Marie-Claude Beaumont, the First Lady of Corvette

Marie-Claude Beaumont, the First Lady of Corvette

Marie-Claude Beaumont entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Beaumont’s story is inextricably linked to a well-known figure of French motorsports at that time, a certain Henri Greder, alias “Titi”, who raced Corvettes under his own name from 1968 to 1975. Both Beaumont and Greder were initially successful rally drivers who succumbed to the temptation of racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Greder chose Beaumont to be his teammate for the first time he entered the legendary race in 1971 and she accompanied him for the next three years. Together, they achieved Beaumont’s best result in the 24 Hours: 12th overall in 1973. In 1974 the pair finished 18th. At the time, the third generation of Corvettes, known as the C3, was one of the most popular and long-lived ever, produced from 1968 to 1982.

In 1975, her penultimate Le Mans, Marie-Claude Beaumont moved up to the prototype class, taking the wheel of the Renault-Alpine A441. Her teammate was Italian driver Lella Lombardi who became the first woman to score points in Formula One that same year. The following year saw Beaumont’s last race at Le Mans. She finished 19th in a Porsche 934 with teammates Bob Wollek and Didier Pironi.

Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO — Translated from French by Emma Paulay

Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), 24 HOURS CIRCUIT, LE MANS 24 HOURS, SATURDAY 9 & SUNDAY 10 JUNE 1973. Marie-Claude Beaumont made her Le Mans 24 Hours debut in one of Henri Greder’s famous Corvettes. Her best result in the race was also achieved with Greder.

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