The eleventh edition of this year’s Le Mans Legend has also been reserved for the Sports and Gt cars built between 1949 and 1965. In the paddock you could see, side by side, cars like Aston Martin, Jaguar, Ferrari, Morgan, Porsche, Lotus, Lister and many others, in a puzzle very much aspired indeed. Spectators were particularly charmed by the jaguar D Type, long nose shaped, in which Hawthorn-Bueb drivers won the 24 Hours in 1955, a fantastic Aston Martin DBR1 that won the 1000 km of the 1957 Nürburgring with Tony Brooks and Noël Cunningham-Reid, and a good number of Ferraris and Porsches RS60 and RS61. At the wheel of them there were also some great names of the past like David Piper, grappling with an ill-tempered Ferrari Prototype 365P2, Emanuele Pirro co-driver with Roger Wills of a Lotus 15 and above all Stirling Moss who, however, during practice and after a lap at the wheel of his Porsche RS61, handed over the drive to his friend Jan Nuthall declaring his retirement from the motor racing at an age well over eighty!
As usual the drivers didn’t spare themselves on track: during the practice hour run on Thursday afternoon, the best time was set by Alex Buncombe at the wheel of his Lister Knobbly ahead of the other Lister driven by Minshaw, the AC Cobra driven by Oliver Bryant-Graheme Bryante and a yellow Ferrari 250LM of Carlos Monteverde, the former winner in 2009. On Saturday morning, when the red light went off, the first four drivers were immediately engaged in some little skirmishes with the result of favouring the Bizzarrini 5300 Competizione driven by Joe Twyman and Roger Wills. On Mulsanne bend, they found themselves early in the lead, by also moving a lunge. Two Listers were in trouble with their brakes, at first were overtaken by Oliver Bryant and then by Monteverde. On lap four when the mandatory pit-stops started with the Bizzarrini car, Monteverde and Buncombe stopped at pits, whilst Bryant and Jon Minshaw, the other two leaders, were running one lap more. When this lottery to refill was over, the Bizzarrini lost ground remarkably, with the result of being overtaken by Monteverde, troubled by an oil leakage which caused his very fast Ferrari to seem an old locomotive, to Graheme Bryant and Buncombe, the latter started pressing his rival. Behind the first ones there was also an occasion for some peculiar accidents like the one that, on Dunlop chicane, saw acting as protagonists the AC Ace with Adrian Hall and Nick Adams together with the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica driven by Martin Hunt and Patrick Blakeney-Edward, with the former who couldn’t avoid his rival who had to stop in the mid-track after a spin. Two laps from the end a twist closed the race: while an undisturbed Monteverde was running to the win, the AC Cobra suddenly slowed down at the exit of the Play Station, and after a while was forced to retire leaving the second place to Buncombe who, not satisfied with the result, tried in vain to get closer to the future winner, while Minshaw, thanks to a great finale had the better of the Bizzarrini driven by Twyman-Wills, gaining the third step of podium.