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Old 13 Jun 2015, 19:27 (Ref:3548964)   #1
Sabrejet
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Sabrejet should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
"Le Mans is Now a Sprint" - Who Said it First?

Yet again I hear mention that "Le Mans is now a sprint - not like the old days" (ACO TV coverage just a few minutes ago, but repeated ad infinitum elsewhere every year).

So my question is - who said it first and when?

My entry is Murray Walker - during the BBC's coverage of the 1986 LM. Yes, back when Aunty Beeb covered proper motorsport.

So 29 years ago it was 'now a sprint' - so was there actually a time when it wasn't?

And more to the point, when are these commentators going to stop repeating it!!?? I think 29 years (at least) is maybe enough?
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 19:38 (Ref:3548980)   #2
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Need to watch that narrated lap by Mike Hawthorn in 1955 and see if he mentioned it!
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 22:05 (Ref:3549184)   #3
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I find it a bit of an exaggeration even now.
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 00:12 (Ref:3549332)   #4
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Derek Bell said something along those lines in the mid 80s on one of those season review.

Probably around the time the 956 came out I'd say.
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 03:29 (Ref:3549534)   #5
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Lanky Turtle should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridLanky Turtle should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridLanky Turtle should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I'd imagine around 1924 for the second running someone said it.
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 04:09 (Ref:3549568)   #6
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I don't know who said it first, but I just said it most recently "Le Mans is now a sprint"
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 16:03 (Ref:3550338)   #7
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I can't remember a Le Mans race where i did not hear it.
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 23:09 (Ref:3550504)   #8
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Originally Posted by deggis View Post
I find it a bit of an exaggeration even now.

I agree. That is not to say it isn't 24 hours of hard graft. However saying it is a sprint misses some important race winning factors. IMHO.
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Old 15 Jun 2015, 11:32 (Ref:3550675)   #9
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I have always heard this since the end of Group C.
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