• Short Summary

    French Matra-Simca cars once more held the fastest times at the end of practice for this year's Le Mans 24 hour endurance race which begins on Saturday (15 June 1974).

  • Description

    French Matra-Simca cars once more held the fastest times at the end of practice for this year's Le Mans 24 hour endurance race which begins on Saturday (15 June 1974).

    Matra-Simcas won the last two Le Mans races and practice times make it look as though this year's race will be between six cars -- four of them Matras. The four French cars' times were split only by two Gulf Fords driven by Britain's Derek Bell and Mike Hailwood and Australian Vern Schuppen and Sweden's Reine Wisell.

    The Gulf Fords appear to be the only rivals to the factory prepared Matras now the Italian Alfa-Romeos have decided to withdraw from the race.

    Frenchman Gerard Larrousse holds the fastest time over the 8.4 mile (13.6 kilometre) circuit with a 3 minutes 35.8 second lap in one of last year's three Matra 670's. Larrousse's lap was one second faster than Frenchmen Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Jean-Pierre Jarier's new Matra 680.

    The new car which has side-mounted radiators and a short tail body, is fifty pounds lighter, but it was only tested for two hours before being brought to Le Mans. The Matras of Larrousse and Beltoise will be on the front row of the starting grid because of their practice times.

    The top Matras have over four seconds on the Gulf Fords and are believed capable of going much faster if pushed, so most experts think the race at the front will be a procession. They consider the real battle will be going on behind. In practice the smaller prototypes like the Porsche Carrera Turbos and the Ligier Maseratis have recorded very similar times.

    About 300,000 people are expected to watch the race.

    SYNOPSIS: French Matra-Simoa cars once more held the fastest practice time for this year' twenty-four hour endurance race at Le Mans, France, which begins on Saturday.

    Two Gulf Fords, one driven by Britain's Derek Bell and Mike Hailwood, the other by Australian Vern Schuppen and Sweden's Reine Wisell were the only cars to break up a clean sweep in practice by the four Matras.

    Matras won the last two Le Mans races, and the Gulf Fords appear to be the only rivals to the factory-prepared French cars now the Italian Alfa Romeos have decided to withdraw from the race. Frenchman Gerard Larrousse has the fastest time over the eight point four mile circuit with a three minute thirty-five point eight second lap in one of last year's three Matra six-seventies. Larrousse's lap wa one second faster than Frenchmen Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Jean Pierre Jarier in a new Matra six-eight.

    The Matra six-eighty has side-mounted radiators and a short tail body and is fifty pounds lighter but it has only had two hours testing before being brought to Le Mans.

    Three hundred thousand people are expected to watch the race. The Matras of Larrousse and Beltoise will be no the front row of the starting grid because of their practice times. The top Matras have four seconds a lap over the Gulf Fords and they are capable of better times if pushed - so most experts think the race will be a procession.

    Experts consider the best contest will be going on behind between the smaller prototypes like the Porsche Carrera Turbos and the Ligier Maseratis.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6IWUKX7XV6HC24R0W3Z5762SN
    Media URN:
    VLVA6IWUKX7XV6HC24R0W3Z5762SN
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/06/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:59:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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