1954 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans was a race for Sports Cars, and took place on 12 and 13 June 1954, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. It was also the fourth race of the 1954 World Sportscar Championship.[1] The race was won by José Froilán González and Maurice Trintignant driving a Ferrari 375 Plus.

1954 24 Hours of Le Mans
Previous: 1953 Next: 1955
Index: Races | Winners
Le Mans in 1954

People viewed this race as a battle between brute force and science (per the July 1954 “Motor Sport” article[2]). In the high technology corner, with its sleek, aerodynamic bodywork was the new 3.4-litre Jaguar D-Type, and in the other corner was Ferrari’s formidable 5.0-litre V12 375 Plus. Ranged in between was everyone else. The race was heavily affected by poor weather throughout and was a thriller right to the end, producing the closest finish for the race since 1933: less than 5km (half a lap).[3]

RegulationsEdit

The ACO again extended the replenishment window (last updated in 1952) of fuel, oil and water from 28 to 30 laps (405 km) although brake fluid was now exempted from this restriction for safety reasons. The equivalence multiplier for forced-induction engines (i.e. supercharged) was reduced from x2.0 to x1.4.

On the track, the stretch from the corners at Mulsanne to Arnage was widened to 8 metres (finishing the work starting in 1950) and the Indianapolis corner was given a slightly banked camber.[4][5][6]

Also, this was the first year the race would be televised, getting it a far bigger potential audience.[4]

EntriesEdit

After the previous year’s intense interest from manufacturers for the new Championship, this year the variety of works teams was reduced: Mercedes had decided to stay focused on F1,[5] Alfa Romeo had closed its racing division, Lancia scratched their team (supposedly daunted by the speed of the Jaguars)[7] and Austin-Healey boycotted the event because of the ongoing presence of the sports-car prototypes.[7][8] But there were still 85 cars registered for this event, of which a full field of 58 arrived for practice as the remaining manufacturers increased their presence.

As before, Jaguar’s sole racing focus for the year was Le Mans and after their 1953 success, they arrived with three of the fantastic new Jaguar D-Type - purpose-built for the smooth tarmac of La Sarthe. A beautiful design, it had been tested in a wind-tunnel and featured the now-famous vertical fin to provide high-speed stability. Low (only 32” high) and sleek, it was extremely fast: the 3.4-litre straight-6 engine was redesigned and tilted at 8 degrees (to reduce height, like the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL had done)[2] and developed 250 bhp with a top speed over 270 km/h.[9] The cars were so new that they had not even been painted when they got to Le Mans. The driver line-up was kept pretty much the same from 1953 with winners Tony Rolt / Duncan Hamilton, and 2nd place Stirling Moss / Peter Walker. This year Peter Whitehead was paired with F1 driver Ken Wharton (his former co-driver Ian Stewart was racing with his brother, Graham, at Aston Martin). An ex-works C-Type was provided for the Belgian Ecurie Francorchamps team when their original car was crashed on the way to the circuit by a Jaguar mechanic.[10]

The major Italian works teams, Scuderia Ferrari, Officine Alfieri Maserati and Automobili Osca all brought new cars for this race: Ferrari's answer to the D-type was the new Ferrari 375 Plus: styled by Pinin Farina, it had a bored-out version of the Lampredi-designed V12 engine, now up to 4,954cc and putting out some 345 bhp,[5][6] (nearly 40% more than the Jaguars) and a top speed approaching 270 km/h.[11] Not as fast as the Jaguar, but its excellent acceleration was a suitable equaliser on a power-circuit such as Le Mans, with its long straights. With three of his best drivers now unavailable – Alberto Ascari was with Lancia, Giuseppe Farina had been injured in the Mille Miglia and Mike Hawthorn’s father had just died suddenly[5][12]Ferrari could still field a top team of drivers: three of them - Umberto Maglioli, José Froilán González and Maurice Trintignant were in the current Ferrari F1 works team. With them were Paolo Marzotto (the only works finisher in the 1953 race), ex-Gordini driver Robert Manzon (like Trintignant) and Louis Rosier, 1952 race winner with Talbot. They were backed up three other Ferraris entered by Briggs Cunningham’s and Luigi Chinetti’s American teams. Glamour came with Chinetti's team with film star Zsa Zsa Gabor accompanying her rich playboy-boyfriend, Dominican Porfirio Rubirosa.[13]

Maserati was taking over the Formula 1 world in 1954 with its outstanding 250F. They had also developed an uprated version of their A6GCS sportscar, replacing the 2.0-litre engine with the 2.5L version from the 250F. A standard 2.0-litre version was also privately entered, with factory support, for the Marquis de Portago. OSCA had started the year sensationally when a 1500cc MT-4 entered by Briggs Cunningham and driven by Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd won the Sebring 12-hours against far more powerful opposition. Three such cars arrived at Le Mans.[14]

Always looking to be competitive, as well as running the Ferrari 375 MM (because Ferrari had refused to sell him an engine for his own cars[13]), Briggs Cunningham had tried to secure the new Dunlop disc brakes for his cars. However Jaguar used its contract-right to veto the deal. He arrived with a pair of the older Cunningham C4-R roadsters for his regular driver complement– the sole entrants in the Over-5 litre class.

It was a big entry for Lagonda-Aston Martin with five works cars and two private entries. One of the two DB3S spyders had a supercharged 2.9L engine that developed 235 bhp driven by British F1 drivers Reg Parnell and Roy Salvadori, the other was run by Carroll Shelby. Alongside them were a pair of aerodynamic coupés & the long-running, expensive Lagonda sports car with a 4.5L V12 (effectively a double-Aston Martin engine)[15][5] Gordini arrived with four cars, competing in three classes. The lead car, a T24S driven by Behra and Simon, had a 3.0L engine developing 230 bhp and new Messier disc brakes was capable of over 230 km/h.[16][5][15] Gordini also entered a pair of older T15S, also with disc-brakes but with 2.5L and 2.0L engines respectively. Talbot sent no works team this year but supplied an improved 4.5L engine (now capable of 280 bhp) for the T26 spyders of the three private entries (Levegh, Meyrat, Grignard).

In the S-2000 class Bristol returned with three coupés developed from the previous year's model, with better styling and improved aerodynamics. There were also three Frazer-Nashes, using the same Bristol engine,[17] as well as the first entries in the race for Triumph (an off-the shop-floor TR2)[14] and Maserati.

Porsche returned with three cars to contest the S-1500 category against the OSCAs. The Porsche 550s were given a new quad-cam engine making 110 bhp and 210 km/h, and this year were open-top spyders. Another was also given a smaller 1089cc engine for the S-1100 class.[18] The small British sportscar firm Kieft arrived with two cars to take on the smallest Porsche – bringing the first fibreclass chassis to Le Mans. One was also the first car with the new Coventry Climax FWA engine.[13][5]

The small-engine classes were well-represented, and again dominated by the French Renault and Panhard derivatives. This year DB had five cars present that comprised a pair of the tiny new central-seat HBR model with Panhard engines and three HDR models using rear-engined Renault power. Panhard itself, now with a full racing department, had 4 works entries built by Monopole who also had their own entry.

PracticeEdit

Jaguar was able to get an unofficial practice in May on the full track in an unrelated event and Tony Rolt took the prototype D-type round fully 5 seconds faster than Alberto Ascari’s lap record from the previous year in the Indy-engined Ferrari.[9] In the official practice, all three works cars recorded identical times.[7] and they and the Ferraris were a step up from the rest of the field. Overall, the Jaguars had better handling, disc brakes and were faster (Moss was timed at 154.44 mph/278 km/h over the flying kilometre, giving a huge 20 km/h advantage), but the Ferrari had superior power and acceleration.[5][19] The supercharged Aston Martin, the Lagonda, and the Porsches were also impressively quick.[20]

Unfortunately the Maserati works transporter broke down en route to the track and the car had to be withdrawn as it arrived too late for scrutineering.[5] The Marquis de Portago was able to take the start however, as he had driven his own car direct from the Modena factory in Italy.[21]

Controversially, Gilberte Thirion qualified the 2-litre works Gordini but was excluded from competing because of her gender (only three years after the Coupe des Dames was awarded to female drivers) – her father drove in her stead in the race.[16]

RaceEdit

StartEdit

At 4pm the race was started under dark clouds by Prince Bernhard, consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and an avid motor-racing fan.[22] It came as no surprise when the mighty 375's of González, Marzotto and Manzon stormed away in 1-2-3 formation at the start, with Moss, Rolt and Wharton (who had a startline collision[23]) in close pursuit. After only five laps the first heavy downpour arrived, negating the Ferrari power advantage. By the end of the first hour, González and Marzotto and Moss had a gap over Rolt, and Manzon. The rest of the field was already a lap down.[20] Forty minutes later on lap 22, still in heavy rain, Moss managed to take the lead, starting the to-and–fro battle between the two marques.[24][25][26][27] Wharton had been held up in the first hour with a blocked fuel filter and over the next couple of hours, the other two Jaguars suffered engine misfires giving the Ferraris a lap's lead over the field. Walker stopped out on the track for 50 minutes,[28] but the Moss/Walker car would not be staging an epic comeback this year. Meanwhile, Behra's Gordini and Fitch's Cunningham were regularly trading places in the top-10, mimicking the disc-brakes versus power battle at the front. However soon after 7pm, Behra pitted with ignition problems and then stopped out on the track beyond Mason Blanche. He pushed the car all the way back to the pits to get going again, but it eventually retired in the middle of the night.[16]

A number of other cars had been caught out in the rain: On only lap 5 Count Baggio planted the playboy Ferrari right into the Tertre Rouge sandbank and could not dig it out (so Rubirosa never got a chance to drive for his movie-star girlfriend).[13] The other American Ferrari, of Fitch/Walters, was running 6th when a rocker-arm broke, dropping them out of the running while the engine was repaired. Eric Thompson spun the Lagonda backwards into the bank at the Esses. After nearly 2hours to get it mobile and back to the pits it was retired because the rear lights were too badly damaged and deemed unsafe.[29][17][20]

After four hours, at 8pm, González and Marzotto were lapping together, still having not swapped with their respective co-drivers, and a lap ahead of Rosier and Whitehead. Salvadori was fifth in the supercharged Aston, then Hamilton and the two Aston coupés, the Belgian Jaguar and Cunningham's own car filling out the top ten.[20]

NightEdit

At 9.30pm, the Talbot of Meyrat collided with the Aston Martin of ’Jimmy’ Stewart as both were lapping a slower car in the fast section coming up to Maison Blanche.[30] Meyrat ended in the hedgerows,[31] but the Aston Martin rolled throwing Stewart clear. The car was completely written off and Stewart was very lucky to only suffer a serious arm break (that eventually contributed to his retirement from racing).[24][26][27] The mid-evening showers caused another flurry of accidents and retirements, including Levegh who was in 8th place when he spun and wrecked his Talbot's suspension. As the rain finally eased off Wharton and Whitehead made a strong comeback, getting back to 3rd which became 2nd when the Maglioli/Manzon Ferrari broke its gearbox just after 11pm.[24][26][27]

 
1954 Ferrari 375 Plus. From the Ralph Lauren collection

The D-types were now steadily hauling themselves back into contention. At midnight González/Trintignant were two laps ahead of Whitehead/Wharton. Manzon/Rosier were third, ahead of Rolt/Hamilton and the Aston Martins of Parnell/Salvadori and Collins/Bira completing the top six. The rain returned and the lead Jaguar had to pit again with fuel-line issues. After several more pitstops it finally retired with a broken gearbox. It joined Moss’ car that had become undriveable after he had a total brake failure at the end of the Mulsanne straight doing 160 mph [23] (taking two miles to stop on the escape road with hand-brake and gearbox!)[32] Rolt and Hamilton however, managed to move into 2nd place by half-time, albeit still two laps adrift. Third was the other Ferrari, followed by the Spear/Johnston Cunningham and the supercharged Aston Martin.[17] Just afterward, in an unusual co-incidence, Prince Bira crashed his Aston Martin, while running in 4th place, within yards of Thompson's Aston coupé that had crashed earlier.[33][30] In the next hour, the Herrmann/Polensky Porsche, leading the S-1500 class and an impressive 7th place overall, retired with a blown head gasket. This left Macklin leading the class in the OSCA, a full 20 laps ahead of the Bristol leading the S-2000 class

MorningEdit

As dawn arrived the Ferrari of Rosier/Manzon, running third, retired with a broken gearbox, jammed in second gear.[11][30] Now the battle was reduced to just one car for each team at the front of the field. What's more, as the clouds built up and rain became an ever-present threat, the prospects for the aerodynamic D-types were starting to look promising.

By breakfast time, the rain started to come down very heavily and the stage was set for a heroic chase. González and Trintignant could afford to take things cautiously, but any unnecessary delays would enable the pursuing Jaguar to open up a chink the Ferrari's armour, and as the rain intensified, the sole remaining D-type piled on the pressure.[34] But Trintignant responded and both cars roared round doing sub-4'30" lap-times.[30] By 9.30am, after González's fuel stop when the Ferrari hesitated in restarting, the Jaguar team got more motivation and the lead was down to 3 minutes.[30] But at 10am, Rolt glanced the bank coming out of Arnage lapping a slower car, and 2 minutes were lost in the pits for a bout of impromptu panelbeating.[3][34]

 
1954 Jaguar D-Type. From the Heritage Motor Centre collection

The rain then eased during the morning, allowing the Ferrari to use its power to better effect, but still the Jaguar would not give up. Despite this, the race order remained fairly constant and at midday the order was still Ferrari, Jaguar, Cunningham, Jaguar, Cunningham, Aston Martin, Gordini and the OSCA as the leading small-engined car. The two remaining Porsches were running slowly, trying to get to the end of the race. The supercharged Aston Martin had been running surprisingly well all race until just after midday when a head-gasket failure caused its retirement. Around 1pm a ferocious squall slowed all the cars to a snail's pace, then the Jaguar drivers began to close the gap again on Trintignant as the track dried.

Finish and post-raceEdit

With just two hours left to run, González and Trintignant were still almost two laps ahead of the English car. Ninety minutes to run and Trintignant brought the Ferrari in for a routine stop. González took over, but the V12 refused to restart. The Ferrari lost 7 minutes as the mechanics desperately worked on the engine. The rain started again and Rolt was now in sight: he came in to stop for new goggles, but his pit crew waved him on, and now the Jaguar was on the same lap as the leader.[35][26][27][3]

Finally the Ferrari mechanics found the problem: the rain had saturated the ignition wiring. [6] When González finally got going he was now only 3'14" ahead of the Jaguar. With thunder and lightning now lashing the circuit and unable to see, Rolt pitted and handed over to Hamilton for the final assault with an hour to go. Hamilton then put in extraordinary times in the rain, cutting the lead to just 90 seconds. González was exhausted (he had not eaten or slept through the weekend[6]) and his lap times dropped to 5'30",[12] but his pit-crew urged him on and as the rain stopped with a half-hour to go, and the track dried out, he was once more able to bring the power of the Ferrari to bear again and extend the gap.[36][37] Finally able to ease off on the final lap, González crossed the line to win by just under three minutes[35][26][27] - but still the closest finish in the race since 1933.[3]

Meanwhile, in the smaller classes, the pair of works OSCAs had an ample lead of 15 laps over the struggling Porsches and running in the top-10 overall. Yet within ten minutes, with just 2 hours to go, everything fell apart. First, the leading one of Giardini crashed and rolled at Mulsanne, then the one running second hit the barriers at Dunlop curve. Pierre Leygonie ran the short distance back to the pits to get equipment and advice from the pit-crew. He managed to get it going again and back to the pits to hand over to Lance Macklin but they were then disqualified at race-end for having abandoned the car.[38][27] To round off a bitter race for OSCA, their last car was running second in the S-1100 class but its transmission broke in the final laps of the race.[14]

Despite the atrocious weather, González and Trintignant had still driven their Ferrari 375 Plus through 302 laps, just 2 laps less than the year before, and covering over 2,500 miles (4,000 km). In his delight, Prince Bernhard jumped aboard with Trintignant for his victory lap in the rain.[11][12] In the end it came down to pit-time: 37 minutes for the Jaguar versus 29 minutes for the Ferrari. [39] The podium was completed by the American pair, William "Bill" Spear and Sherwood Johnston, in their Cunningham-Chrysler C4-R, who were far behind, 19 laps (over 250 km) back,[40] Briggs himself came in 5th. Despite their very reliable Chrysler engines, the Cunninghams were unable to match the pace of the leaders. Splitting the two American cars was the Belgian Jaguar which had run like clockwork despite not getting any pre-race testing. The last remaining Gordini came in 6th earning a special FF1 million prize as first French car home.[16] After the demise of the OSCAs, Porsche inherited class wins in the S-1500, and S-1100, by having the only cars left running in their classes.

Bristol had a great race: finishing 6-7-8 overall and a clear 1-2-3 in their class. Although running most of the race behind the smaller OSCA, their leader finished over 30 laps ahead of the only class-competitor Fraser-Nash to finish. Aside from a window-wiper making life difficult for Wilson/Mayers (they had to drive at times with the door open to see out!) and Jack Fairman spinning with less than an hour to go (thereby losing the class win) they had a trouble-free run.[41] The little DB cars also had one of their best races – finally winning the Index of Performance, as well as the Biennial Cup. Owner-driver René Bonnet and Élie Bayol finished a remarkable 10th overall with a class-distance record (going further than Nuvolari's winning Alfa Romeo 20 years earlier[12]), embarrassing many far-bigger cars left in their wake.[42] The Monopole entry was second in class, but had the remarkable record of having spent a mere five minutes and ten seconds at rest in the pits for the whole race.[43][12]

One who did not finish was the last Talbot running – after numerous issues with engine and gearbox problems, the pit crew sent it out with ten minutes to go to do the final lap, but it could not complete it within 30 minutes and so was not classified.[31][12]

The Argentinian winner earned a special place in Ferrari history: Three years earlier, he had scored Ferrari's first F1 victory. Now, in his last appearance at La Sarthe, he also gave the first victory for the Scuderia Ferrari at Le Mans.[26] The weather had precluded any chance of breaking distance records, although in the dry both González and Marzotto had smashed Ascari's lap record by over 10 seconds.

Despite its abortive attempt in this race, the 2-litre Maserati proved dominant across Europe, winning over 20 class wins in the season.[21] In October, DB inaugurated the first one-make race series, Formula Monomill for young drivers, using an 851cc DB-Panhard. The first race, at Montlhéry, was won by Jo Schlesser.[42]

The Porsche 550s had great success in the Championship's final round, in the Carrera Panamericana, with Herrmann finishing an excellent 3rd overall. The year before they had a class win, and the name ‘Carrera’ was applied to the 356 road-cars with the quad-cam engine.[18] Many sales followed to privateer racers, furthering the company's racing reputation.

Official resultsEdit

Results taken from Quentin Spurring's book, officially licensed by the ACO[44]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps
1 S
5.0
4   Scuderia Ferrari   José Froilán González
  Maurice Trintignant
Ferrari 375 Plus Ferrari 5.0L V12 302
2 S
5.0
14   Jaguar Cars Ltd.   Duncan Hamilton
  Tony Rolt
Jaguar D-Type Jaguar 3.4L S6 301
3 S
8.0
2   Briggs Cunningham   William "Bill" Spear
  Sherwood Johnston
Cunningham C4-R Chrysler 5.5L V8 283
4 S
5.0
16   Ecurie Francorchamps   Roger Laurent
  Jacques Swaters
Jaguar C-Type Jaguar 3.4L S6 277
5 S
8.0
1   Briggs Cunningham   Briggs Cunningham
  John Gordon Bennett
Cunningham C4-R Chrysler 5.5L V8 274
6 S
3.0
30   Equipe Gordini   Jacques Pollet
  André Guelfi
Gordini T15S Gordini 2.5L S6 263
7 S
2.0
35   Bristol Aeroplane Company   Peter Wilson
  Jim Mayers
Bristol 450 Bristol 1979cc S6 260
8 S
2.0
33   Bristol Aeroplane Company   Tommy Wisdom
  Jack Fairman
Bristol 450 Bristol 1979cc S6 257
9 S
2.0
34   Bristol Aeroplane Company   Mike Keen
  Trevor Line
Bristol 450 Bristol 1979cc S6 255
10 S
750
57   Automobiles Deutsch et Bonnet   René Bonnet
  Élie Bayol
DB HBR-MC Panhard 745cc F2 240
11 S
2.0
36   Automobiles Frazer Nash Ltd.   Maurice Gatsonides
  Marcel Becquart
Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé Bristol 1970cc S6 228
12 S
1.5
39   Porsche KG   Johnny Claes
  Pierre Stasse
Porsche 550/4 RS Spyder Porsche 1497cc F4 228
13 S
750
55   Établissements
Monopole
  Jean Hémard
  Pierre Flahaut
Monopole X84 Panhard 612cc F2 222
14 S
1.1
47   Porsche KG   Zora Arkus-Duntov
  Gonzague Olivier
Porsche 550/4 RS Spyder Porsche 1089cc F4 216
N/C * S
2.0
62
Reserve
  E.B. Wadsworth
(private entrant)
  Edgar Wadsworth
  John Brown
Triumph TR2 Triumph 2.0L I4 214
15 S
750
56   Ecurie Jeudy-Bonnet   Marc Gignoux
  Louis Cornet
DB HBR-MC Panhard 745cc F2 213
N/C ** S
5.0
11   G. Grignard
(private entrant)
  Jean Blanc
  Serge Nersessian
Talbot T26 GS Spyder Talbot 4.6L S6 206
16 S
750
59   Automobiles Panhard et Levassor   René Cotton
  André Beaulieux
Panhard-Monopole X88 Panhard 612cc F2 195
17 S
750
54   P. Garzynski
(private entrant)
  René Breuil
  Jean Py
BG Le Mans Coupé Renault 747cc S4 194
  • Note *: Not Classified because of Insufficient distance, as car failed to cover 70% of its class-winner's distance
  • Note **: Not Classified because of failing to complete the final lap of the race in under 30 minutes

Did Not FinishEdit

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps Reason
DSQ S
1.5
43   Automobili O.S.C.A.   Lance Macklin
  Pierre Leygonie
  James Simpson
O.S.C.A. MT-4 O.S.C.A. 1500cc S4 247 Abandoned
vehicle
DNF S
1.5
42   Automobili O.S.C.A.   Jacques Péron
  Francesco Giardini
O.S.C.A. MT-4 O.S.C.A. 1490cc S4 243 Accident (23hr)
DNF S
5.0
8   Aston Martin Lagonda   Reg Parnell
  Roy Salvadori
Aston Martin DB3S Aston Martin 2.9L S6
Supercharged
222 Engine (21hr)
DNF S
1.1
63
Reserve
  L. Farnaud
(private entrant)
  Lucien Farnaud
  Adolfo Macchieraldo
O.S.C.A. MT-4 O.S.C.A. 1092cc S4 199 Transmission (24hr)
DNF S
750
49   Automobiles VP   Just-Emile Vernet
  Yves Giraud-Cabantous
VP 166R Renault 747cc S4 190 Accident (22hr)
DNF S
5.0
5   Scuderia Ferrari   Robert Manzon
  Louis Rosier
Ferrari 375 Plus Ferrari 5.0L V12 177 Transmission (15hr)
DNF S
750
58   Automobiles Panhard
et Levassor
  Pierre Chancel
  Robert Chancel
Panhard-Monopole X88 Panhard 612cc F2 157 Engine (17hr)
DNF S
1.5
41   Porsche KG   Hans Herrmann
  Helmut Polensky
Porsche 550/4 RS Spyder Porsche 1497cc F4 148 Electrics (14hr)
DNF S
3.0
20   Aston Martin Lagonda   ”B.Bira” Prince Birabongse Bhanubandh
  Peter Collins
Aston Martin DB3S Coupé Aston Martin 2.9L S6 138 Accident (13hr)
DNF S
5.0
15   Jaguar Cars Ltd.   Peter Whitehead
  Ken Wharton
Jaguar D-Type Jaguar 3.4L S6 131 Transmission (13hr)
DNF S
3.0
27   J.-P. Colas
(private entrant)
  Jean-Paul Colas
  Hermano da Silva Ramos
Aston Martin DB2/4 'Vignale' Aston Martin 2.9L S6 121 Transmission (14hr)
DNF S
5.0
6   Briggs Cunningham   Phil Walters
  John Fitch
Ferrari 375 MM Ferrari 4.5L V12 120 Transmission (13hr)
DNF S
2.0
28   Officine Alfieri Maserati   Marquis Alfonso de Portago
  Carlo Tomasi
Maserati A6GCS/53 Maserati 1986cc S6 116 Engine (11hr)
DSQ S
2.0
38   Automobiles Frazer Nash Ltd.
  Sture Nottorp
  Sture Nottorp
  Ivar Andersson
Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé Bristol 1979cc S6 109 Premature
refuelling (11hr)
DNF S
750
52   Ecurie Jeudy-Bonnet   Marc Azéma
  Alphonse de Burnay
DB HDR-MC Renault 747cc S4 102 Wheels (13hr)
DNF S
2.0
44   A. Constantin
(private entrant)
  Alexis Constantin
  Edmond Mouche
Constantin-Peugeot 203C Spyder Peugeot 1425cc S4
Supercharged
95 Transmission (13hr)
DNF S
5.0
12   Jaguar Cars Ltd.   Stirling Moss
  Peter Walker
Jaguar D-Type Jaguar 3.4L S6 92 Brakes (12hr)
DNF S
5.0
3   Scuderia Ferrari   Umberto Maglioli
  Paolo Marzotto
Ferrari 375 Plus Ferrari 5.0L V12 88 Transmission (8hr)
DNF S
1.1
46   Kieft Cars Ltd.   Alan Rippon
  Bill Black
Kieft Sport Coventry Climax 1098cc S4 86 Transmission (11hr)
DNF S
1.1
65
Reserve
  Equipe Gordini   André Pilette
  Max Thirion
Gordini T17S Gordini 1096cc S4 76 Engine (11hr)
DNF S
3.0
19   Equipe Gordini   Jean Behra
  André Simon
Gordini T24S Gordini 3.0L S8 76 Engine (11hr)
DNF S
3.0
22   Aston Martin Lagonda   Carroll Shelby
  Paul Frère
Aston Martin DB3S Aston Martin 2.9L S6 74 Front Axle (11hr)
DNF S
750
50   G. Michel / A. Guillard
(private entrant)
  Guy Michel
  André Guillard
Renault 4CV-1063 Spyder Renault 747cc S4 73 Engine (11hr)
DNF S
3.0
21   Aston Martin Lagonda   Ian Stewart
  Graham Whitehead
Aston Martin DB3S Coupé Aston Martin 2.9L S6 64 Accident (7hr)
DNF S
5.0
9   Ecurie Rosier   Jean-Louis Rosier
  Pierre Meyrat
Talbot-Lago T26 GS Spyder Talbot-Lago 4.5L S6 62 Accident (7hr)
DNF S
2.0
31   Equipe Gordini   André Moynet
  Clarence de Rinen
Gordini T15S Gordini 1988cc S6 54 Electrics (7hr)
DNF S
2.0
37   Automobiles Frazer Nash Ltd.   Rodney ‘Roy’ Peacock
  Gerry Ruddock
Frazer Nash LMC/Targa Florio Bristol 1970cc S6 49 Accident (7hr)
DNF S
5.0
10   'Pierre Levegh'
(private entrant)
  Pierre Levegh (Pierre Bouillin)
  Lino Fayen
Talbot-Lago T26 GS Spyder Talbot-Lago 4.5L S6 33 Accident (7hr)
DNF S
1.1
48   Kieft Cars Ltd.   Georges Trouis
  Alfred Hitchings
Kieft Sport MG 1087cc S4 26 Cooling (7hr)
DNF S
5.0
7   Aston Martin Lagonda   Eric Thompson
  Dennis Poore
Lagonda DP115 Lagonda 4.5L V12 25 Accident (4hr)
DSQ S
750
66
Reserve
  J. Faucher
(private entrant)
  Jacques Faucher
  Jean Hébert
Renault 4CV-1063 Renault 747cc S4 20 ?
DNF S
750
51   Automobiles Deutsch et Bonnet   ”Heldé” (Pierre-Louis Dreyfus)
  ”Eldé” (Leon Dernier)
  Jean Lucas
DB HDR-MC Renault 747cc S4 8 Transmission (1hr)
DNF S
750
53   Nardi Automobili   Dr. Mario Damonte
  Alexandre Gacon
Nardi 750LM Crosley 747cc S4 7 Water pump (1hr)
DNF S
5.0
18   Luigi Chinetti   Conte Innocente Baggio
  Porfirio Rubirosa
Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta Ferrari 4.5L V12 5 Accident (2hr)
DNF S
750
60   Automobiles Panhard
et Levassor
  Lucien Pailler
  ”Franc” (Jacques Dewez)
Panhard-Monopole X88 Coupé Panhard 611cc F2 5 Accident (1hr)
DNF S
1.5
40   Porsche KG   Richard von Frankenberg
  Helmut 'Helm' Glöckler
Porsche 550/4 RS Spyder Porsche 1497cc F4 4 Engine (1hr)
DNF S
750
64
Reserve
  Ecurie Jeudy-Bonnet   Claude Storez
  Jean-Claude Vidilles
  Jean Lucas
DB HDR-MC Renault 747cc S4 4 Transmission (1hr)
DNF S
750
61   Automobiles Panhard
et Levassor
  Eugène Dussous
  Jacques Savoye
Panhard-Monopole X84 Panhard 611cc F2 0 Accident (1hr)
DNS S
3.0
23   N. Mann
(private entrant)
  Nigel Mann
  Charles Brackenbury
Aston Martin DB3 Aston Martin 2.9L S6 0
DNA S
3.0
29   Officine Alfieri Maserati   ”Mike Sparken” (Michel Pobejersky)
  Roberto Mieres
  John ‘Jonny’ Simone
Maserati A6GCS/53 Maserati 2.5L S4 - too late for
scrutineering

Index of PerformanceEdit

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Score
1 S
750
57   Automobiles Deutsch et Bonnet   René Bonnet
  Élie Bayol
DB HBR-MC 1.334
2 S
750
55   Établissements
Monopole
  Jean Hémard
  Pierre Flahaut
Monopole X84 1.310
3 S
5.0
14   Jaguar Cars Ltd.   Duncan Hamilton
  Tony Rolt
Jaguar D-Type 1.297
4 S
5.0
4   Scuderia Ferrari   José Froilán González
  Maurice Trintignant
Ferrari 375 Plus 1.284
5 S
8.0
2   Briggs Cunningham   William "Bill" Spear
  Sherwood Johnston
Cunningham C4-R 1.205
6 S
5.0
16   Ecurie Francorchamps   Roger Laurent
  Jacques Swaters
Jaguar C-Type 1.191
7 S
2.0
35   Bristol Aeroplane Company   Peter Wilson
  Jim Mayers
Bristol 450 1.187
8 S
750
56   Ecurie Jeudy-Bonnet   Marc Gignoux
  Louis Cornet
DB HBR-MC 1.183
9 S
2.0
33   Bristol Aeroplane Company   Tommy Wisdom
  Jack Fairman
Bristol 450 1.174
10 S
3.0
30   Equipe Gordini   Jacques Pollet
  André Guelfi
Gordini T15S 1.169
  • Note: Only the top ten positions are included in this set of standings. A score of 1.00 means meeting the minimum distance for the car, and a higher score is exceeding the nominal target distance.[45]

20th Rudge-Whitworth Biennial Cup (1953/1954)Edit

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Score
1 S
750
57   Automobiles Deutsch et Bonnet   René Bonnet
  Élie Bayol
DB HBR-MC 1.334
2 S
5.0
14   Jaguar Cars Ltd.   Duncan Hamilton
  Tony Rolt
Jaguar D-Type 1.297
3 S
8.0
2   Briggs Cunningham   William "Bill" Spear
  Sherwood Johnston
Cunningham C4-R 1.205

StatisticsEdit

Taken from Quentin Spurring's book, officially licensed by the ACO

  • Fastest Lap in practice – Maglioli, #3 Ferrari 375 Plus & Walker, #12 Jaguar D-Type – 4m 18.0s; 188.23 kp/h (116.96 mph)
  • Fastest Lap – González, #4 Ferrari 375 Plus & Marzotto, #3 Ferrari 375 Plus – 4m 16.8s; 189.14 kp/h (117.53 mph)
  • Fastest Car in Speedtrap – Moss, #12 Jaguar D-Type – 278.15 kp/h (172.84 mph)
  • Distance – 4061.15 km (2523.56 miles)
  • Winner's Average Speed – 169.22 km/h (105.15 mph)
  • Attendance – ?

World Championship Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Championship Points
1   Ferrari 22
2   Lancia 14
3   Jaguar 9
4   Osca 8
5   Maserati 5
6=   Aston Martin 4
  Austin-Healey 4
  Cunningham 4
9=   Kieft 1
  Porsche 1
  Gordini 1

Championship points were awarded for the first six places in each race in the order of 8-6-4-3-2-1. Manufacturers were only awarded points for their highest finishing car, with no points awarded for positions filled by additional cars.

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ http://www.racingsportscars.com/race/Le_Mans-1954-06-13.html
  2. ^ a b Clarke 1997, p.99: Motor Sport July 1954
  3. ^ a b c d Spurring 2011, p.183
  4. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.182
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Moity 1974, p.56
  6. ^ a b c d http://www.sportscars.tv/Newfiles/lemans54.html
  7. ^ a b c Spurring 2011, p.181
  8. ^ Clarke 1997, p.98: Autosport June 1954
  9. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.186
  10. ^ Spurring 2011, p.188
  11. ^ a b c Spurring 2011, p.184
  12. ^ a b c d e f Clarke 1997, p.103: Motor Sport Jul 1954
  13. ^ a b c d Spurring 2011, p.197
  14. ^ a b c Spurring 2011, p.203
  15. ^ a b Clausager 1982, p.88
  16. ^ a b c d Spurring 2011, p.192
  17. ^ a b c Clausager 1982, p.89
  18. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.201
  19. ^ Laban 2001, p.115
  20. ^ a b c d Clarke 1997, p.101: Motor Sport Jul 1954
  21. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.204
  22. ^ Spurring 2011, p.180
  23. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.187
  24. ^ a b c Henry 1988, p.33
  25. ^ http://www.conceptcarz.com/articles/article.aspx?articleID=3028
  26. ^ a b c d e f http://www.24h-lemans.com/en/news/le-mans-1954-gonzalez-and-trintignant_2_2_1746_10090.html
  27. ^ a b c d e f http://www.sportscars.tv/Newsfiles/lemans54.html[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ Clarke 1997, p.105: Road & Track Sept 1954
  29. ^ Spurring 2011, p.200
  30. ^ a b c d e Clarke 1997, p.102: Motor Sport Jul 1954
  31. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.193
  32. ^ Clarke 1997, p.106: Road & Track Sept 1954
  33. ^ Spurring 2011, p.198
  34. ^ a b Henry 1988, p.34
  35. ^ a b Henry 1988, p.35
  36. ^ Clausager 1982, p.90
  37. ^ Moity 1974, p.55
  38. ^ Moity 1974, p.52
  39. ^ Clarke 1997, p.107: Road & Track Sept 1954
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-11-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ Spurring 2011, p.195
  42. ^ a b Spurring 2011, p.191
  43. ^ Spurring 2011, p.202
  44. ^ Spurring 2011, p.2
  45. ^ Clarke 1997, p.88

ReferencesEdit

  • Spurring, Quentin (2011) Le Mans 1949-59 Sherborne, Dorset: Evro Publishing ISBN 978-1-84425-537-5
  • Clarke, R.M. - editor (1997) Le Mans 'The Jaguar Years 1949-1957' Cobham, Surrey: Brooklands Books ISBN 1-85520-357X
  • Clausager, Anders (1982) Le Mans London: Arthur Barker Ltd ISBN 0-213-16846-4
  • Henry, Alan (1988) Fifty Famous Motor Races Northamptonshire: Patrick Stephen Ltd ISBN 0-85059-937-7
  • Laban, Brian (2001) Le Mans 24 Hours London: Virgin Books ISBN 1-85227-971-0
  • Moity, Christian (1974) The Le Mans 24 Hour Race 1949-1973 Radnor, Pennsylvania: Chilton Book Co ISBN 0-8019-6290-0
  • Pomeroy, L. & Walkerley, R. - editors (1954) The Motor Year Book 1954 Bath: The Pitman Press

External linksEdit

  • Racing Sports Cars – Le Mans 24 Hours 1954 entries, results, technical detail. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  • Le Mans History – Le Mans History, hour-by-hour (incl. pictures, YouTube links). Retrieved 20 November 2016..
  • Formula 2 – Le Mans 1954 results & reserve entries. Retrieved 20 November 2016.


World Sportscar Championship
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