Le Mans in History

Motor Races: Indianapolis 500

Events in Sport

  • 1906-06-26 Hungarian driver Ferenc Szisz in a Renault AK 90CV wins 1st Grand-Prix motor racing event in Le Mans, France
  • 1923-05-26 Inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race for cars starts through public roads around Le Mans, France; inaugural winners: André Lagache and René Léonard (France) for Chenard & Walcker
  • 1955-06-11 Le Mans race car accident kills 83 spectators (race continues)
  • 1955-06-13 Mercedes racing car kills 77 at Le Mans, France
  • 1955-08-03 Automobile Association of America ends support of auto racing, Le Mans disaster and Bill Vukovich death at Indianapolis contributing factors

Sports History

1967-06-11 A. J. Foyt and Dan Gurney drive a Ford to victory in Le Mans

  • 1991-06-23 Mazda becomes 1st Japanese car to capture Le Mans 24 hour race

Sports History

2018-06-17 24 Hours of Le Mans: Former F1 world champion Fernando Alonso teams with Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi to win for Toyota Gazoo Racing

  • 2019-06-16 24 Hours of Le Mans: 2-time World F1 champion Fernando Alonso along with Swiss driver Sébastien Buemi and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima win back-to-back titles for Toyota Gazoo Racing

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1873-09-20 Ferenc Szisz, Hungarian auto racer (winner 1st Grand Prix motor racing event in Le Mans, France 1906), born in Szeghalom, Hungary (d. 1944)
  • 1884-05-01 Francis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe, British politician, naval officer and auto racer (1931 Le Mans), born in Mayfair, London (d. 1964)
  • 1892-11-16 Tazio Nuvolari, Italian auto racer (72 x major race wins; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1933; European Championship 1932), born in Castel d'Ario, Italy (d. 1953)
  • 1896-07-26 Henry Birkin, British auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans class 8.0 1929; class 3.0 1931), born in Nottingham, England (d. 1933)
  • 1908-02-26 Jean-Pierre Wimille, French auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1937, 39 Bugatti T57), born in Paris, France (d. 1949)
  • 1918-10-16 Tony Rolt, English auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1953; British Empire Trophy 1939), born in Bordon, England (d. 2008)
  • 1924-01-12 Olivier Gendebien, Belgian auto racer (24 hours of Le Mans 1958, 60-62), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1998)
  • 1927-04-20 Phil Hill, American auto racer (F1 world champion 1961; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1958, 61, 62), born in Miami, Florida (d. 2008)
  • 1932-02-29 Masten Gregory, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1961, 65 [Jochen Rindt]), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1985)
  • 1933-03-04 Nino Vaccarella, Italian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1964; 12 Hours of Sebring 1970), born in Palermo, Sicily, Italy (d. 2021)
  • 1933-04-27 Bob Bondurant, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans GT +3.0 1964; Shelby American, Ferrari, Eagle teams), born in Evanston, Illinois (d. 2021)
  • 1934-11-10 Lucien Bianchi, Italian-Belgian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1968), born in Milan, Italy (d. 1969)

A. J. FoytA. J. Foyt (88 years old)

1935-01-16 American auto racer (Indianapolis 500, 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977; 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1967; Daytona 500, 1972; 24 Hours of Daytona, 1983, 1985; 12 Hours of Sebring 1985), born in Houston, Texas

  • 1935-12-21 Lorenzo Bandini, Italian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1963; 24 Hours of Daytona 1967), born in Marj, Libya (d. 1967)
  • 1937-06-03 Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, French auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1978, 80), born in Caen, France (d. 2021)
  • 1939-03-12 John Paul Sr, Dutch-American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1978; 24 Hours of Daytona 1982; 12 Hours of Sebring 1982), born in Netherlands (disappeared 2001)
  • 1940-01-18 Pedro Rodriguez, Mexican racing driver (Le Mans, 1968), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 1971)
  • 1941-10-31 Derek Bell, British auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1975, 81, 82, 86, 87; World Sportscar C'ship 1985, 86; 24 Hours of Daytona 1987, 89), born in Pinner, England
  • 1942-10-01 Jean-Pierre Jabouille, French auto racer (55 x F1 GP, 2 wins; 4 x 3rd overall 24 Hours of Le Mans), born in Paris, France (d. 2023)
  • 1943-04-27 Helmut Marko, Austrian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1971), born in Graz, Austria
  • 1944-05-26 Sam Posey, American auto racer (12 Hours of Sebring 1975; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1971 3rd) and TV commentator (ABC Sports), born in NYC, New York
  • 1945-01-01 Jacky Ickx, Belgian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1969, 75-77, 81-82; 8 x F1 wins; Dakar Rally 1983; Bathurst 1000 1977), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • 1945-11-27 Alain de Cadenet, English auto racer (3 x 24 Hours of Le Mans class 3rd place) and broadcaster (Speed Channel, ESPN, Velocity Channel, Petrolicious website), born in London, England (d. 2022)
  • 1946-01-23 Don Whittington, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1979), born in Lubbock, Texas
  • 1947-03-07 Walter Röhrl, German auto racer / rally car driver (World Rally C'ship 1980, 82; 24 Hours of Le Mans GTP +3.0 class 1981; Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record 1987), born in Regensburg, Germany
  • 1947-12-02 Andy Rouse, British auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1981; British Saloon Car C'ship 1975, 83-85; Britcar 1985), born in Dymock, Gloucestershire, England
  • 1948-05-04 Hurley Haywood, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1977, 83, 94; 24 Hours of Daytona 1973, 75, 77, 79, 91), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1949-09-11 Bill Whittington, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1979), born in Lubbock, Texas (d. 2021)
  • 1951-01-01 Hans-Joachim Stuck, German auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1986-87, 96; 24 Hours of Nürburgring 1970, 98, 2004; World Sportscar C'ship 1985), born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 1955-06-26 Philippe Streiff, French auto racer (55 x F1 Grand Prix; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1981 runner-up; French Formula 3 C'ship 1981), born in La Tronche, France (d. 2022)
  • 1959-06-01 Martin Brundle, British auto racer (World Sportscar C'ship 1988; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1990) and F1 television commentator (ITV, BBC), born in King's Lynn, England
  • 1964-06-25 Johnny Herbert, British race car driver (Le Mans 24 Hours, 1991), television announcer (Sky Sports F1), born in Brentwood, Essex, England
  • 1965-09-05 David Brabham, Australian auto racer (3 x 24 Hours of Le Mans; American Le Mans Series 2009, 10; 4 x 12 Hours of Sebring; Bathurst 1000 1997), born in London, England
  • 1966-04-08 Mark Blundell, British auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1992), born in London, England
  • 1972-03-04 Jos Verstappen, Dutch auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class, LMP2 Drivers' title 2008), born in Montfort, Netherlands
  • 1974-05-05 Seiji Ara, Japanese auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 2004), born in Chiba, Japan
  • 1974-05-29 Marc Gené, Spanish auto racer (Ferrari, Williams F1, Le Mans 2009), born in Sabadell, Catalonia
  • 1975-11-02 Stéphane Sarrazin, French auto racer (Le Mans Series 2007, 10; French Formula Renault 1994; 24 Hours of Le Mans x 4 runner-up), born in Barjac, Gard, France
  • 1979-02-28 Sébastien Bourdais, French auto racer, (Champ Car World Series 2004-07, Le Mans 24 Hours 2016), born in Le Mans, France
  • 1980-07-25 Toni Vilander, Finnish auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans LMGTE Pro class 2012, 14; FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers 2014; FIA GT C'ship GT2 class 2007, 08), born in Kankaanpää, Finland

Fernando AlonsoFernando Alonso (41 years old)

1981-07-29 Spanish auto racer (World Formula 1 Drivers Champion 2005-06; 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018-19; FIA World Endurance C'ship 2018-19), born in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain

  • 1981-09-24 Ryan Briscoe, American auto racer (24 Hours of Daytona 2020; 12 Hours of Sebring LMP2 class 2013; Petit Le Mans LMP2 class 2008, 13), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1981-10-22 Olivier Pla, French auto racer (Le Mans Series LMP2 2009; FIA World Endurance C'ship LMP2 2013,14 runner-up; 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 2013 runner-up), born in Toulouse, France
  • 1987-04-01 Oliver Turvey, English auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans – LMP2 2014), born in Penrith, Cumbria, England

Deaths in Sport

  • 1933-06-22 Henry Birkin, British auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans class 8.0 1929; class 3.0 1931), dies from malaria at 36
  • 1944-02-21 Ferenc Szisz, Hungarian auto racer (winner 1st Grand Prix motor racing event in Le Mans, France 1906), dies at 70
  • 1949-01-28 Jean-Pierre Wimille, French auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1937, 39 Bugatti T57), dies in practice accident for Buenos Aires GP at 40
  • 1953-08-11 Tazio Nuvolari, Italian auto racer (72 x major race wins; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1933; European Championship 1932), dies from a stroke at 60
  • 1964-07-26 Francis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe, British politician, naval officer and auto racer (1931 Le Mans), dies at 80
  • 1967-05-10 Lorenzo Bandini, Italian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1963; 24 Hours of Daytona 1967), dies after a race accident in Monaco F1 GP at 31
  • 1969-03-30 Lucien Bianchi, Italian-Belgian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1968), dies during Le Mans testing accident at 34
  • 1971-07-11 Pedro Rodríguez, Mexican racing driver (Le Mans, 1968), killed in crash during sports car race at Norisring in Nuremberg, West Germany at 31
  • 1985-11-08 Masten Gregory, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1961, 65 [Jochen Rindt]), dies at 53
  • 1998-10-02 Olivier Gendebien, Belgian auto racer (24 hours of Le Mans 1958, 60-62), dies at 74
  • 2008-02-06 Tony Rolt, English auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1953; British Empire Trophy 1939), dies at 89
  • 2008-08-28 Phil Hill, American auto racer (F1 world champion 1961; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1958, 61, 62), dies at 81
  • 2012-01-29 François Migault, French auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1976 runner-up; 16 F1 GP), dies from cancer at 67
  • 2021-04-23 Bill Whittington, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1979), dies in a plane crash at 71
  • 2021-07-22 Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, French auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1978, 80), dies from a heart attack at 84
  • 2021-09-23 Nino Vaccarella, Italian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1964; 12 Hours of Sebring 1970), dies at 88
  • 2021-11-12 Bob Bondurant, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans GT +3.0 1964; Shelby American, Ferrari, Eagle teams), dies at 88
  • 2022-07-02 Alain de Cadenet, English auto racer (3 x 24 Hours of Le Mans class 3rd place) and broadcaster (Speed Channel, ESPN, Velocity Channel, Petrolicious website), dies at 76
  • 2022-12-23 Philippe Streiff, French auto racer (55 x F1 Grand Prix; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1981 runner-up; French Formula 3 C'ship 1981), dies at 67
  • 2023-02-02 Jean-Pierre Jabouille, French auto racer (55 x F1 GP, 2 wins; 4 x 3rd overall 24 Hours of Le Mans), dies at 80