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Le Mans…My First Encounter

The Ferrari 312P of Adamowicz and Parsons survived torrential rains to finish 10th overall and 3rd in class in the 1970 24-Hours of Le Mans, a race dominated by the now classic Porsche 917 vs. Ferrari 512 battle. Photo: Michael Keyser

It was June 1970, and I was en route from Los Angeles to Paris, France… this was a dream come true for a kid from Port Henry, New York. Our recent success at the Daytona 24-Hours in the Ferrari 312P NART proved the car had the strength and integrity required to do the job. I was paired with Englishman David Piper while former Ferrari engineer Mike Parkes was paired with Sam Posey in the other twin 312P. The Luigi Chinetti NART team came in 4th and 5th overall, and 1st and 2nd in class. My co-driver for Le Mans would be Chuck Parsons of Can-Am fame and a successful long distant driver as well. I was anxious to have Chuck share some of his experiences at LeMans, since he had driven with Pedro Rodriguez in a Ferrari 355 P2 back in 1967.

Tony Adamowicz
Tony Adamowicz

Upon landing in Paris, I picked up a rental car and headed for Sarthe. After checking in at the hotel, I drove a few miles south to the circuit. The circuit was closed, and the first practice session would not be until the following afternoon. I took the opportunity to drive around parts of the track that were part of the public roads and walked the sections between the White House and Tertre Rouge that were reserved for racing only.

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