• Short Summary

    Some 300,000 people turned out on Saturday (10 June) to watch the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours Motor Race.

  • Description

    Some 300,000 people turned out on Saturday (10 June) to watch the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours Motor Race. With 55 starters taking part, the battle for supremacy began almost at once. But the true victors wouldn't be known until Sunday (11 June) afternoon, after a day and night of punishing driving.

    French hopes took an early bruising when the Matra-Simca driven by Jean-Pierre Beltoise and New Zealander Chris Amon dropped out when it caught fire. The two drivers got away unhurt, but it caused worry among the French team.

    As the race continued, however, the battle for the lead became one between the French Matra team and the British Lola crews. There again, however, opposition dropped away as Belgian driver Hugues de Fierlant spun on 8 straight and was stopped with gearbox trouble. The other Lola drooped back after two stops for bodywork repairs.

    At the quarter-way mark in the early hours of Sunday morning, the French Matra team were out on their own in front.

    The two Matras, driven by Frenchman Francois Cevert and New Zealander Howdan Ganley and Frenchman Henri Pescarolo teamed with Briton Graham Hill, ware three laps clear of three Italian Alfa Romeos.

    With six hours gone, 41 of the 55 starters were still running. And worst hit were the Italian De Tomaso Pantheras. Three of their four cars went out inside five hours, all with blown cylinder gaskets.

    SYNOPSIS: The circuits of the Le Mans course, where the 24 Hours Motor Race began Saturday afternoon, are tough on cars and drives. There were 55 starters getting ready for the event before the flag dropped. And although the battle for supremacy would begin almost at once, the true victors wouldn't be known until a day and night of gruelling driving had been completed on Sunday. A large crowd of some three-hundred-thousand people gathered to watch.

    Almost from the start, the battle for the lead began--with the French Matra-Simca team slugging it out with Italian Alfa Romeros and British Lolas. But opposition from the Lolas was to fade away as one was stopped with gearbox trouble. The other Lola dropped back after two pit stops for bodywork repairs.

    French hopes also took an early bruising when the Matra-Simca driven by Jean-Pierre Beltoise and New Zealander Chris Amon dropped out when it caught fire. The two drivers got away unhurt.

    But at the quarter-way point early Sunday morning, the French Matra team were out in front. With six hours gone, 41 of the original 55 starters were still in the running. Worst hit were the Italian De Tomaso Pantheras. Three of their four cars went out inside of five hours, all with blown cylinder gaskets. And the leading Matras, driven by Frenchman Francois Cevert and New Zealander Howden Ganley, and French man Henri Pascarolo teamed with Britain's Graham Hill, were three laps clear of the three Italian Alfa Romeros.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEAXQCEGN4YULQST1MJHAK9SNK
    Media URN:
    VLVAEAXQCEGN4YULQST1MJHAK9SNK
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    10/06/1972
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:46:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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