Who is Le Mans ’66 racer Ken Miles? Christian Bale leads Ford v Ferrari

Ford V Ferrari dir. James Mangold 2019

Let's explore the legendary Ken Miles ahead of the forthcoming Le Mans '66 biopic.

Ken Miles is regarded by so many as a legendary and mythical figure in the realm of racing. Although born in Britain, the man made his name in the world of American motorsports and is soon to be further immortalised in upcoming biopic Ford v Ferrari

The film will be directed by James Mangold, who previously helmed such efforts as Logan, Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma. With an accomplished filmmaker at its core, it's no surprise to see the project boasts the acting talent to match.

Miles will be portrayed by the Academy Award-winning Christian Bale (American Hustle, The Dark Knight), and will star alongside the likes of Matt Damon (The Martian), Jon Bernthal (The Wolf of Wall Street) and many more. 

Ford V Ferrari dir. James Mangold 2019

Who is Ken Miles?

After witnessing the trailer, everyone's eyes are on Bale's depiction of Ken Miles; so, who is he? 

As mentioned, he's an important name in the world of racing and - as the film will explore - he has become synonymous with Le Mans '66; this was the 34th Grand Prix of Endurance, taking place on the 18th and 19th June 1966.

Historically, it marked the first comprehensive win at Le Mans for the Ford GT40 and the first win for an American constructor. However, according to Wikipedia, during a race which Miles was leading, management ordered him to slow down so their cars could reach the finish line together, and he was denied the win. This is sure to be explored explosively in Ford V Ferrari.

How did he die?

Tragically, Ken Miles died the same year as Le Mans '66, which was also the year he won 24 Hours of Daytona. 

While testing at Riverside International Raceway, Miles suffered an incident at top speed (200-plus mph) and the car catastrophically crashed and burst into flame; he was just forty-seven years old. 

 

Worth a watch?

Bale's prominent performance is already beginning to attract Oscar buzz and we haven't even seen the film yet!

With a stunning central cast, a great filmmaker at the helm and an incredible true story at its centre, Ford v Ferrari looks like one of the year's must-see movies. 

It's set to reach UK cinemas Friday, November 15th.

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