1964 24 Hours of Le Mans

1964 24 Hours of Le Mans
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Index: Races | Winners

The 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 32nd Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 20 and 21 June 1964. It was also the ninth round of the 1964 World Sportscar Championship season.

This year marked the arrival of American teams in force, with Ford V8 engines in ten cars. It also marked the last appearance of Aston Martin and Jaguar for twenty years.[1] Over half the entrants were now mid- or rear-engined, and almost half the field had a 3-litre engine or bigger. But the number of retirements due to gearbox and clutch issues from the increased power in the cars was noticeable.[2]

Ferrari was the winner for a record fifth year in a row – the 275 P of Nino Vaccarella and former Ferrari-privateer Jean Guichet covered a record distance. Second was the Ferrari of Graham Hill and Jo Bonnier for the British Maranello Concessionaires team, ahead of the works 330 P of John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini. Ferrari dominance of the GT category was broken for the first time however by the new Shelby Cobra of Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant finishing in fourth ahead of two of the Ferrari 250 GTOs.

Le Mans in 1964

Regulations

Aside from a few adjustments to the sliding scale of minimum weight to engine capacity, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) made very few changes to its regulations this year. With the greatly disparate speeds, the minimum engine size was increased from 700cc to 1000cc.[1] Otherwise, the final lap now had to be completed in fifteen minutes, down from twenty minutes.[3][4]