René Léonard (23 June 1889 - 15 August 1965) was a French racing driver who, along with André Lagache, won the inaugural running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923.

Career

Léonard and Lagache were both engineers for the Chenard et Walcker automobile company, and were chosen to drive one of the three entries in the endurance event. Their "Sport" model finished by a four lap margin over another Chenard et Walcker. They drove together the next two years, but failed to finish either time.

Driving for Chenard et Walcker, Léonard won the  [fr] in 1924. He drove with Lagache to win the second edition of the Spa 24 Hours in 1925, and the pair also finished third in 1926. Léonard won the 1926 Gran Premio de Turismo, a 12-hour race for touring cars held at Circuito Lasarte in Guipúzcoa, Spain.[1]

Following the 1926 season, Chenard et Walcker withdrew from competition. However, in 1932, he was seen driving one of their cars in the Lisieux hillclimb and a one-kilometre race in Strasbourg. The same year, he moved to Saint-Gratien to be near to the company's factory. For the 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans, he managed a private team of Chenard-Walckers owned by  [fr] and fielded by Yves Giraud-Cabantous.[2]

Racing record

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1923 France Chenard-Walcker SA France André Lagache Chenard-Walcker
Type U3 15CV Sport
3.0 128 1st 1st
1924 France Chenard-Walcker SA France André Lagache Chenard-Walcker
Type U 22CV Sport
5.0 26 DNF
(Fire)
1925 France Chenard-Walcker SA France André Lagache Chenard-Walcker
Type U 22CV Sport
5.0 90 DNF
(Engine)

External links

References

  1. ^ "GP Guipúzcoa 1926 - Racing Sports Cars". racingsportscars.com. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  2. ^ "FIRST WINNER OF THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, WHO WAS RENÉ LÉONARD (ANDRÉ LAGACHE'S TEAMMATE)?". www.24h-lemans.com. 24 December 2018. Archived from the original on 8 August 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
None
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1923 with:
André Lagache
Succeeded by