Here is a photograph that seems to scream where it was taken: at Le Mans during the 24 hour race on June 9-10, 1973. Here are two Ferrari 365GTB/4s running in the 5 liter GT class next to a works-entered Ligier JS2-Maserati. The leading Ferrari in the center is from Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team and is being driven by Frenchman François Migault and Chinetti’s son, Luigi Jr., sometimes referred to as “Coco.” They will finish 13th overall and third in their class behind two other 365GTB/4s from the Parisian French Ferrari importer Automobiles Charles Pozzi.
On the left is another 365GTB/4, also entered by the North American Racing Team, this one being driven by Americans Milt Minter and Sam Posey. Their car would be retired late in the race with engine failure. Chinetti’s N.A.R.T. had also entered two other 365GTB/4s, neither of which, like the Minter/Posey car, would finish. The Ligier, driven by Jean-Pierre Paoli and Alain Couderc, will also join the ranks of the non-finishers, somewhat earlier on, also with engine problems.
In the meanwhile, up front there was a titanic battle between the four works Matras and the three factory Ferraris. Matra sent four of their MS670Bs, three new cars with Porsche transaxles, the fourth being of the same specifications of the prior year’s Le Mans winning Matra. Ferrari presented three of their very effective 312PBs, now fitted with long tail bodywork, as were the Matras. Attrition, however, would keep the result doubtful as three of the Matras and two of the Ferraris fell by the wayside, some of them in the final hours. At the finish came the leading Matra of Henri Pescarolo and Gérard Larrousse followed six laps behind by the Ferrari 312PB of Arturio Merzario and Carlos Pace.
Photo by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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