Supriya Ghosh

1967 French Grand Prix

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Course  Permanent race track
Driver  Graham Hill
Course length  4.430 km (2.753 mi)
1967 French Grand Prix
Date  2 July 1967 (1967-07-02)
Location  Bugatti Circuit, Le Mans, France
Distance  80 laps, 354.40 km (220.24 mi)

The 1967 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Bugatti Circuit, Le Mans on 2 July 1967. It was the first French Grand Prix to be held in Le Mans since the first ever running of the race in 1906, and as of 2014 is the only time the Bugatti Circuit has been used for the Grand Prix, though the circuit continues to host the French motorcycle Grand Prix.

Contents

The new Bugatti circuit used the main pit straight at Le Mans, which back in 1967 did not have the Dunlop Chicane, but then turned right at "La Chapelle" into an infield section comprising the third gear "Le Musée" left hander and the second gear "Garage Vert" corner which led onto the back straight, whose only distinctive feature was the "Chemin Aux Boeups" left hand kink (now a left-right chicane) some two-thirds along, before heading back to the pit straight via the "S Bleu" and "Raccordement" corners near the entrance to the pits.

The Bugatti circuit was seen as somewhat boring and was universally unpopular with both drivers and crowds, with only a reported 20,000 attending the race. Some of the drivers were reported to have privately wished the race was run on the full 13.461 km (8.364 mi) long Circuit de la Sarthe, where the 5.7 km (3.5 mi) Mulsanne Straight was 1.3 km (0.81 mi) longer than the entire Bugatti circuit. At the time, circuit lengths of 10 km (6.2 mi) or longer were common in Grand Prix racing, including the 14.120 km (8.774 mi) Spa-Francorchamps used for the Belgian Grand Prix, and the infamous 22.835 km (14.189 mi) Nürburgring used for the German Grand Prix, so many of drivers felt using the full 24 Hours circuit should have been considered as the venue by the Automobile Club de France.

Race report

Graham Hill was on pole and led away for the first lap until Jack Brabham took over. On lap 7 Jim Clark took the lead and Hill passed Brabham to make it a Lotus 1-2. Hill then retook the lead until his crown-wheel and pinion failed on lap 14. The same problem caused Clark's retirement from the lead on lap 23, leaving Brabham ahead of Dan Gurney, Chris Amon and Denny Hulme. On lap 41 a fuel line broke on Gurney's car, making it a Brabham 1-2 and Amon's throttle cable broke several laps later. Brabham drove home serenely to win his first race in eight Grands Prix by 49.5 seconds from team mate Hulme, and over a lap in front of the BRM of Jackie Stewart.

Championship standings after the race

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1967 French Grand Prix Wikipedia


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