The 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans took place on 10 and 11 June 1972. This year’s marked the start of a new era with revised Sport-Prototype regulations putting a 3-litre limit on engine size.
Having already won the Manufacturers’ Championship, Ferrari chose not to contest the race, so Matra were strong favourites for the outright win.
Once the challenge from Alfa Romeo and Lola dissipated overnight, Matra were able to ease off to secure a popular 1 – 2 victory on home soil.
Henri Pescarolo and Graham Hill were the winners (picture above) with a healthy 11-lap margin over teammates François Cevert and Howden Ganley.
By winning the French classic, Graham Hill succeeded to capture the symbolic triple crown which is: winning Le Mans, the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix, once in his career. As to this day, he’s the only driver achieve this.
However, the victory was saddened by the death of Swede Jo Bonnier (picture below) who lost his life when his Lola collided with a Ferrari Daytona GT and flew over the barriers into the trees on Sunday morning.