Lotus Fifteen 608/626 Climax, Le Mans 1959…

Posted: February 10, 2022 in Sports Racers
Colin Chapman sitting on the left front, any takers on the other dudes? (MotorSport)

The Team Lotus crew prepare the Graham Hill/Derek Jolly Lotus 15 Coventry Climax 2-litre FPF at Le Mans during the 1959 24-Hour classic.

Chassis 608/626 ran as high as seventh in Hill’s hands before the Lotus Queerbox jumped out of gear while driven by Jolly. The resulting over-rev broke a rod, their race was over after 119 laps in the tenth hour.

Stirling Moss is Aston Martin’s hare, he jumps away in the lead in his DBR1/300 from Innes Ireland’s Ecosse D-Type, then Ecosse #8 Tojeiro Jag, Ivor Bueb, #1 Lister LM Jag, car #6 is Maurice Trintignant’s Aston DBR1/300. The Roy Salvadori/Carroll Shelby Aston Martin DBR1 were victorious (MotorSport)
Hill out, where is our Derek? (MotorSport)
Derek Jolly at Le Mans in 1959 (ABC)

The Australian driver’s works-ride came about as a result of a quid pro quo settlement of a workmanship claim Jolly made on Chapman. Derek’s earlier 15 (#608) was destroyed in an accident at Albert Park in late 1958 when a rear radius rod mounting failed, Derek clobbered a tree hard as a consequence, chassis #608 was mortally wounded.

The story of Derek, his Decca cars, including the Austin connection by which he met Colin Chapman, as well as the two Fifteens is told here; Derek’s Deccas and Lotus 15’s… | primotipo… while this one tells the story of 608/626′ victory in the 1960 Australian Tourist Trophy; 1960 Australian Tourist Trophy… | primotipo…


MotorSport, Australian Broadcasting Commission, F2 Index



Our Lotus 15 in the foreground, #53 is the Team Lotus Alan Stacey/Keith Greene driven Mk 17 Climax FWC. The 742cc machine was out with head gasket failure after 156 laps in the 16th hour.

#54 is another FWC engined 17 crewed by Mike Taylor/Jonathan Sieff, it didn’t finish either, this time ignition troubles sidelined it after only 23 laps.


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