Sunday, 17 October 2010

Women at Le Mans: 1950 - 1979



Yvette Fontaine, Christine Beckers and Marie Laurent in 1974

After the Second World War, it took a while for motor racing to get back to where it had been beforehand. The early 1950s was not the easiest time for female drivers, but a few managed to break through.
The biggest factor affecting women's participation at Le Mans during this period was the fallout from Annie Bousquet's fatal accident at the Reims 12 Hours in 1956. Due to the negative publicity this sad event triggered, French motorsport authorities were "reluctant" to accept entries from female drivers for a long time afterwards, meaning that none competed at all at Le Mans between 1955 and 1970.
During the 1970s, there was another boom in the number of female entrants, including Anny-Charlotte Verney and Lella Lombardi.

1950
Germaine Rouault/Regine Gordine (Simca Gordini TMM) - DNF
Yvonne Simon/Michel Casse (Ferrari 166MM) - DNF

1951
Yvonne Simon/Betty Haig (Ferrari 166 MM Berlinetta) - 15th

1954
Gilberte Thirion/André Pilette (Gordini T17S) - DNF

1971
Marie-Claude Beaumont/Henri Greder (Chevrolet Corvette) - DNF

1972
Marie-Claude Beaumont/Henri Greder (Chevrolet Corvette) - DNF

1973
Marie-Claude Beaumont/Henri Greder (Chevrolet Corvette) - 12th (class win)
Christine Beckers/Roger Dubos/Pierre Pagani (Chevron B21/23 Ford) - DNF

1974
Anny-Charlotte Verney/Corinne Tarnaud/Pierre Mauroy (Porsche Carrera RSR) - 13th
Christine Beckers/Marie Laurent/Yvette Fontaine (Chevron B23 Ford) - 17th (class win)
Marie-Claude Beaumont/Henri Greder (Chevrolet Corvette) - 18th

1975
Anny-Charlotte Verney/Corinne Tarnaud/Yvette Fontaine (Porsche Carrera RS) - 11th
Marianne Hoepfner/Michèle Mouton/Christine Dacremont (Moynet LM75 JRD) - 21st (class win)
Marie-Claude Beaumont/Lella Lombardi (Alpine-Renault A441C) - DNF

1976
Anny-Charlotte Verney/Hubert Streibig/Hugues Kirschoffer (Porsche 934) - 11th
Martine Renier/Thierry Perrier/Guy de Saint-Pierre (Porsche Carrera RSR) - 18th
Marie-Claude Beaumont/Didier Pironi/Bob Wollek (Porsche 934) - 19th
Lella Lombardi/Christine Dacremont (Lancia Stratos Turbo) - 20th
Christine Beckers/Jean Rondeau/Jean-Pierre Jaussaud (Inaltera Ford) - 21st

1977
Lella Lombardi/Christine Beckers (Inaltera Ford) - 11th
Anny-Charlotte Verney/Rene Metge/Dany Snobeck/Hubert Streibig (Porsche Carrera RSR) - 18th
Anna Cambiaghi/Raymond Touroul/Alain Cudini (Osella PA5 BMW) - DNF
Christine Dacremont/Marianne Hoepfner (Lancia Stratos Turbo) - DNF

1978
Anny-Charlotte Verney/Xavier Lapeyre/Francois Servanin (Porsche Carrera RSR) - 12th (class win)
Marianne Hoepfner/Christine Dacremont (WM P76 Peugeot) - DNF
Juliette Slaughter/Ian Harrower/Brian Joscelyne (Lola T294S Ford) - DNF

1979
Anny-Charlotte Verney/Rene Metge/Patrick Bardinon (Posche 934) - 19th

Post 1979 results here

(Image copyright Corbis Images)

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