In conditions described as some of the worst-ever, the Le Mans 24-hour car race in France was won by West German Klaus Ludwig and two American brothers, Don and Bill Whittington driving a privately-entered Porsche.
In conditions described as some of the worst-ever, the Le Mans 24-hour car race in France was won by West German Klaus Ludwig and two American brothers, Don and Bill Whittington driving a privately-entered Porsche. Despite their win, the star of the race was film actor, Paul Newman, who, with his co-drivers, took second place.
SYNOPSIS: Le Mans is one of the world's most gruelling races. With more than twenty high-powered Porsche's entered, competition was intense.
Only twenty-two of the fifty-five starters completed the course... but the biggest shock was the failure of the two hot favourites ...the Porsche 936's....to finish.
During the night, Le Mans proved a true test of endurance. Torrential rain for hours challenged the drivers' control, making the circuit dangerous.
Throughout the race the crowd of two hundred thousand had their eyes on film star Paul Newman, driving a Porsche. Newman was at the wheel for much of the night, driving his way into second place. At one stage, victory was almost within reach. The leading car, driven by Don Whittington, broke down on the track. Fro half an hour, Whittington worked with sticky tape to mend a driving belt fault...and all the time Newman and his team were edging closer.
The Whittington-Ludwig lead proved too great. Newman's Porsche limped home in second place.
Newman, who starred int he motor racing film, Winning, ten years ago commented that while he may be a bit long in the tooth...he's fifty four...at least it proves he's a serious racing driver.
But full honours went to Klaus Ludwig and Bill and Don Whittington.