1971 Le Mans 24 Hours
- Saturday, June 12, 1971
- 24 heures du Mans
- International Championship of Makes
French hopes were given a boost at breakfast time when the shrill Matra 660 of Amon/Beltoise moved into second place, but at 8.45 a.m. the fuel injection system broke and the car was abandoned, leaving the privately-entered Ferrari 512Ms of Americans Adamowicz/Posey and British pairing Craft/Weir into third and fourth positions.
This year the weather was kind and, with not a hint of rain during the night, the average speed stayed high and the winners covered a record distance, further than the 7-litre Mk. 2 Ford of Foyt/Gurney which covered 5,232.9 kms. in 1967, before the chicane was built.
The 1971 Le Mans 24-Hours will go down as one of the less memorable races for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the main one was that, with a couple of minor exceptions, there were no really new models in the race in this last year of the 5-litre cars. There were no official, or for that matter semi-official, entries from Ferrari or Alfa Romeo and there was a disappointing lack of 2-litre Group 6 cars which are now far too busy with their own championship to bother with this car-breaking race. Thus the field was made up with a very large number of make-weight Porsche 911s which proved thoroughly boring to watch and probably rather boring to drive except when you had a Ferrari 512 lapping you on one side and a Porsche 917 on the other!
Circuit - Le Mans
Le Mans, Pays de la Loire
Temporary road course
Jackie Oliver (Porsche 917L), 3m18.4, 151.857 mph, Sports Cars, 1971
First Race1911 Unofficial French Grand Prix