Without a doubt my greatest racecar has to be the Matra 670. Matra worked so much since 1966 to prepare that car. Their evolution came from racing in F3, F2 and F1. The Le Mans car was a most fantastic car; it was very different and a pleasure to drive too. I suppose my passion for the car is greater as I won at Le Mans three times with it in 1972, ’73 and ’74.
In the 1972 Le Mans 24 Hours with Graham Hill, I can say initially I was very disappointed having him for a teammate. Yes, I knew he was a fantastic guy, he’d won the Indy 500 and been F1 World Champion but, in racing terms he was an old man. I didn’t think him capable of dealing with the dramas of a Le Mans race, the dark, the fog and the rain. I was very concerned that he would not take any risks as he knew the racing inside out and knew how dangerous it was. It was his attitude to racing that caused my concern. On the other hand, I had to respect him for winning the F1 World Championship twice, and his victory in the Indianapolis 500. I just had the feeling he would not be determined enough and thought he might not be up to the job of 24-hour racing. I was so wrong. He proved me very wrong, he was a legend. In the race he performed very, very well; we struck up a good partnership and, of course, won. My doubts of his ability were completely unfounded. In the rain at night, Graham’s lap times were the fastest of all. I regard that Le Mans success as possibly one of my greatest achievements. You have to remember, not only I, but also Matra were hungry for a Le Mans win. So much had been put into the design and preparation of the cars, so much time had been put into the race performances, the win was the culmination of all that hard work. It was my first Le Mans win and Graham’s too.
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.