Pedro Rodriguez has just made an outstanding start in The Le Mans 24 Hours on June 20, 1964. Rodriguez is driving a four liter Ferrari 330P entered by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team. This was a car that had competed at Le Mans the year before, finishing third, as a works 250P with a smaller three liter motor. Rodriguez and his co-driver the Californian semi-professional Skip Hudson will retire after over three hours with engine failure. Rodriguez had been very fast in practice, just behind one of the works Ferraris and one of the Ford GT40s.
Visible at the start on the left is car n. 19 a Scuderia Ferrari 330P which is being driven by John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini and will finish third overall. Still waiting to move off behind car n. 19 are the two factory Ford GT40s, but neither will finish in Ford’s first attempt at Le Mans. Coming up next to car n. 19 is another Ferrari 330P (n. 14) which is entered by Maranello Concessionaires and driven by Graham Hill and Jo Bonnier. They will finish second overall. Behind car n. 14 is car n. 21, a works Ferrari 275P of Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti, a non-finisher. On the right side of the photograph is another Ferrari, the 250LM n. 58 of the North American Racing Team, which is being driven by David Piper. He will not even complete the first lap with oil system failure so his very quick co-driver Jochen Rindt will not get to drive.
Out of all this confusion will come another works Ferrari 275P, driven by Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella here seen at the left accelerating out of Tertre Rouge at the beginning of the Mulsanne Straight. It is still in its angled grid place in the above photograph of the start. This n. 20 driven by a pair of experienced sports car drivers and by no means the fastest in practice, will win by five laps. With this win at Le Mans this 275P, chassis number 0816, became a two-time Le Mans winner because it was also the winner of the 1963 race as a 250P.
Photos by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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