morbihan Rare drivers and cars at Locminé Toy Exchange

Thierry Le Petit, motorsport specialist. ©J.-MF

The Antique Toy Exchange and Automobilia should attract its share of fans: collectors and enthusiasts will discover surprising miniatures but also exceptional drivers and their racing cars…

They were called yves martin, Andre Heinrich o Jo Le BihanExtraordinary pilots which have been on the front pages of newspapers and specialized motorsport magazines for many years, they were present – with others of course – during the Antique Toy Exchange and Automobilia organized Sunday, January 29, 2023in the Sports Hall, by Tennis club of Locmine.

Extraordinary racing cars, equally extraordinary drivers, they will gladly lend themselves to the game of questions and answers, so that people can discover their passion.

Miniature enthusiasts will not be left out. A few hundred meters of exposure impressed them! ,

Thierry Radenac, president of the Tennis-Club of Locminé.

In addition to his duties within the tennis club, Thierry Radenac is also a collector of scale model cars, and a specialist in the mythical 24 Hours of Le Mans race.. “I didn’t miss the 24 hours,” he assured us, stressing that the arrival of drivers and race cars was linked to the determination of one of his friends, Thierry Le Petit.

“We are familiar with this type of sport”

“Organizing a car racing show at the Center Morbihan is quite a challenge, but we are familiar with this type of sport,” admits Thierry Le Petit, known in the world of motorsport. Former member of the “Ouest Motor Festival Lorient” office, pilot, he is also an organizer of hill climbs, regional events where famous pilots such as Yves Courage, Jacques Terrien, etc. participate.

Faced with his fate

Yves Martin in the 1970s
Yves Martin in the 1970s ©YM

Former racing driver, Breton and proud of it, Yves Martin was born in Plemet (near Loudéac). His parents owned a sawmill and loggers. His father died when Yves Martin was twelve years old. After his classical studies, his mother sent him to study business in Paris (Prepa HEC), certain that he would take over the family business.

But things don’t turn out that way and Yves Martin finds himself facing his destiny. Then he discovered motorsport and hill climbing.

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Having several regional rallies as a pure novice with a second-hand “René Bonnet” in 1964: Rally of the West, of La Baule, of Maine and several hill climbs; he graduates at the top of his class and feels he has the wings to do better. He then took driving lessons at the racing school at Magny Cours, run by Tico Martini, who later became famous with his F3 and F2 racing team.

“I made the decision to compete in Formula France”

After selling my René Bonnet, I decided to race in Formula France, in an Elina built in the Mille Miles garages in Monthléry, in Jean-Pierre Beltoise, with the engineer Mubert. Having participated in almost all the events of this French championship, I realized that I did not have the financial budget to be competitive,

Yves Martin, pilot.

The first disadvantage is related to the fact that I lived in Rennes, far from all the main circuits. The second, the major came that I was not able to participate in the Gordini Cup, or even the Lotus Super Seven Cup which is a good school to learn how to fight on the circuit.

yves martin

Yves Martin explained that one day, while he was having lunch with JP Beltoise at the restaurant located opposite his garage in Montléry, some people pointed out to him that his Elina cars were not suitable. “We were ‘hit’ by the Gracs or other Alpines”.

Jean-Pierre Beltoise wants to prove us otherwise. He took part in the Mont Dore race with a ready Elina and won this race ahead of the F2s and all the Tenors at the time.

He won the Plumelec

Yves Martin, former racing driver.
Yves Martin, former racing driver. ©YM

Yves Martin points out that car preparation is not related to success. Response from Beltoise: “If you want, I can lend you my rims, my engine, etc. »

Yves Martin then won three races to follow: Plumelec, Belboeuf (near Rouen), and the Forest of Hez!

The race has begun and I want to continue. Life is good: cups, checks etc. After these small victories the firm BP noticed me and gave me a good contract for the next season, for the mountain championship.

yves martin

During the 1969 season, Yves Martin finished 5th in the French Mountain Championship with six victories and five second places. In 1970, he renewed his contract with BP. His wife, Annie Kerbratt was by his side during this difficult trial, as a reporter at FR3 in Rennes and press officer at the prefecture. However, he won ten victories in the same car: Tecno Climax.

Vice-champion of Europe of the Mountain

In 1971, this Climax engine was not perfected, he swapped it for an FVC Cosworth better suited to hill climbing. He won 15 victories and finished 3rd in the Mountain Championship. The following year, still with the help of BP, still hoping for a better result, he got the last 2-liter Ford engine prepared by the English tuner Brian Hart.

“It’s a better engine but doesn’t have the ‘torque’ compared to the BMW engine that suits my main competitors. »

However, Yves Martin kept this Tecno F3 reconditioned in F2, five years old, and to his great surprise, he found himself at the head of the French Championship until 3/4 of the season: the large coefficient of races (Ventoux etc…) were far from Brittany, he finished 3rd in the championship.

In 1973, due to his encouraging results, the firm BP helped him buy a better F2, the old Mac Laren F2 type M21 in which driver Jody Sheckter became the European F2 champion in 1972. The Breton pilot took part in the European Mountain Championship in 1973. He finished in second place, vice-champion of Europe in the mountains.

The engine was custom built by Brian Hart

In 1974, Brian Hart prepared a new engine for him with more torque (to counter the BMWs), but due to a lack of luck, this engine did not fit into the Mac Laren chassis. “It’s less than 1cm wide! »

The old machine was put back in place. Yves Martin left for a season and was positioned in second place when in the Montgueux race (Troyes), he left the track (not protected by the rail). At nearly 200 km/h, the car crashed into the ground below!

I’ve won this race three times, but hey, I almost passed! Fortunately, a resuscitator on site saved him and intubated him. Result: coma (21 days), 14 fractures, hemiplegia then two years of rehabilitation (Kerpape and Rennes).

yves martin

He broke the record held by JP Beltoise

My greatest achievement was racing four years later with an F2 (Chevron) by beating the record held by JP Beltoise two years before, at the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans. After this record, I threw in the towel.

In total, Yves Martin the Costarmorican will finish at least 150 races. When he talks about the important differences between his generation and today’s generation, he says: “I really don’t like the current era. There are disgusting creatures everywhere, in sports and also in politics or economics. No more respect for the given word. Only money matters! Motorsports are suffering, like Formula 1, with no circuit in France in 2023! »

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