History | 28.10.2018
How Mike Hawthorn won Jaguar’s first Le Mans race – but left a trackside holocaust in his wake that would change racing forever.
The 1955 Le Mans race was always set to be a memorable one. After a promising second-place finish for its D-type the previous year, Jaguar returned to La Sarthe with a revised version of the car it had purpose-built to win the world’s greatest endurance race. Title-holder Ferrari was back with a gaggle of six-cylinder 121LMs. And Mercedes, which had just proved the potency of its new 300SLR sports-racer by winning the Mille Miglia, had thrown its Tyrolean into the ring with an all-star team that included Moss, Fangio and Kling. Practice times had been front-page news; everything was in place for an epic Coventry-Modena-Stuttgart showdown.
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