Slot Classic CJ-11/1

To be part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is obviously very attractive for any driver. The magic of the La Sarthe racetrack lies on any of its curves, pit boxes, an of course, all the show surrounding it…

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But when the night falls, the race takes a special character. The sound of the motors in the dark, broken by the car lights, and the bustle of the usual attractions from the surroundings of the circuits, make of this competition a unique and peerless spectacle. Doubtlessly, an absolute must for drivers, companies and motor racing fans.

The couple of french pilots Jean Kerguen and Jacques “Franc” Dewez were aware of this. Between both they made 20 Le Mans participations overall between 1954 and 1967. In seven ocassions  they participated as a team with different vehicles and results, like a excelent tenth position in 1958 driving a Porche RS. However, their numbers are far from ideal when it comes to withdrawals. Jena Kerguen participated other three times with other three partners. In 1957 his eleventh position and first of the class from 2001 to 3000 c.c. driving a Aston Martin DB 3S was outstanding. The participations of “Franc” without Kerguen were worse: once he drived for just nine hours whereas the other two times he didn’t go further than the first hour of race…

The chosen unit brings us back to the 1961 race, where this couple of pilots suffered a frustrating withdrawal due to electric problems in the last hour of race with their Aston Martin DB IV GT Zagato butter colour. Obviously it wasn’t a great year for David Brown’s machines: other two standar units of the Zagato had the same luck, one for the couple formed by the australians Lex Davison and Bib Stilwell (dorsal number 3) and the other for the english Jack Fairmain and the french Bernard Constein (dorsal number 2). Surprisingly both ended in the third hour and for the same reason: the motor.

Undoubtely, Jean and “Franc” didn’t have the luck by their side in the french race. However, they couldn’t resist, for more than a decade, the temptation of the premier endurance competition.


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