Author Topic: 66 Le Mans another piece of the story ?  (Read 472 times)

6R07mi

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66 Le Mans another piece of the story ?
« on: April 27, 2020, 10:51:02 PM »
I had not heard or read of this account before.

source: Twice Around the Clock: The Yanks at Le Mans
www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/sports-cars/le-mans/foul-play-fords-1966-le-mans-24-hour-photo-finish-yanks-le-mans-extract

According to Charlie Agagiou interview:

When Ken Miles brought his car in for service and a driver change, he was informed of the plan. Miles was crushed. And furious.
To him, this was revenge by those at Ford who didn’t like him. Busy with the car, Charlie Agapiou heard none of this, but when he looked up, immediately he knew something was wrong.

“Ken said, ‘They don’t want me to win the race. They want the Amon/McLaren car to win.’ I said, ‘Ken, what are you talking about? You’re miles ahead of them, how are they going to win the race?’ You gonna’ stop on the back chute or what? That’s impossible.’

But Miles was told the dead heat finish had been okayed by the ACO. To refuse to cooperate would mean the end of his career with Ford, so grudgingly, he agreed to go along with it, perhaps even believing that he had one or more laps in hand and that it would be for appearances only. But had that lap advantage disappeared with a suspect brake disc change?

Earlier, Hulme had brought their car in for scheduled brake change. Multiple sets of bedded-in rotors (discs) were prepared in advance by the crew chiefs of each car.

The new rotors were fitted and Miles took off for his stint, still laps ahead of McLaren. But then, trouble. Miles brought the Mk II back in the next lap. Agapiou was there.

“Ken said, ‘I’ve got a vibration, a brake vibration.’ I said, ‘It can’t be a brake vibration, it must be the tires.’ He said, ‘I’m telling you, it’s a brake vibration.’”

Knowing the rotors had been bedded in, Agapiou threw on a new set of wheels and tires and Miles was sent out.
Only then did Agapiou learn that the rotors he’d been given were not in fact the ones bedded in for Miles’ car. Those had been taken by the McLaren crew.
There was no time to find out why. Miles was on his way in again, and another set of rotors had to be fitted. Agapiou was livid.

“We ended up having to get two more rotors and hoping they were okay. In that time, Ken lost close to two laps, I think.
All this poncin’ around, because McLaren’s crew chief, who was a good friend of mine, didn’t take the time to bed rotors in and put them aside for when his car came in.
And McLaren ended up with our rotors.”


Thinking about it later, Agapiou suspected foul play.

“Ken was close to four laps ahead of McLaren. So there was no way he could have just slowed down for four laps. It would have looked stupid with the bloody press.
I don’t know what went on, but he lost a ton of time with those two stops.”

In any case, the fix was now on near the end of the race. McLaren and Miles were told they’d finish in a dead heat and that both would be declared winner. What no one was told was that the ACO changed their mind – and notified Ford officials – that there could be no dead heat.

As instructed, Ken Miles slowed to let McLaren catch up on the final lap, and for Hutcherson in his and Bucknum’s third Mk II.

As they approached the actual timing line, short of where the flag is thrown, Miles and McLaren seemed to be nearly side by side before Miles inexplicably checked up, allowing McLaren to surge ahead – then Miles pulled forward again.

Charlie Agapiou, too, remained adamant that his friend was robbed, and pulled no punches as to where the blame lay.

“He did exactly what he was told, and at the end, he slowed down on the back chute and all over the place to let McLaren unlap himself. He followed his orders and then he got f***ed. That’s what happened.”

just adding to the various versions of the events, however this adds some more color and explanation to how McLaren & Amon could have erased the multiple lap lead Miles had built.

jim p
Former owner 6S283, 70 "Boss351", 66 GT 6F07, 67 FB GT
current: 66 GT former day 2 track car 6R07
20+ yrs Ford Parts Mgr, now Meritor Defense

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Re: 66 Le Mans another piece of the story ?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2020, 10:59:11 PM »
He got robbed...
These cars are meant to be driven so enjoy the hell out of all of it. Not just the look of it when its all cleanCS

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68countrysedan

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Re: 66 Le Mans another piece of the story ?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 12:23:35 AM »
Interesting information and no suprise it has taken over over 50 years to surface. And it raises new questions.

Who ever swapped the rotors had to know which was which. As for the AOC changing their minds on a dead heat that's no surprise.

Quote
“Ken said, ‘They don’t want me to win the race. They want the Amon/McLaren car to win.’
Who the heck is they? HFII? Leo Beebe? Lee Iacocca? Is there any historical clues or witnesses for this animosity? Where was CS during this time? What did he say/do?

In Ford V Ferrari (a very lazy and sloppy script IMHO) it was suggested that the media would promote a Ken Miles hat trick victory (with Daytona and Sebring) and not a Ford victory. There might have been an element of Ford corporate pr paranoia. 

Ultimately, Miles was team player which may not always pay off for the individual involved. Nonetheless, I always wonder why Miles just say to hell with it and win. What was Ford going to do, fire him? He was at the top of his game and I presume he could have written his own ticket with another team.


shelbydoug

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Re: 66 Le Mans another piece of the story ?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2020, 07:39:38 AM »
If you study journalism, one of the premises is that you must take a position, like lawyers that are either defense or prosecution, describe or defend that position to tell your story.

You can take the position of Devil's Advocate like a Defense Attorney that knows his client is guilty but still defends that position?


Writing a script is a type of journalism. Ford vs. Ferrari is clearly taking a position, illustrating it through characters and showing the result of those character interactions.


To me part of that story is the battle between the working class and the powerful and elite. That battle doesn't get more apparent then at a place like Ford. It in fact may be the epitome of it?

As successful as Shelby was he still had a boss. It was ALL Henry Ford's money. The guy at the top with the money calls the shots. Like it or not.


Everyone has character flaws. Miles was no exception. Were the other Ford GT drivers any less talented or deserving? Miles was just Shelby's sentimental favorite.

Anyone who follows motor sports knows the story.


I have sympathy for Miles but the reality is that he understood all of this and accepted his fate. It also happens to fit into the story, Ford vs. Ferrari. Not Miles vs. Ferrari. That is the position taken by the script of the film and the view of the story as it actually happened.


I side with Shelby on this incidentally. "Ken won". Period. From anyone who knows me, my sentiments are totally predictable, ALWAYS are a battle against the establishment, a battle against fate, a battle of David and Goliath, and ultimately maybe that is the motivation that keeps us all going?


I suppose you could say that my family is a survivor of General George S. Patton. Ole' Blood and Guts. Yea, "our blood, his guts". It doesn't get any more clear then that?
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Re: 66 Le Mans another piece of the story ?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2020, 08:04:13 AM »
+ 1

If you study journalism, one of the premises is that you must take a position, like lawyers that are either defense or prosecution, describe or defend that position to tell your story.

You can take the position of Devil's Advocate like a Defense Attorney that knows his client is guilty but still defends that position?


Writing a script is a type of journalism. Ford vs. Ferrari is clearly taking a position, illustrating it through characters and showing the result of those character interactions.


To me part of that story is the battle between the working class and the powerful and elite. That battle doesn't get more apparent then at a place like Ford. It in fact may be the epitome of it?

As successful as Shelby was he still had a boss. It was ALL Henry Ford's money. The guy at the top with the money calls the shots. Like it or not.


Everyone has character flaws. Miles was no exception. Were the other Ford GT drivers any less talented or deserving? Miles was just Shelby's sentimental favorite.

Anyone who follows motor sports knows the story.


I have sympathy for Miles but the reality is that he understood all of this and accepted his fate. It also happens to fit into the story, Ford vs. Ferrari. Not Miles vs. Ferrari. That is the position taken by the script of the film and the view of the story as it actually happened.


I side with Shelby on this incidentally. "Ken won". Period. From anyone who knows me, my sentiments are totally predictable, ALWAYS are a battle against the establishment, a battle against fate, a battle of David and Goliath, and ultimately maybe that is the motivation that keeps us all going?


I suppose you could say that my family is a survivor of General George S. Patton. Ole' Blood and Guts. Yea, "our blood, his guts". It doesn't get any more clear then that?
These cars are meant to be driven so enjoy the hell out of all of it. Not just the look of it when its all cleanCS

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs.It's jolted by every pebble on the road

Florida S.A.A.C Love All-Serve All, Take Time To Be Kind

I have a UNGOLD car