits. Later that year, the driver died testing a new experimental Ford in California after the vehicle flipped at 150 mph. With the new regulations this year the ACO received a huge 103 entry requests. We weren't sure who had won initially. Ferrari took the Manufacturers' title for 1967, edging up-and-coming Porsche by two points. With the field covered it was now that Leo Beebe, Ford racing director, contrived to stage a dead heat by having his two lead cars cross the line simultaneously. The release of Ford v.Ferrari, which tells the story of Carroll Shelby, Ken Miles and Ford's quest for Le Mans glory has us going through the archives.From the October 1966 issue of â¦ Directed by James Mangold. Bruce said to me we had to drive the doors off the thing, so we did. , Another heavy downpour at 12.30 contributed to a big accident in the Esses. Ford's Mark IV was ready in time for the 12 Hours of Sebring, where it won on its maiden outing.  At dusk it started to drizzle, reducing the power advantage of the big Fords, and allowing the Ferraris to keep in touch. , On the third lap Gurney took the lead, which he held onto until the first pit-stops. This still posed a problem for Ford as they were lacking spare drivers, with injuries with A.J. , The British team Alan Mann Racing had two cars prepared by Ford Advanced Vehicles, for Graham Hill/Dick Thompson and John Whitmore/Frank Gardner. They all said Le Mans is different, Le Mans is a car breaker and you can’t beat Ferrari there.  Driven by Phil Hill and Jo Bonnier, they made a big impact winning the Nürburgring round just two weeks earlier. Without a doubt, the most famous version of the Ford GT40 Mk II was the one piloted by Ken Miles at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. After more than 3,000 miles averaging speeds of around 130 miles-per-hour, Ford took all 1966 podium honors at Le Mans. Directed by James Mangold, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the roles of Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles, respectively. , What could have been a procession was anything but for Ford.  At the end of the first hour Fords were 1-2-3, with Gurney leading by 24 seconds from Graham Hill and Bucknum. It was the first time that the 3000 miles/125 mph mark had been exceeded.. All of those guys were real racers. #1 is the car driven by Miles and Denny Hulme that was supposed to win the race. I was away with the Chaparrals and tried to stay out of harm’s way. At 8 am, a pit-stop for the Filipinetti Ford running 5th spilled petrol on a rear tyre. Taken from Quentin Spurring's book, officially licensed by the ACO, As calculated after Le Mans, Round 4 of 4, This article is about the race. Porsches now held the next five places and the two Ferrari GTs were 9th and 10th chased by the Alpines. Ken followed his directions to the letter.  The ACO told him this would not be possible — given the staggered starting formation, the #2 car would have covered 20 metres further, and thus be the race winner. Dan Gurney: “I didn’t get the best start, but I took the lead on the second lap and Jerry Grant and I never let up. The other Porsches came in 4th to 7th led by Siffert/Davis, who also claimed the Index of Performance. Miles/Hulme were leading, followed by McLaren/Amon holding station on the same lap. But Andretti was soon sidelined with a blown headgasket, as was the Hill/Muir Ford which had broken its front suspension coming out of Arnage corner. American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. As the damage was being cleared, Scarfiotti crashed his P3 into the Matra and all four cars were wrecked, although only Scarfiotti was taken to hospital, with minor bruising. The quickest Alpine in practice was Toivonen/Jansson (4:20.1), well ahead of the best CD (Ogier/Laurent 4:27.5) and the Austin-Healey's (4:45.1) and ASAs (4:49.8). Ford's answer to Ferrari's next weapon, the 330 P4, was delayed by development problems, handing Ferrari a rematch with the Mk IIs that so dominated them at LeMans, at the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours. Having slowed to accommodate the Ford finish decision, the Miles â¦ That was my fuck up, I take full responsibility for it, and I’m very sorry for it because, as you know, Ken was killed at Riverside two months later. It’s the perfect complement to a re-watch of last year’s box-office, Academy Award-winning hit!  It was also the debut Le Mans start for two significant drivers: Henri Pescarolo, who went on to set the record for the most starts at Le Mans; and Jacky Ickx, whose record of six Le Mans victories stood until beaten by Tom Kristensen in 2005.  The third car was the all-Kiwi pairing of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. Extensive work was done in the wind tunnel, and improving the brakes, handling and engine – not least improving the fuel economy. Miles won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1966, and placed second at Le Mans. Ken Miles Le Mans 1966 Winner GT40 T-Shirt Men & Women Race Car T-Shirt Unisex. However, the crash did not stop him, and he soon recovered from his iâ¦ The Bucknum / Hutcherson Holman & Moody entered Ford moved from ninth starting position to third position at the end of the first hour, and that’s where they eventually finished. That’s why he laid back when the three cars crossed the finish line. The third was a quiet though significant entry: Jacques Dewes, ever the pioneering privateer, brought the first Porsche 911 to Le Mans. Unfortunately, their records are lost and they have both passed away. When he pitted on the first lap in order to fix the door, Ken lost several places. It had taken three attempts for Ford to win Indianapolis and the NASCAR Championship, and now it added the Le Mans 24 Hours. We figured that in order to ensure a Ford win and keep those three guys from racing each other to the end, that we would have a dead heat finish. That was absolute bullshit. Each of the eight cars was painted in a colour from the Mustang road-car range. 4.  The Holman & Moody crew took 70 minutes to repair it only for Mark Donohue to have the rear boot blow off down the Mulsanne and find the differential had been terminally damaged. 24/10/2019 - 17:01 It was rumoured that Miles, upset about the team orders, lifted off to allow McLaren to finish a length ahead.  After only 9 laps, Rindt's Ford blew its engine at the end of the Mulsanne straight, so there would be no consecutive win. Ford vs Ferrari. At the age of 15, in 1933, he met his future wife Mollie and purchased an Austin 7 Special that she pâ¦ by Graham Goodwin In 1929, when he was 11 years old, he started riding a â350cc Trials Special Triumph bike.â Once, while riding the bike, he met with an accident and broke his nose and three teeth. But had they really won? Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon also shared a GT40, while another GT40 â the one which is set to auction â was driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson. The 5.3L small block put out 420 bhp and had a semi-automatic transmission. "I'm disappointed, of course, but what are you going to do about it. Ginther was 5th in the fastest Ferrari with a 3:33.0, with Parkes and Bandini in 7th and 8th respectively. I think that they deserved to win. Ford v. Ferrari tells the story of Carroll Shelby, Ken Miles and their work to help Ford win Le Mans. Amon 22, is the youngest winner in the history of the event. "Tom Cruise, 'Oblivion' Director Joseph Kosinski to Reteam for Fox's 'Go Like Hell, "Adam Carolla's 'The 24 Hour War' Is a Car Movie by Car People That Isn't Just for Car People", Deadliest Crash: The Le Mans 1955 Disaster, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1966_24_Hours_of_Le_Mans&oldid=982328570, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Fastest Lap in practice – D.Gurney, #3 Ford GT40 Mk II – 3:30.6secs; 230.10 km/h (142.98 mph), Fastest Lap – D.Gurney, #3 Ford GT40 Mk II – 3:30.6secs; 230.10 km/h (142.98 mph), Winner's Average Speed – 201.80 km/h (125.39 mph), Armstrong, Douglas, English editor (1967), This page was last edited on 7 October 2020, at 13:42.
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