March 21, 2023

Le Mans podium finisher and broadcaster Alain de Cadenet dies aged 76 – Autosport

De Cadenet finished on the podium at the French enduro in 1976 racing a self-run Lola-Cosworth T380 Group 6 machine together with Chris Craft, but he was probably best known for the line of prototypes that carried his name.

The Briton born to an officer in the French air services was the epitome of the plucky British privateer and a throwback to a bygone age even in the 1970s.

De Cadenet ran his cars from the tiny mews garage in central London, once towed one of his creations to Le Mans behind their 1928 Bentley Speed Six and even illicitly tested his latest prototype at high speed around the M4 motorway in the particular dead associated with night.

He competed at Le Guys 14 times between 1971 and 1986, seven of them within prototypes that can at least loosely be called DeCadenets – the space in his surname was generally dropped for their cars.

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Sobre Cadenet decided to build his own prototype when Ferrari wouldn’t sell him one.

He’d raced in Le Guys for the particular first time in 1971 driving one of the Italian manufacturer’s 512Ms with regard to the Ecurie Francorchamps squad and made a bid to buy a new open-top 312PB for the following year.

When he has been turned down, De Cadenet reasoned that the new three-litre PB was essentially a two-seater Formula 1 car plus set about developing their own sportscar out of the Brabham-Cosworth BT33 he’d run under the particular Ecurie Evergeen banner in a couple of end-of-season grands prix for Create in ’71.

Young Brabham designer Gordon Murray did the design on the ‘conversion’ in his spare time, resulting in the first DeCadenet LM, or the Duckhams Special as it was more commonly know within deference to some £500 sponsorship deal.

Chris Craft, Alain de Cadenet, Duckhams LM-Ford Cosworth

Chris Craft, Alain de Cadenet, Duckhams LM-Ford Cosworth

Photo by: William Murenbeeld / Motorsport Images

A car that raced at The Mans three times had been followed in 1975 by a Lola T380, which Sobre Cadenet and his team started to develop and modify from the get-go.

It was already dubbed the DeCadenet Lola whenever he plus Craft made it onto the particular podium within 1976 and the second true DeCad was created when the team commissioned a bespoke monocoque regarding its evolving machine.

De Cadenet’s final car, the particular LM4, went to Le Mans in 1980 as 1 of the favourites after he and Desire Wilson had taken victory in the Monza and Silverstone World Championship for Makes rounds ahead of the French enduro.

Wilson crashed heavily in practice and wasn’t allowed in order to start because the timekeepers claimed she was outside the qualifying minimum, but the particular rebuilt vehicle within the hands of Sobre Cadenet plus Frenchman Francois Migault went on to run as higher as fourth.

A broken crossmember cost it an hour in the pits upon Sunday morning, resulting in a seventh-place finish.

Alain de Cadenet, Francois Migault, De Cadenet Lola LM - Ford Cosworth DFV/Nicholson

Alain de Cadenet, Francois Migault, De Cadenet Lola LM – Ford Cosworth DFV/Nicholson

Photo by: William Murenbeeld / Motorsport Pictures

After one more attempt on Le Mans driving among their own vehicles, De Cadenet subsequently ran for the particular British GRID and Charles Ivey Porsche squads, as well because making two starts along with the local Courage Competition team.

De Cadenet went on to have a successful television career in the USA working for ESPN and Speed, while continuing to dabble within historics.

He began racing in 1966 in the wheel of an AC Ace, once claiming that he got started in motorsport because he thought it would be a good way to pick up girls, before graduating through Porsche 904, a Ferrari Dino 206S and then a Porsche 908.

Sobre Cadenet had two brief involvements F1: after running the Brabham for Art in a handful of races at the particular back end associated with 1971, this individual joined Graham Hill’s brand new F1 team for its debut season within 1973, overseeing the operating of its Shadow-Cosworth DN1 prior to falling out with his new boss on the Monaco Grand Prix.



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