The 57th Le Mans 24-hour race was won by Frenchman, Jean Rondeau, and Jean-Peirre Jassaud, in a Rondeau M2398.
SATURDAY 14 JUNE:GV PAN Start of race.
AERIAL VIEW Car past grandstand during race.
GV Car No. 5 closely followed by car No. 4.
GV Cars on circuit and crown watching. (2 SHOTS)
Night scene (Saturday/Sunday) GV Cars during race. (3 SHOTS)
SV PAN Car No. 16 (eventual winner) leaving pits.
GV Car No. 9 on track.
GV Car No. 27 racing past grandstand.
GV Cars during race.
AERIAL VIEW Race in progress.
GV PAN Car No. 16 passing stand.
TOP VIEW Jean-Peirre Jassaud and Jean Rondeau in car surrounded by crowd.
GV Crowd watching as winner waves from balcony. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: The 57th Le Mans 24-hour race was won by Frenchman, Jean Rondeau, and Jean-Peirre Jassaud, in a Rondeau M2398. It was the first time a constructor has driven and won Le Mans in his own vehicle.
SYNOPSIS: Sudden heavy showers and a flooded track were hazards that made vehicles swerve and spin on the wet surface. The favourite was Belgium's Jacky Ickx who first won this race in 1968. He also took the honours three times in a row -- from 1975 to 1977.
Ickx retired form racing last autumn, then decided to make a one-race comeback in a Porsche trying to be the first driver to win Le Mans five times.
Mechanical failure overcame Ickx, a belt driving the fuel pump forcing him to drop from first to fourth, and finally into second.
At dawn on Sunday morning (15 June) Ickx's Porsche was still leading, a minute ahead of the Rondeau of Jean-Rondeau a Jean-Pierre Jassaud. The Porsche of American Dick Barbour and British co-drivers, John Fitzpatrick and Brian Redman, dropped back into third place after breaking a clutch cable. They had briefly taken the lead from Ickx when his car had stopped.
Another Sunday morning casualty was Mark thatcher, son of Britain;s Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who crashed after his Italian Osella team fitted a set of special tyres to his car. The Osella be was co-driving with Italian girl Lella Lombardi, was slightly damaged, but a flat battery prevented them from re-starting
The winning Rondeau was one of the very few trouble-free cars. Jean Rondeau said it crowned years of trying. He plans to build a completely new car for next year.