Alain de Cadanet’s best result at Le Mans after the death of driver and presenter

Alain de Cadanet's best result at Le Mans after the death of driver and presenter

The untimely death of longtime Le Mans privateer Alain de Cadanet has been announced. What were his best results in the 24 hour endurance race?

Even in the 1970s, the idea of ​​a motorsport privateer seemed like something for the history books.

In Formula 1, Tyrrell’s Ken Tyrrell and Lotus’ Colin Chapman slowly lost the position they held at the start of the decade – with the last championship for both in 1978 for Lotus – only after a few lean years.

In sports cars, big beasts like Porsche emerged, meaning the little guys were marginalized.

Alain de Cadanet was one such hijacker who went against the trend.

A longtime Le Mans contestant and final day announcer, the Cadanet’s death was announced after a long illness – survived by three children from two marriages.

Photo by: GP Library/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Alain de Cadanet dead

Born the son of a French Air Force pilot in London, the Cadanet found a niche in driving cars that he designed and built for himself.

He was a regular face on the Le Mans starting grid, lining up for the flag drop 14 times from 1971 until his last appearance at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1986.

1980 looked to be de Cadanet’s best shot at overall victory, again driving one of his own cars, as he and co-driver Desiree Wilson took victories at Monza and Silverstone before heading to France.

However, leading up to the 24 Hours, Wilson crashed, with the Cadanet battling to even start.

He did, as he and fellow co-driver Francois Migault finished seventh in the overall standings after mechanical problems hit.

the best Le Mans result of the Cadanet

The Cadanet’s best result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans came in 1976 – alongside Chris Craft, again in a car that bears his name.

The duo completed 338 laps en route to a third place overall – 11 laps behind winners Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep in a Porsche 936.

the Cadanet and Craft were powered by the venerable Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 engine associated with F1 – just one lap behind Jean-Louis Lafosse and Migault in a Mirage M8.

That would be just as good for the Cadanet in the 24 Hours, although it finished third in class again in 1977 with Craft and in ’80 with Migault.

On those occasions, he finished fifth and seventh overall on the road.

After his racing career ended, the Cadanet became a regular host for channels like Speed ​​and ESPN, presenting coverage of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

He was also active in the historic racing world, usually found in a Ferrari or Alfa Romeo.

Alain De Cadanet, a British racing driver at the launch of Le Mans.
Photo by: GP Library/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
  • HITC would like to express its condolences to Alain de Cadanet’s friends and family at this sad time.

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