24 Hours of Le Mans - Mike Salmon (1933-2016)
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24 Hours of Le Mans - Mike Salmon (1933-2016)

Michael "Mike" Salmon, who participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 13 times between 1962 and 1984, has passed away at the age of 82 after a long illness.

No less than 22 years separate Mike Salmon's first and last appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but he didn't have to wait long to score his best result since for his second entry in 1963 he finished fifth overall and first in his class in Maranello Concessionaires' Ferrari 330 LMB he shared with Jack Sears.

The Brit, member of the BRDC (British Racing Drivers’ Club), crossed the finish line three times: first in 1963, then in 1977 in 17th place with an Aston Martin DBS and lastly in 1982, seventh in a Nimrod-Aston Martin.

Though he had to wait 14 years to pass under the checkered flag for the second time, it was due to the fact he had decided to end his career in 1968 after having been gravely burned on his arms and face at the 1967 Le Mans edition. The petrol tank cap of the Ford GT40 he was driving was put back in place poorly after the first refuelling, which caused a fire.

After his definitive retirement as a driver, Salmon, whose wife Jean had also been a driver prior to marrying, remained in the auto world, first as the Sales Director for the Maranello Concessionaires company with whom he had competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times, then by becoming a Ferrari and Alfa Romeo dealer in New Jersey where he had moved.

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest extends its sincerest condolences to his wife Jean, his family and loved ones.

Cécile Bonardel / ACO - Translation by Nikki Ehrhardt / ACO

PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, JUNE 15-16 1963. The No. 12 Ferrari of Mike Salmon and Jack Sears finished fifth overall and first in its class.