Premiéres Grand Prix d'Endurance les 24 Heures du Mans 1923

Send This Page To A Friend
Fade To White
Premiéres Grand Prix d'Endurance les 24 Heures du Mans 1923

Coupe Rudge-Whitworth - Circuit Permanenthe de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France
Date: May 26/27, 1923


Starters: 33
Track Length: 17,262 metres
Track Distance: 2209.536 km
Conditions: Hailstorm, heavy rain, windy
Fastest Lap: John Duff (or Frank Clement ?), Bentley, 9'39" = 107.328 km/h
Average Speed: 92.064 km/h
The city of Le Mans is best known for its connection with motorsports. There are actually two separate racing tracks at Le Mans, though they share certain portions. The smaller is the Bugatti Circuit (named after Ettore Bugatt), a relatively short permanent circuit which is used for racing throughout the year. The longer and more famous Circuit de la Sarthe is composed partly of public roads, which are closed to the public when the track is in use for racing, and has been host to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race since 1923.

At a time when Grand Prix racing was occurring throughout Europe, Le Mans was envisioned as a different test from motorsports at the time. Instead of focusing on the ability of a car company to build the fastest machines of the time, the 24 Hours of Le Mans would instead concentrate on the ability of manufacturers to build sporty yet reliable cars. This would drive innovation in not only reliable but also fuel-efficient vehicles, since the nature of endurance racing requires as little time to be spent in the pits as possible.

At the same time, due to the design of Le Mans, a drive would be created for better aerodynamics and stability of cars at high speeds. While this was shared with Grand Prix racing, few tracks in Europe featured straights the length of the Mulsanne. The fact that the road is public and therefore not maintained to the same quality as some permanent racing circuits also puts more of a strain on parts, causing more emphasis on reliability.

The first Le Mans race was held on May 26th and 27th, 1923, and has since been run annually in June, with exceptions occurring in 1956, when the race was held in July, and 1968, when it was held in September, due to nationwide political turmoils earlier that year. The race has been cancelled twice: once in the year 1936 (Great Depression) and from 1940 to 1948 (World War II and its aftermath).

Beginning in the late 1970s, the demand for fuel economy from around the world led the race to adopt a fuel economy formula known as Group C in which competitors were given a set amount of fuel, from which they had to design an engine. Although Group C was abandoned when teams were able to master the fuel formulas, fuel economy would still be important to some teams as alternative fuel sources would appear in the early 21st century, attempting to overcome time spent during pit stops.

These technological innovations have had a trickle-down effect, with technology used at Le Mans finding its way into production cars several years later. This has also led to faster and more exotic supercars due to manufacturers wishing to develop faster road cars for the purposes of developing them into even faster GT cars.

Also See: The Gordon Bennett Cup

CLASS WINNERS
5001 - 8000 cc
France
André Dills / Nicolas Caerels Excelsior
3001 - 5000 cc
France
Gérard de Courcelles / André Rossignol La Lorraine-Dietrich
2001 - 3000 cc
France
André Lagache / René Leonard Chenard & Walcker
1501 - 2000 cc
Belgium
Raymond de Tornaco / Paul Gros Bignan
1101 - 1500 cc
France
Max de Pourtales / Sosthene de la Rochefoucauld Bugatti
750 - 1100 cc
France
Lucien Desvaux / Georges Casse Salmson
Please Note: You can sort this listing by simply clicking on the column heading
TEAM / DRIVERS VEHICLE
1
1
9
Chenard & Walcker SA, Fr
André Lagache, Fr
René Léonard, Fr
Chenard & Walcker Sport 3-Litre
L4
2978
128
2209.536
2
2
10
Chenard & Walcker SA, Fr
Raoul Bachmann, Fr
Christian Dauvergne, Fr
Chenard & Walcker Sport 3-Litre
L4
2978
124
2140.488
3
3
23
Bignan, Fr
Baron Raymond de Tornaco, Be
Paul Gros, Fr
Bignan 11 HP Desmo Sport
L4
1979
120
2071.440
4
=4
8
Capt J.F. Duff, GB
Capt. John F Duff, CDN
Frank Clement, GB
Bentley 3 L Sport
L4
2996
112
1933.344
5
=4
24
Bignan, Fr
Philippe de Marne, Fr
Jean Martin, Fr
Bignan 11 HP Commercial
L4
1979
112
1933.344
6
=4
1
Compagnie Nationale Excelsior, Be
André Dills, Be
Nicolas Caerels, Be
Excelsior Albert 1er
L6
5343
112
1933.344
7
7
11
Chenard & Walcker SA, Fr
Fernand Bachmann, Fr
Raymond Glaszmann, Fr
Chenard & Walcker 15HP Tourisme
L4
2978
110
1898.820
8
8
7
-
Gérard de Courcelles, Fr
André Rossignol, Fr
La Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6
L6
3445
108
1864.296
9
9
2
Compagnie Nationale Excelsior, Be
Gonzaque Lécureul, Fr
Flaud, Fr
Excelsior Albert 1er
L6
5343
106
1829.772
10
10
28
-
Max de Pourtalés, Fr
Sosthene de la Rochefoucauld, Fr
Bugatti Brescia 16 S
L4
1495
104
1795.248
11
11
17
-
Migeot, Fr
Eugéne Verpault, Fr
Brasier TC4 (12 CV)
L4
2092
99
1708.938
12
=12
34
-
Lucien Desvaux, Fr
Georges Casse, Fr
Salmson AL
L4
1086
98
1691.676
13
=12
16
-
Belbeu, Fr
Paul Torchy, Fr
Delage DE 11 HP
L4
2116
98
1691.676
14
14
19
-
Charles Montier, Be
Albert Ouriou, Fr
Montier Speciale (Ford Model T)
L4
2008
97
1674.414
15
=15
33
-
Maurice Benoist, Fr
Luis Ramon Bueno (Buenovici ?), Fr
Salmson AL
L4
1086
93
1605.366
16
=15
21
Automobiles Georges Irat, r
M Cappé, Fr
Jean Dourianou, Fr
Georges Irat 4/A3
L4
1990
93
1605.366
17
17
14
-
Jean de Marguenat, Fr
Gaston Delalande, Fr
Rolland-Pilain B22
L4
2297
92
1588.104
18
18
35
-
Maurice Boutmy, Fr
Jérôme Marcandanti (Marcdante ?), Fr
Amilcar CV
L4
1003
89
1536.318
19
=19
5
-
Robert Bloch, Fr
Stalter, Fr
La Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6
L6
3445
88
1519.056
20
=19
12
-
Edouard Prost, Fr
Redon, Fr
Berliet VH 12 HP
L4
2617
88
1519.056
21
21
15
-
Louis Sire, Fr
Georges Guignard, Fr
Rolland-Pilain R
L4
2224
84
1450.008
22
22
29
-
Louis Pichard, Fr
René Marie, Fr
Bugatti Brescia 16 S
L4
1496
82
1415.484
23
=23
25
-
Jean Pouzet, Fr
Edmond Pichon, Fr
Rolland-Pilain RP
L4
1925
79
1393.698
24
=23
26
-
Jules Robin, Fr
Gérard Marinier, Fr
Rolland-Pilain RP
L4
1925
79
1393.698
25
=23
30
-
Louis Balart, Fr
Charles Drouin, Fr
Corre La Licorne - Ballot
L4
1393
79
1363.698
26
26
27
-
Léon Molon, Fr
Lucien Molon, Fr
Vinot Deguingand BP 10 HP
L4
1847
77
1329.174
27
27
18
-
Maillon, Fr
Léopold Jouguet, Fr
Brasier TB4 (12 CV)
L4
2090
76
1311.912
28
28
20
-
Albert Colomb, Fr
Waldemar Lestienne, Fr
Corre La Licorne EV 12 CV
L4
2000
74
1277.388
29
29
22
Automobiles Georges Irat, Fr
Milhaud, Fr
Pierre Malleveau, Fr
Georges Irat 4A/3
L4
2000
73
1260.126
30
30
32
Socitété des Automobiles a Refroidissements par Air, Fr
Lucien Erb, Fr
Robert Battagliola, Fr
S.A.R.A. ATS
L4
1098
57
983.934
31
DNF
6
-
Henri Stoffel, Fr
R Labouchére, Fr
La Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6
L4
3445
50
845.838
32
DNF
13
Socitété des Automobiles a Refroidissements par Air, Fr
Roland Jacquot, Fr
Georges Ribail, Fr
Berliet VH 12 HP
L4
2617
44
742.266
33
DNF
31
-
Francois Piazzoli, Fr
André Marandet, Fr
S.A.R.A. ATS
L4
1098
14
224.406
34
DNS
3
- Voisin
-
4000
0
35
DNS
4
- Voisin
-
4000
DNF
36
DNS
- Buc (Bucciali)
V2
1340
DNF
37
DNS
- Buc (Bucciali)
V2
1340
DNF
Latest Classic Car Classifieds

Sell Your Car or Parts Browse the Classifieds It's Absolutely Free! - Find Out More
You may also like...