The most successful
F1 chassis of all time,
Tyrrell 003, is featured
in our story on page 20.
But its eight GP wins
are very nearly
matched by Fernando
Alonso’s Renault R26.
He used the same car
throughout 2006, and
hence R26-03 can be
credited with all seven
of the wins that
brought him a second
That actual car is now
in Renault’s heritage
collection in Paris.
lsewhere in this issue, you’ll find the
tale of Joest Racing’s privateer Porsche
956 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in
back to back years, 1984-’ 85 (page 54).
Chassis 956/117 is clearly an extra-special example of a truly great racecar,
and its achievement hasn’t been bettered.
But it has been matched by three cars.
The first of these was the hallowed “Old
Number One” Bentley Speed Six. This
handsome beast from Bentley’s most
glorious era was powered by a 6.6-liter
( 403cu.in.), inline six-cylinder engine
producing 200hp, and was the successor
to Bentley 3- and 4.5-liter cars that had
conquered Le Mans in 1924, ’ 27 and ’ 28.
Woolf Barnato (who’d won Le Mans the
previous year in the 4.5-liter car) and
Henry “Tim” Birkin drove to a seven-lap
winning margin in 1929 at an average
speed of 73.6mph, beating three 4.5-liter
cars in a Bentley 1-2-3-4. The factory
Bentley team added two more Speed
Sixes to its Le Mans roster for 1930, but
again it was Barnato, this time partnered
by Glen Kidston, who drove Old Number
One to victory, completing a four-win
sequence for the prestige marque.
Chassis P/1075 did the same for Ford,
nailing the third and fourth straight wins for
the mighty GT40. With the 7-liter Mk IVs
banned for 1968 as rule-makers sought
to reduce speeds, John Wyer Automotive
used the 4.9-liter Mk I which was
perceived to be at a disadvantage against
the factory cars (now restricted to three
liters) from Porsche, Alpine and Matra.
Yet Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi
took JWA’s P/1075 to victory lane.
The following year, the old brute
retained its kingpin status after Jacky Ickx
fought a thrilling duel to the flag with the
Porsche 908 of Hans Herrman.
The 1996 Le Mans-winning Porsche
WSC- 95 actually started life as Jaguar
XJR- 14 chassis 791, yet with Joest
running the TWR-built machine and a
Porsche 3-liter turbo powering it, it was
renamed chassis #001, and won in the
hands of Davy Jones, Manuel Reuter and
Alex Wurz. Remarkably, no one found a
way to beat this elegant hybrid (in the
word’s original sense) LMP over the next
12 months, so Tom Kristensen, Michele
Alboreto and Stefan Johansson used it to
win in ’ 97, beating all the GT1 cars.
1969 and the eventually victorious Ford GT40
of Jacky Ickx/Jackie Oliver leads its stablemate
and the Porsches on Saturday afternoon.
Seated in “Old
Number One” are
Glen Kidston and
Woolf Barnato after
Watney (on left) and
Frank Clement in a
1-2 for the Bentley
Speed Six in the 1930
24 Hours of Le Mans.
American former open-wheel ace Davy Jones
found greatest success in sports cars, and was
part of the WSC- 95’s winning lineup in ’ 96.
WHAT LE MANS’ OTHER TWO-TIME WINNING CARS
WHERE CIRCUIT DE LA SARTHE, FRANCE
WHEN 1929-’ 30, 1968-’ 69 & 1996-’ 97