Sport: Swift & Safe

The soft June afternoon burst to a deep, mechanical snarl, and the gently rolling countryside south of Le Mans, France came alive as 54 low-slung sports cars whirled into the start of "les vingt-quatre heures," auto racing's classic Grand Prix of Endurance. Once more the famous 24-hour race promised spectacular trouble. Last year's exercise in safety had been a dull performance as refueling rules held everyone down to reasonable speeds; there had been only one fatality. Last week the promoters decided to gamble again. Almost as if they had forgotten 1955's monstrous moment of tragedy when a crack-up spilled into...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!