Who to watch at the Le Mans Classic 2012
More than 100,000 spectators will be at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe this weekend for the 6th running of the Le Mans Classic. Across the weekend (6th – 8th July) 400 cars will take to the track in competition with each other, whilst more than 8,000 club cars will form displays on the infield creating the largest car club gathering in Europe.
So many motoring enthusiasts have been drawn back to Le Mans to see their heros & their cars on the circuit. Le Mans Classic 2012 offers the chance to witness some real motor racing legends behind the wheel again at Le Mans. If you are at this year’s Le Mans Classic here is a brief summary of who you will be watching:
Seven winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours will be on the starting line of the 6th Le Mans Classic; some will be racing again in the cars that took them to victory at the time.
Derek Bell (GB) managed 5 victories in all. These were; 1975/Mirage GR8, 1981/Porsche 956, 1982/Porsche 956, 1986/Porsche 962C, 1987/Porsche 962C.
Emanuele Pirro (I) has the most recent victories during his time as an Audi factory driver. He also has 5 wins to his name; 2000/Audi R8, 2001/Audi R8, 2002/Audi R8, 2006/Audi R10, 2007/Audi R10.
Jean-Pierre Jaussaud (F) had 2 wins; 1978/Alpine Renault A442B, 1980/Rondeau M379.
Gérard Larrousse (F) also had 2 victories at Le Mans; 1973/Matra MS 670/B, 1974/Matra MS 670C.
Richard Attwood (GB) returns to Le Mans again in the Porsche 917K that took him to victory at Le Mans in 1970.
Vern Shuppan (AUS) had also had a single win in 1983 in a Porsche 956.
Eric Hélary (F) was victorious in 1993 whilst behind the wheel of a Peugeot 905, but will be racing in this year’s Le Mans Classic in a Chevrolet Corvette C3 Greenwood (1972).
Other drivers participating in the Le Mans Classic 2012 also had distinguished Le Mans careers, some were even here in June competing in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
Although Vic Elford (GB) will not be participating in the Le Mans Classic this time, he will be at the circuit as a spectator. He has one of the most complete careers in motor sports. On his prize-list, 13 Formula 1 Grand Prix between 1968 and 1971, 9 Le Mans 24 Hours participations between 1969 and 1983 (best result: 6th in 1973), a European Rally Champion title in 1967, a victory in the Monte Carlo Rally, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Targa Florio and the Nürburgring 1000KM on Porsche in 1968. Vic also raced in Nascar, CanAm, & TransAm. Famously Vic stopped his race in the 1972 Le Mans 24 Hours to save a fellow driver, imprisoned in his Ferrari Daytona, from the flames. After this courageous act he was named “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite” by President Georges Pompidou.
Other drivers in this year’s Le Mans Classic also have stories to tell about their experiences in the Le Mans 24 Hours. If you see them in the paddock why not ask them what it is like to race at Le Mans? Here are some of those drivers to look out for:
Emmanuel Collard (18 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Brian Redman (14 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Jean-Pierre Jabouille (13 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Soleil Ayari (11 starts at Le Mans 24 Hours)
Pierre de Thoisy (11 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Paul Belmondo (10 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Jean Ragnotti (7 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Raymond Narac (7 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours, 2nd in GTE AM in 2012)
Xavier Pompidou (7 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Jacques Nicolet (6 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Alain Serpaggi (5 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Hernando da Silva Ramos (4 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Fabien Giroix (3 starts at Le Mans 24 Hours)
Luis Perez Companc (3 starts at the Le Mans 24 Hours)
Also appearing will be Yvan Muller who is a triple winner of the World Tour Car Championship. He has also entered the Le Mans 24 Hours twice). He will be driving in Chevrolet Corvette in Grid 5.
Finally an ex-Prime Minister will also race at the Le Mans Classic 2012. François Fillon will drive a BMW M1 in Grid 6. The ex-Prime Minister of France has already participated in Le Mans Classic and has never hidden his passion for motor sports.
The Le Mans Classic continues to be a draw for enthusiastic spectators and Le Mans legends alike.
The Full Le Mans Classic 2012 competitors entry list can be found here.
The Le Mans Classic event takes place every other year and will return in 2014.
If you missed out on this year’s Le Mans Classic why not sign up with Travel Destinations to visit the Spa Classic in 2013, or register your interest for Le Mans Classic 2014?
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