By Simon Taylor and Patrick McNally (Autosport 18 June 1970)
The 2-litre Group 6 class was small but interesting. French hopes naturally rested with the
Ligier JS1, the Cosworth FVC-powered prototype which had already done several French races.
Naturally its manufacturer, Guy Ligier, was at the wheel, sharing with Jean-Claude Andruet.
Three Chevron B16s completed the class; Ian "Mo" Skailes was in his usual green FVC-powered
car, entered by the works and shared with John Hine, while Chevron built a special car, chassis
no. 026 (homologation can't be far away!) for Digby Martland and Clive Baker. Looking for
reliability, Chevron opted for a 2-litre BMW unit, for which they were claiming just under 200
bhp. Finally there was the raucous Mazda Wankel-powered B16 of the Belgians Yves Deprez
and Julien Vernaeve, the lightest car in the race at 570 kgs. After encouraging at Spa and the
Nürburgring, the outings on the faces of the inscrutable Japanese mechanics were wider than
ever, although the car lacked out-and out speed.
The 2-litre Group 5 class were even smaller; a pair of Porsche 910s for Christian Poirot/Ernst
Kraus/Jean Vinatier and Willi Meier/Daniel Rouveyan, and Roy Johnson's Chevron-BMW B8 for
himself and American Erwin Barnes. As it turned out, both the 910s ran in the Group 6 class,
and the Chevron was not allowed to start after being slow and wayward on the Mulsanne
Straight in practice, incurring the wrath of the organisers.
Dominating the GT entry in weight (1380 kgs), cubic capacity and exhaust noise were the two
7-litre Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays. One was entered by French General Motors specialist
Henri "Titi" Greder for himself and Jean-Pierre Rouget, while the Ecurie Leopard machine was
driven by Joseph Bourdon and Jean-Claude Aubriet.
The came the string of Porsche 911s which as usual were mainly French-entered and which as
usual had absolutely no place in a race catering for 230 mph machinery; the quickest Group 5
cars were having to lap the 911s once every four laps. However, their utter reliability ensured
that several would be there at the finish. In 2.2-litre 911s were Jean Gaban/Willy Braillard,
Claude Laurent/ Jacques Marche/Michel Jullien, Nick Koob/Erwin Kremer, Jean Egretaud/Jean
Mesange, Jacques Rey/Bernard Cheneviére and Claude Haldi/Artur Blank. In 2-litre 911s were
Sylvian Garant/Guy Verrier, Jean Sage/Pierre Greub, Jean-Claude Lagniez/Claude Swietlik and
Jacky Dechaumel/Jean-Claude Parot. Relieving the 911 boredom was a single 914/6 entered by
the French Porsche distributor Sonauto for Guy Chasseuil/Claude Ballot-Lena.
The Ligier JS 1 driven by Guy Ligier/Jean-Claude Andruet
The Porsche 914/6 driven by Claude Ballot-Léna/Guy Chasseuil
The Chevrolet Corvette driven by Joseph Bourdon/Jean-Claude Aubriet