Friday 22nd June 1951
Three Jaguar C-types entered Le Mans, one driven by British drivers Stirling Moss and ‘Jolly’ Jack Fairman, one by fellow Britons Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead (a couple of gentleman farmers), and the other by Britain’s Leslie Johnson with Italian Clemente Biondetti. The Jaguars were an unknown quantity and the crowd were there were to watch the Ferraris, Talbots and Cunninghams. Moss set off at a great rate of knots, breaking the lap record and the opposition. An amazing Jaguar 1-2-3 looked possible until an oil-pipe flange broke on the Johnson/Biondetti car. Then a similar fate befell Moss. The third car’s luck held, however, and Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead recorded a remarkable victory first time out for the C-types.