Re-creation runs clean
Four-times Le Mans winner steps back in time to tame the car which nearly ended his career before his first triumph at La Sarthe
Thirty-seven years after nearly losing his life in the aborted Matra MS640, Henri Pescarolo drove the rebuilt version of the car he should have raced at Le Mans in 1969. In April that year, Pescarolo was testing the car on the Mulsanne Straight when it flipped over backwards, landed on its wheels and crashed into the trees. Pescarolo was lucky to escape before the car was burned out.
The cars were withdrawn from the race and the 640 project was canned. However, in recent years, Jean-Paul Humbert led a team that recreated the car from original drawings and invited Pescarolo to try the car on a 3km runway, complete with revised aerodynamics and suspension.
“It doesn’t fly quite as high as it used to,” joked Pescarolo after reaching 177mph on the test run.