For this summer series, let's take a look a closer look at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and some extraordinary stories at different moments in its history. The focus of this third installment is 1957.
A bridge through time - Two snapshots taken more than 50 years apart show the adminstrative and technical checks known as Scrutineering launching Le Mans race week: in 1957 at the Quinconce des Jacobins, in 2018 at the Place de la République. In 1957, the #36 Porsche 356A shared by Maurice Slotine and Roland Bourel was forced to retire, but this year the 911 RSR (sporting the "Pink Pig" livery of the #23 Porsche from the 1971 24 Hours) driven by Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor won the LMGTE Pro class.
The 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans - Ron Flockhart and Ivor Bueb clinched Jaguar's fifth victory at the 24 Hours and the third consecutive for the Type D. It was a true triumph for the British marque, placing five cars in the top 6...along with one Ferrari in fifth place thanks to Stuart Lewis-Evans and Martino Severi. Flockhart won his second consecutive win as five other previous and future 24 Hours winners figured in the top 10: Ivor Bueb (first), Ninian Sanderson (second), Paul Frère (fourth), Duncan Hamilton (sixth) and Lucien Bianchi (seventh) in 1955, 1956, 1960, 1953 and 1968 respectively.
Motorsport in 1957 - Juan Manuel Fangio's victory at the German Grand Prix on 4 August was his 24th (and final) win in F1, earning him his fifth (and also final) world title with two races still left in the season. That year, the Argentinian driver also claimed his second consecutive top step on the 12 Hours of Sebring podium, at the wheel of a Maserati shared with Frenchman Jean Behra.
In other news that year - The first artificial Earth satellite called Sputnik 1 was launched into orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October, kicking off the great space race between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. In 1958, NASA and the first American space program, Mercury, were created.