THE TOP 20 F1 GP DRIVERS WHO DID NOT WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP
Brought to you by 'The writer formerly known as BlackJackFan' .
Disclaimer: Back in late 2013 my friend put together this ultimate list of F1 drivers who did not make it on to the, err..., ultimate list of F1 drivers. I recently stumbled across the series again, and re-read it. Just as back then it entertained me a lot, with a nostalgic feeling of how I waited impatient each week until the next chapter came.
So I told him about my trip down memory lane and asked if he would object if I was to publish the series on my tribe. Luckily for us he's a reasonable man, and after a trade for the best of Bruce Willis dvd collection I got permission to share all of this with you (haha).
There are many list about F1 on the internet, but somehow those are always about the same drivers (usually those drivers even end up on the same place, give or take one place). But this one is a bit different. First of all, there's the size of it. Unlike most lists this one has a separate article for each driver, not just the standard 12 sentences summary of a whole career. I know all of you like a good read so, naturally you're allowed to cheer at his point. Secondly, it's based on a different point awarding system than most sites, but more of that later.
So without any further ado I present to you: The top 20 F1 GP drivers who did NOT win a championship.
. . . was born on 1 January 1945, in Brussels. His competition career ran from early 60’s to the early 90’s, with a spell in F1 from 1966-1979, considerable success in sports-cars, and latterly in the Paris-Dakar event.
Ickx started competing in 50cc motorcycle events and won three titles before moving to four wheels with a Lotus Cortina, becoming Belgian TC Champion in 1965, and then won the Spa 24hr race in 1966. All during his obligatory military service, which Belgium still had during those days. Luckily for Ickx the army agreed to let him race, if the races happened in their country. Only twice they made an exception on that rule. Once to go race in the Netherlands (the tulip rally), and the other time to compete in a 84(!) hours race at the Nürburgring (Marathon de la route).
"What an adventure that was, there on the Nürburgring. It was during that race that I got to know the legendary 23 km circuit by heart. All of the 178 corners, some of them you can't even see while driving due to the elevation changes. In 1966 Gilbert Staepelaere and I won our class (and came second overall). But it was that experience that would help me later on in my F1 career. The ring had no secrets for me."
Ken Tyrrell then offered him a drive for the German GP (which took place at the Nürburgring), with a F2 Matra, but he retired on the first lap.
Nevertheless he had another go in I967 – and qualified third, behind Denny Hulme’s and Jim Clark’s F1 cars – 21 secs. faster than the next F2 car, but had to start 18th, behind all the F1 cars. Since the organisation only allowed F2 cars because they felt that the F1 field was not big enough. On race day, after just four laps, he had overtaken twelve of them to place fifth… when his front suspension broke. And that is what is meant by motor-racing! That he was ‘noticed’ is an understatement: Jacky Ickx had arrived.
"The Matra F2 cars was a small but very nimble car, and it felt at home at the Nürburgring. I felt like I could drive the track blindfolded. My qualification times where outstanding. As fast as the best F1 cars. A few weeks before that I had also done a similar feat. At the Zandvoort tack I had driven a time of 1'27"5, which was faster than the best qualification time of the F1 cars. Jim Clark had ran a 1'28, in his Lotus 49, with a new Cosworth V8 which was a lot more powerful than my 1600cc. I was able to get in that lightning fast time because of two factors. Firstly, the weight and the distribution of said wheight of the small Matra was perfect. It had an excellent balance. But most of all, that day I was able to drive Jackie Stewart's MS5. [NB: During that year Tyrell gave his rookie (Ickx) a car with a BRM engine, and his no.1 driver (Stewart) one with a more powerful Cosworth.] And Jackie's car was a lot faster than mine. To this day I still believe if I had that car, that day on the Nürburgring, I would have beaten all the F1 cars. It was an absolutely fantastic machine."
Deadly wounded Matra, but the impression on the motorsport world was everlasting.
Cooper now offered him their second (F1) car for Monza, alongside Jochen Rindt, where he finished sixth, recording his first Championship point, and also at Watkins Glen, where he retired. In the F2 Tyrrell/Matra Ickx also won the inaugural European F2 Championship. After just this one sixth-place finish in F1 (and of course his performance in Germany) Ickx was offered a full-time Ferrari drive for 1968 – as No.2 to Chris Amon – another largely un-sung hero, usually regarded as the best driver never to have won a GP…
It took the F1 circus by surprise! The whole paddock had been buzzing with rumors of a Ferrari move, but it wasn't Ickx' name that got mentioned. Everyone was convinced it would be Stewart who would move to the Italian brand. However, it was Enzo Ferrari himself who had given the order to sign the young Belgian, after he was baffled by the Nürburgring performance. So, as a 22 year old, Ickx signed for Ferrari.
After retiring from the first two races in 1968, Ferrari missed Monaco (allegedly unhappy with safety precautions), and for the first time before his home fans Ickx put his Ferrari firmly on the front row of the Spa grid, and went on to finish third. This was the first F1 GP where wings were fitted to cars – on Chris Amon’s Ferrari and Brabham’s Brabham. Jack Brabham also became the first driver to compete in 100 GP races. And McLaren had his first win, in his own McLaren. (For a series of beautiful pics of that event click here 😄)
At Zandvoort Ickx came fourth but, in France, in heavy rain, Ickx qualified third and went on to win. The young Belgian would be at his best during the rain, throughout his career. Sadly he could not celebrate his first F1 win. Because it did not rain before the start all the drivers wanted to tackle the damp track with intermediates. All but one... Young Ickx chose to start on full wets. When the rain started to fall, righter after the start, Jo Schlesser crashed his Honda (on inters), which immediately burst in to flames. At the time Honda was experimenting with a magnesium chassis, and a magnesium fire has a habit of reacting even more fierce when one tries to extinguish it with water. Therefore the stewards couldn't do anything more than to let the wrecked vehicle burn out. When Ickx learned that his former F2 team mate had been killed he was shocked and refused to celebrate. Instead he went on to place his laurel wreath where Schlesser had died.
In his first seven F1 GP races Ickx had three retirements, one 6th place, one 4th, one 3rd, and a win… which had him running second in the Championship. At Brands Hatch Ickx could only qualify twelfth, but scored another third in the race – as Jo Siffert became the first Swiss to win a GP, and Rob Walker recorded the last GP win for a non-works car.
The Nurburgring was very wet and foggy. Many people wanted the race cancelled but 1968 was only the early days of the ‘Safety Era’ – Ickx was on his first pole position, and finished fourth, after losing his visor.
At Monza Ferrari fielded a third car, for Derek Bell, but both he and Amon retired in the opening laps, leaving Ickx to uphold Maranello honour, in third.
After breaking a leg in a practice crash in Canada Ickx had to miss that race, and the US GP, dropping to fourth in the Championship, but he returned in time for Mexico – perhaps too soon, (but you know how it goes with drivers who have a chance to win a championship, even if that chance is slim...) qualifying fifteenth, and retiring after three laps – and finished the season in fourth place. Ickx would drive that race with an external fixation mechanism, to hold the (double) broken leg together. Yes, you've read that right. To make matters even more hardcore: he went on to win the 9 hours of Kyalami a week later.
"For the Canadian Grand Prix Ferrari had altered the intake system of the engine, to find some more performance. But during the practice runs I noticed that the throttle valve got stuck multiple times. When I almost crashed, quite hard, because the throttle stayed open I said to [head mechanic] Giulio Borsari that he should check the system. They didn't found anything to be wrong with it. So I went back out and, at the same spot on the track the throttle stayed open, again. I went back in and asked them to check it again, perhaps more thoroughly this time. Once again, they didn't found any error and I got send back out again. But this time the throttle stayed open at a place where I couldn't do anything to avert it. The crash was hard! Twenty years later Borsari admitted [in his book] that he feigned to check the car, since he hadn't seen anything abnormal the first time. He said that the aftermath of his play-act would turn out to be the most difficult moment of his career."
An odd thing happened over the winter of 1968/9 – Ickx was offered a Le Mans seat in a Gulf Ford GT40, by John Wyer, who had been friends with Ickx for some time, and Ickx really wanted to win at Le Mans. Not surprisingly Ferrari were not happy. And Ickx simply pulled out! He managed to pick up an F1 seat in the Brabham team, alongside Jack who, to the surprise of some, was still driving – and still driving well.
Meanwhile Ickx won at Le Mans, as desired – and went on to garner five more victories there. In twelve starts at Le Mans, between 1969-1983, Ickx retired three times, was placed second three times, and was victorious six(6) times… but in F1 his season started poorly – the Brabhams were still unreliable. (Fun fact: at the time a young Ron Dennis was a mechanic at Brabham's team. It is unknown if the reliability issues were because of that... That was a joke btw, before the Dennis fans slaughter me😂)
Ickx in his Brabham at the Ring.
For the fifth race at Clermont Ferrand Ickx got it together, qualified fourth, and came home third and, at Silverstone, also qualified fourth and finished second – albeit a lap down on Stewart – which got him a ‘mention in dispatches’ as he rose to fifth in the Championship – 32pts. behind the dominant Stewart.
Back to the Nurburgring, and Ickx excelled again, posting pole position (with a new track record)… but got bogged down at the start and dropped to ninth. After the first lap Stewart was already six seconds before the Lotuses of Siffert and Rindt. Ickx is down in fourth. In the second lap Stewart breaks the official race record with a 7'50"9 timed lap. After three laps of this most challenging of circuits Ickx had passed the two Lotuses, setting fastest lap(s) in the process. In the third lap Ickx clocks in a 7'45"9 and in the fourth he brought it down to 7'44"5, to put him on Stewart’s tail. In the fifth lap Stewart and Ickx were driving side by side for more than a kilometer on the long straight, leading up to the finish. But Stewart was on the ideal line, and even-though Ickx tried to pass him during the upcoming curve section, Stewart was able to fend him off. But in the sixth lap Ickx was more determined than ever, and in the Nordkurve he dived in. All four tyres smoking, but the move sticked. Unfortunately his Brabham ran a bit wide, and Stewart re-passes him... The audience was going mad for the two drivers battling with speeds never seen before at the Ring, cheering them on each time they pass. It took Ickx another lap to gain the lead, by out-braking Stewart in the Südkurve, and posting a 7'43"8 that lap, which was two seconds faster than Stewart's! He then led the rest of the race and finished nearly a full minute clear of Stewart, and three minutes before Bruce McLaren. Earning him the honorary title of 'Ring Meister'. With this victory he would be putting himself second in the Championship, though a long way behind Stewart – even if Ickx had won the four remaining races, Stewart would only have needed a second and a third place to take the Championship.
At Monza Stewart wrapped it up, Ickx ran out of fuel and dropped to third in the Championship, Ferrari parted ways with Amon, and entered just one car for Rodriguez, which must be pretty rare for an Italian GP. Amon was known at the time for being one of the quickest, but unluckiest drivers in F1. Andretti once joked that “if Amon became an undertaker, people would stop dying.”
On to Mosport where Ickx did it again – pole, fastest lap, and victory, in a 1-2 finish for Brabham but, at Watkins Glen it was Jochen Rindt’s turn to be favoured by Lady Luck, taking his first victory, as Ickx’ engine expired.
In the final race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Ickx led a Brabham 2-3 behind Denny Hulme’s McLaren. Nevertheless, Ickx finished runner-up in the Championship, in his second full season in F1. Ferrari finished sixth in the Constructors Championship, with just seven(7) points, and as Ickx’ season had not been too successful until the second half, he had been enticed (mid-season) by a deeply troubled Ferrari, to return ‘home’. A rare feat, that Enzo lets a driver leave (through own choice) and then gives him a chance to come back.
In 1969 Ickx had been fairly beaten by the all-conquering Stewart and now he suffered from the rapid ‘coming of age’ of Rindt, who won five of the first nine races before tragically losing his life during the Monza qualifying. Of the other four races one each was won by Brabham, Stewart and Rodriguez, all of whom had otherwise mediocre seasons, and the fourth by Ickx, who also, in Rindt’s absence, won two of the remaining four events, to place second to Rindt in the Championship.
"I would have never wanted to win the championship from a man who wasn't there anymore, unable to defend himself. Nothing in the world can change my mind about that. Even later on in my career, when I realised I'd never become world champion, it never made me bitter that I didn't succeed in 1970!"
The gorgeous Ferrari 312b.
During 1970 Ickx also posted four pole positions, and five fastest laps. In normal circumstances it might have been Ickx’ year. But Jochen Rindt was no normal driver.
During the Spanish Grand Prix that year Ickx also got badly wounded when he got hit by the BRM of his friend Jackie Oliver. In a matter of seconds his Ferrari turned in to a massive fireball, with the Belgian trapped inside. When he finally was able to escape the burning wreck his overalls were on fire, and he threw himself on the ground hoping to put himself out by rolling over the dirt and grass. Unfortunately this didn't work and he had to wait until a fireman reached him. The loss in time before he was put out resulted in multiple second and third degree burns, mainly on his hands, arms and legs. But once again, by pure willpower, Ickx is back in his car, only three weeks later for the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.
Strangely (to this writer) Ferrari again entered only one car for the first three races, before trialling 29-year-old Ignazio Giunti, who had been successful in Ferrari sports-cars, but unfortunately would be killed in one too, during the 1000km of Buenos Aires when he hit the stalled Matra of Jean-Piere Beltoise, who had ran out of feul. Ferrari replaced Giunti with Clay Regazzoni, who helped Ickx drag the team into second place in the Championship, with three 1-2 finishes.
1971 was a year filled with reliability issues. Only three podiums that year: second during the Spanish Grand Prix, third during the Monte Carlo Grand prix and a win at the Dutch Grand Prix (and a pole position).
And that seemed to be Ickx’ lot with Lady Luck. I have found, compiling this list, that so many drivers have had just one or two bites at the Championship cherry. Many of these drivers have risen rapidly in their first couple of seasons, but didn’t quite make it to the throne (for different reasons), followed by a slow(ish) withdrawal. After finishing second in the Championship two years running, Ickx stayed with Ferrari for two more years, placing fourth on both occasions, with just one win each year, but usually out-performing Regazzoni (see Part 16).
Ickx’s only 1972 victory (and this would be his last official one), at his favourite circuit, Nurburgring, was another of his classic performances – a Grand Slam: from pole (7'07", one second and seven tenths faster than Stewart in second place and two seconds and nine tenths faster than Fitipaldi in third place!) to chequered-flag, with the fastest lap (7'13"6) on the way. Winning with a 48 seconds lead over team mate Regazzoni. Ickx also posted pole and fastest lap in Italy and in Spain – in Italy falling out with electrical problems, and in Spain having to take second place to Fittipaldi… whose year it was.
Ickx stayed with Ferrari for another year but they just didn’t get it together: with Lotus and Tyrrell taking turns to win, and McLaren bringing up the rear, Ferrari were sadly out of it, frequently arriving with just one car, and sometimes not turning up at all. Even when Ickx was able to get the car to the finish he didn’t score worthwhile points and, after announcing they would also miss the Dutch and German GP, Ickx called it a day. But negotiated a McLaren drive for the Nurburgring, where he immediately qualified fourth, and finished on the podium, in third, unable to touch the Tyrrells but well ahead of Lotus, and also his McLaren teammates.
Missing the Austrian and Canadian events, Ickx had a final, frustrated drive for Ferrari at Monza, and then found a one-off drive in a Frank Williams’ Iso (and who didn’t, that year? – Nanni Galli, Howden Ganley, Jackie Pretorius, Tom Belso, Henri Pescarolo, Graham McRae, Gijs van Lennep, Tim Schenken) at Watkins Glen, where he qualified 23rd but managed to haul the car up to seventh at the finish. To this day Ickx has the record of driving for Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in one season.
From then on everything went pear-shaped… While Ferrari emerged, phoenix-like, with Regazzoni and Niki Lauda in 1974, Ickx moved to Lotus, alongside Peterson, because Fittipaldi had wisely (or coincidentally…) moved to McLaren – ‘wisely’ because this was not to be the year of the Lotus, and who could have foretold that? Unless Fittipaldi knew something… Maybe Emerson felt Chapman was more supportive of Peterson.
"I could have stayed at Ferrari. They wanted me to. The tried to convince me by showing me the new 312, with an all new transverse gearbox. I could have raced that car together with Niki, but my trust in the team was gone. So I chose a new adventure. Lotus, a top team that had been fighting for wins previous seasons. In hindsight I made the wrong choice there. Ferrari picked themselves up, while Lotus slid down the order..."
A bad, but oh so pretty car.
After two 2nd and three 4th Championship places in his five years in F1 Ickx must have felt this could be his best chance yet but, the Lotus 72 was up to version ‘E’, and too long in the tooth to give Ickx more than two third places, although Peterson, when he finished, managed three wins. Additionally, the Lotus 76 was a disaster – and Ickx finished the year down in tenth place!
He did, however, manage to win a washed out race of champions at Brands Hatch. Only eleventh after a dry qualifying session, he was happy that the rain fell heavily on Sunday. By the middle of the race he was in fifth position, when Hunt's Hesketh has a failure and the rain intensified even more. In no time Ickx was up in second place, right on Lauda's gearbox, the man that had replaced him at Maranello. "My only chance was at Paddock Bend", Ickx would later recall. "The long downwards bend, past the pit-lane. Visibility was very bad. I could barely see anything. But when I got out of the slipstream I noticed that the outside of the corner had a lot more grip. Lauda on the other hand was only focused on the inside of the corner. I don't think he checked his left mirror once, at that point on the track. The next lap I took my chance and passed him on the outside!" Unfortunately the race of champions wasn't an official F1 race that counted for the championship, so in a way his last win would be in vain...
For 1975 Lotus were still using the 72E… and one might be entitled to wonder if they were really serious. Ickx finished sixteenth, and even Peterson could do no better than thirteenth. After the French GP Ickx again ‘walked’, apparently with Chapman telling him to wait until Lotus could sort themselves out. How long should any driver, desperate to be crowned Champion, be expected to wait? All the real champions were primarily loyal to themselves.
In 1976, after retiring in the first race, Peterson also departed…
Ickx spent the first half of the year with Wolf, before moving to Ensign, with just five more races in the following two years (1977-78) with Ensign, without scoring a single point for three years. At Watkins Glen in 1976 Ickx had a very bad shunt, hitting the barrier, the nose went underneath, the rear half of the car broke away in flames, and Ickx miraculously got out of the wreckage and hobbled away before collapsing with both legs and ankles broken – incredibly lucky to be alive! Fittipaldi, who had been following, said it was one of the worst accidents he had ever seen, and that he heard the impact above his engine and through his helmet and earplugs! Luckily it didn't stop Ickx from winning Le Mans, again, in 1977. Which became his favorite victory there. Read the story here, and you'll understand why. When all seems lost, bring Jacky in and win, hahah.
For 1979 Ickx joined Ligier for half a dozen races, scoring a fifth and a sixth before bidding farewell to F1. I feel this was as much a motivational problem as anything else – after F1 Ickx had two wins, and two seconds in the next four Le Mans races – he wasn’t ‘past it’, but perhaps gave his best when the car was doing the same. Picking the right team, at the right time, sometimes makes a champion – ask Fangio.
When Fittipaldi left McLaren Ickx had been in line for the 1976 drive, but apparently the sponsor favoured James Hunt who, as we all now know, Rushed (rather haphazardly, in fact) to glory.
Also in 1979 Ickx won the Can-Am series, and was World Endurance Champion in 1982 and 1983, retiring at the end of 1985. In 1983 Ickx won the Rally Paris-Dakar. In 2000 he was the first sportsman to be declared, Honorary Citizen of Le Mans.
Writing in Motor Sport, 2011, Simon Taylor quotes Jacky Ickx: “In those days I was always thinking about myself and about winning. That is what it is like when you are a racing driver: mentally you are not very grown-up.”
After his crash in America (with broken legs and ankles!): “They decided to take me to hospital in Elmira, but on the way they had to stop at a gas station to put petrol in the ambulance. We were in the amateur days then.”
On Jackie Stewart: “I was not against the idea of improving motor-racing safety, that would have been foolish. My problem was with Jackie’s methods. I was conservative; I accepted the risks without argument or discussion. You have a steering wheel in your hands, you are happy. You win, you are even happier. Can you imagine, back then, stopping a race because the conditions were too wet? No driver would think of such a thing for a single moment, it was part of the job. And the job is not meant to be easy. If you win without difficulty, you win without glory.”
For over forty years the Le Mans race had used a distinctive start procedure where the cars were lined up on one side of the track, angled towards the direction of travel, and the drivers started from the opposite side of the track. When the tricoleur fell drivers ran across the track, jumped into their car, started the engine, and drove away… Quite why there were no major accidents with this ‘Le Man Start’ I have never understood. But they were the cause of some...
By the late 60’s most drivers were using seat belts but few were fastening them properly in their haste to get away. In his first Le Mans, in 1969, Ickx protested by ambling across the track, properly fastening his seat belts and leaving the grid as the last car away, and went on to win. On the first lap John Woolf crashed and was killed, with his belts unfastened. Whether Woolf died because he wasn’t belted, or whether he crashed because he was trying to fasten the belts while driving, is unknown but, from 1970, drivers started from inside the car and a teammate would do the run, carrying the ignition key.
“In fact I did have to run the last few meters to my car, or I would have been run over! A lot of people were upset with me, because that start was a great Le Mans tradition.”
“The most satisfying competition of my life was the Paris-Dakar. It’s the hardest, most complex race in the world. Flat out for nine hours at a stretch, 130mph on sand. And the sand is unpredictable. If something goes wrong, you have to find a solution by yourself, out there in the silence.”
“I thank all the people who helped me, who shared it [my career] with me. Ten years with Porsche, five years with Ferrari, all fantastic people. The father figures: Enzo Ferrari, Jack Brabham, John Wyer, Carl Haas, and of course Ken. Ken Tyrrell was more than a team boss. He was more like a father figure than anyone else. He took care of people. Together with his wife Nora. He mentored them, she adored them like her children. When I think about it, I have everything to thank for because of Ken. His patience and willpower are what got me in a single seater... And the people who worked with them, who were almost more important: David Yorke and John Horsman at JW, Ron Tauranac at Brabham, Peter Warr at Lotus, and all the people in the chain whose names I barely knew. "
"One thing is certain: Enzo Ferrari adored me. He had a lot of patience, and was always friendly. A lot of people thought he was an ice cold person, without emotions. Often because he had a somewhat backholding attitude. But that was his way of protecting himself. He was scared of the emotional suffering that losing a driver brought with it. Something he had endured a lot, during the fifties and sixties. Even after I left the team, his door was always open for me. Whenever I went to Maranello Enzo would always receive me in the warmest way possible. Without a doubt I had my best years at Ferrari. When you win a Grand Prix for Ferrari it's unreal to see what it does to the Italian people... Yes, I believe I should take pride in the fact that I drove for them!"
After two years of intermittent drives in F1 Jackie Ickx competed at the top level for four seasons, with Ferrari and Brabham, and finished 2nd, 2nd, 4th, & 4th in the Drivers Championship. This was followed by another four years (with Ferrari, McLaren, Frank Williams, and Lotus, during which he showed he had lost none of his speed but… with only four podiums, he just wasn’t in the right car at the right time. Ickx’ determination and dedication kept him going for a further three years (with Ensign and Ligier) – but with just thirteen races, nine retirements, and three Championship points to show for three years effort. For one of the most talented drivers not to win the Championship it was a disappointing farewell… after 8 wins, 17 additional podiums, 13 poles, 14 fastest laps and 4 hat-tricks (pole, win, leading every lap and the fastest lap)
Jackie Ickx: “Even the spectators [I thank]: I do not think they are always well-treated. They should not be like lemons, squeezed for their money to the last drop. Their hearts beat with the passion of racing, and without them there would have been no racing for me to do.”
As you may have noticed, this article is a lot bigger than most in this series. I'd like to explain that by saying that I'm a massive Jacky Ickx fan, not to say that he is my hero. Not only has he been one of the best F1 drivers ever, but one of the best all round drivers all together. There aren't many who showed they can race anything, any time, and win everything, like he did. So I took the liberty of (heavily) editing BlackJack's work. And I kept on adding, and adding... Nearly doubling his original. But I felt that Ickx deserved this. I feel that this man has too little stories to be found online. Thats why many of my regular readers already had the pleasure to read some extra adventures of him, which throughout this article have been hyper-linked in, for those of you that haven't. Furthermore, by pure coincidence, this article will come out on Wednesday the 17th of January, which is my birthday. So I took the day off and that enabled me to work quite long in to the night on this one. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Ickx on top of the most beautiful car ever. The Ford GT40, in Gulf livery. After his '69 win at Le Mans.
To be continued, next Saturday.
Keke Rosberg (as santa, handing out presents to local children) with the little Nico Rosberg in a miniature Porsche with whom Ickx won his sixth Le Mans.