It is early afternoon at Le Mans, just a couple of hours before the start of the 1957 running of Les 24 Heures du Mans. Cars from the Ferrari team are being lined up in front of the pits, ready for the start that is about to come.
On the left is a Ferrari 315 Sport that will be driven by Martino Severi and Stuart Lewis-Evans into fifth place behind four Jaguar D-Types. Indeed, it will be the only car entered by Scuderia Ferrari to reach the finish, joined by a privately-entered two-liter Ferrari, out of a total of 10 Ferraris which started the race. Severi, who was primarily a Ferrari test driver, is sitting in his car, the same Ferrari which had been driven by Piero Taruffi to win the 1957 Mille Miglia.
The next Ferrari is a 335 Sport, based on Ferrari’s nomenclature indicating a 240 cc larger engine, that will be started by Mike Hawthorn, teamed with Luigi Musso. This was the car driven by Wolfgang von Trips to second place in the Mille Miglia. They will retire with engine failure on the 57th lap after Hawthorn had set a new lap record which will remain for five years. The Ferrari mechanic in brown coveralls standing next to their car appears to be Adelmo Marchetti.
Next is Phil Hill, wearing a dark blue polo shirt, standing with his back to the camera as he looks at his partially-hidden 335 Sport (n. 6). Hill had been up most of the night running-in his car’s engine on the road after it had been rebuilt during the evening following a piston failure the day before. Hill’s co-driver, Peter Collins, will take the start and will lead the race for the first two laps before immediately retiring with another piston failure.
The somewhat hefty Ferrari mechanic with the red cap overseeing mechanic Emer Vecchi in his placement of Ferrari n. 9 is Luigi Parenti, Ferrari’s senior race mechanic in the 1950s. This car is the second prototype 250 Testa Rossa and will be driven by Olivier Gendebien and Maurice Trintignant until sidelined by a blown piston. The other 250TR prototype was withdrawn after its engine blew in practice.
A new piston design, perhaps combined with the well-known low octane of the Le Mans fuel, was blamed for Ferrari’s engine troubles.
Photo by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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