Belgian Jacky Ickx notched up his third win in the Le Mans motor racing endurance event in France on Sunday (13 June).
Belgian Jacky Ickx notched up his third win in the Le Mans motor racing endurance event in France on Sunday (13 June). He and his Dutch team mate, Gijs Van Lennep, finished 11 laps ahead of their nearest challenger.
SYNOPSIS: Only 24 of the 55 entrants finished the gruelling race. The heat took its toll and those who did cross the line had to fight exhaustion and the pain of burning feet from the heat of their car pedals.
Ickx, in car number 20, took the lead early, although he ran into problems with four and a half hours still to run. His turbo-powered Porsche 936 suffered a broken exhaust pipe which took half an hour to repair.
The race's greatest personal triumph was that the Londoner Alain de Cadenet. He drove car number 12, his own de Cadenet Lola, into third place.
Second place in the event was taken by a Mirage-Ford which had finished third in the 1975 race. The car - bearing number 10 - was driven by Francois Migault and Jean-Louis Lafosse.
This year, 17 makes of car were represented and some much needed variety is returning to the French classic. Several huge American cars were encouraged to compete as a crowd attraction, but none of them could last the distance. Ickx and Van Lennep covered just under 4,800 kilometres at an average speed of nearly 200 kilometres an hour. Ickx had won the race in 1968 and last year, and Van Lennep in 1971. Van Lennep announced his retirement after the race so he could devote more time to team management.