Editors: Marcel Visbeen, Dennis Drenthe, Mattijs Diepraam. Feedback: feedback#carelgodindebeaufort.nl (# = @). This tribute site is in no way connected to the Beaufort family.

1956 Le Mans 24 hrs

24 Heures du Mans

Le Mans

July 28-29, 1956

Wolfgang Seidel

w/Hezemans (Seidel/Gloeckler)

Porsche 550 Spyder

No: 27

Q: 24


C: S15

The Le Mans 24 hours had been moved to the end of July instead of the usual mid-June spot on the calendar. This was due to the rebuilding of the pit area and the resurfacing of parts of the track after the disastrous 1955 edition. The tragedy of a year earlier also led to severe regulation changes which excluded the race from the Sports Car Championship. Thus there was a strong reduction of factory-backed entries.

It was Carel’s first Le Mans and he was entered by Wolfgang Seidel in a RS550 together with his friend Thieu Hezemans. They drove to Le Mans themselves with the RS550 on the trailer, together with a few crates of Cola Cola, the drink Carel was addicted to. He was afraid he couldn’t get any at the circuit! Years later Toine Hezemans recalled the story his father told him about how Carel and himself drove through small peaceful French villages on minor roads at night in an attempt to avoid the roadblocks that where put on the highways by angry French truck drivers. As they speeded across the typical northern French roads paved with cobble-stones they woke up whole towns with the rattling sound of coke bottles on the trailer in a desperate attempt to reach the circuit before the start of practice. When it became obvious that they would not make it in time Carel told Thieu to stop, they got the RS550 from the trailer and Carel speeded to Le Mans with the Porsche. He made it just in time. Thieu came in much later with a trailer which only carried a few crates of Coca Cola.

The race was started in the wet and within a few laps some of the major contenders had already retired due to crashes and spins. For the remainder of the 24 hours two cars battled for victory: the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar of Flockhart and Sanderson and the Aston Martin driven by Moss and Collins.

Eventually the Jaguar won the race.

Hezemans and De Beaufort were competing in the 1.5-litre class and at the start of the race the Lotus 11 driven by Colin Chapman himself and Mac Fraser proved to be quicker than the Porsches under the treacherous conditions. The resurfaced sections of the circuit became very slippery due to the continuing rainfall. During the night many cars retired, particularly in the lower classes and Carel and Thieu failed to make it to midnight. They retired with suspension problems. Chapman’s Lotus was a late casualty of the afternoon and the 1.5-litre class was won by the Porsche 1500RS of Von Frankenberg and Von Trips.

1956 Le Mans onboard with Mike Hawthorn's Jaguar

a complete account of his races

This section features all the events that Carel ran in - it tells you all about his results and the way he scored them.