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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The first "Post War" Le-Mans gave a fresh new marque it's first win, that marque being Ferrari, althougth not an official "Works" team, it still counted to their first of what would be Nine.
The second Post-War race saw manurfacturer's come back in leap's & Bound's, Britain had Aston Martin, Frazer-Nash, Jowett and Jaguar. Caddilac made an apperance from the Briggs Cunningham team. 4 Ferrari's were entered with 3 of them from the Luigi Chinetti (1949 Overall Winner) team of America, and the 4th from Lord Seldson (1949 Overall winner again) niether finished.
In Fact the French Talbot-Lago T26 GS's were victorious taking the first 2 position's. The winning car was driven by Farther/son driver combo of Louis Rosier and his son Jean-Louis Rosier. (The latter only drove the car for a quarter of the total time)




Next, 2 of John Wyer's Winner's
During the 1969 the minimal production figure to compete in the Sport category was reduced from 50 to 25. Starting in July 1968 Porsche made a surprising and very expensive effort to conceive, design and build a whole new car for the Sport category with one underlying goal: to win its first overall victory in the 24 Heures du Mans. In only ten months the Porsche 917 was developed, which incorporated remarkable technology: Porsche's first 12-cylinder engine and a lot components from titanium, magnesium and exotic alloys.

Porsche built 25 917 and according to many sources this drove Porsche AG close to bankruptcy. In need of cash, Porsche sold the 917 to anyone who wanted to pay for.

It soon appeared that the Porsche 917 didn't work well on the racing track, as its aerodynamics were developed for low drag rather than downforce. This was necessary for all former underpowered Porsches in order to do well on the fast straights of Le Mans but as the car was 30 km/h (18.6 mph) faster than anything previously built for le Mans the body was generating a significant lift on the straight. Brian Redman recalls that "it was incredibly unstable, using all the road at speed." Many thought that the 4.5 L engine was too much for the frame. At its competition debut at the 1000km Nürburgring, all works drivers preferred the 908 over the 'unsafe' 917, which was driven by two hired drivers, David Piper and Frank Gardner.

Matra ordered the aerodynamic engineer Robert Choulet to conceive a low-drag Long Tail Coupe specially designed for the Le Mans, the Matra 640. On April 16, Matra brought the car to the Sarthe circuit. Henri Pescarolo took it to the track, at the first kilometres in the Hunaudières the car took off and was pulverised, Pescarolo was pulled out alive but severely burned.
In parallel, Matra was experimenting with roadster bodywork. This lead to a new car, the 650. Some 630 chassis were converted in roadster, they were christened 630/650.

Despite the fact that no solution was found to fix the instability of the car, three 917s entered Le Mans. Two were Porsche team and the third was entered by the gentleman-driver John Woolfe. The Ahrens/Stommelen 917 qualified on pole.
Matra entered four cars: a new 650 roadster, a 630 coupe and two 630/650. The Ferrari Prototypes made a come-back with the 3.0 L 312P.

John Wyer's team was there but managed by David Yorkes. Wyer himself wasn't in Le Mans as his wife was ill. The team entered two GT40. Jacky shared GT40 1075, the car that won the previous year, with Jackie Oliver.

Before the race Jacky Ickx had expressed to journalists that he considered the start procedure unsafe as it was not possible to fasten the seat belts properly. When the start was given, he slowly walked across the track to his GT40 instead of running, then entered his car and locked the safety belt carefully before starting last.
Soon after the start the poor handling of the 917 and the inexperience of the driver resulted in a drama: John Woolfe had a fatal accident at the Maison Blanche with his private 917. He had not taken time to belt himself in, proving that Ickx was right.

Woolfe's crash had dislodged the gas tank from car. The burning tank was thrown onto the road where Chris Amon's Ferrari 312 hit it. After an interruption the race was restarted. The 2 official 917s were put out of the race by clutch bell housing problems, but the 908 of Hans Herrmann and Gérard Larrousse remained a serious candidate for the victory.

In a dramatic finish, Herrmann and Ickx repeatedly overtook each other as the Porsche 908 had brake problems, and eventually Ickx managed to beat Herrmann by a few seconds or about 120 metre's.

Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver won with the GT40 chassis 1075, the same car that had won the previous year. This was second time the same car had won two years in a row; a Bentley Speed Six had done it in 1929 and 1930. Joest Racing would repeat this twice later with their #7 cars.

Ironically Jacky Ickx had a road accident near Chartres while driving to Paris on Monday morning. A car pulled in front of his Porsche 911. Ickx's car ended up crushed against a utility pole. Ickx unbuckled his seat belt and stepped unharmed from the wrecked Porsche.







In the wake of the Oil Crisis, Le Mans introduced rules in 1975 regarding fuel consumption, the CSI reacted by excluding the 24 Hours from the World Championship for Makes.

Running at lower rpm to match the fuel limitation a Cosworth DFV engine could be reliable on 24 hours. John Wyer had planned his retirement but he couldn't resist to the opportunity to win in Le Mans again and he chose not to retire this year and to make Le Mans the sole race of the Gulf team program for the 1975 season. Two new Gulf GR-8 were designed and constructed especially for Le Mans, these were largely a derivative of the Gulf GR-7 with a new bodywork giving an up-to-date aerodynamics optimized for Le Mans and fuel efficiency. With the technology of Gulf that could provide specially tuned fuel the Gulf were by far favorite.

The new rule was also an opportunity for Guy Ligier who had previous experience in racing a Cosworth at Le Mans. As Matra had withdrawn from competition, Ligier managed to acquire the services of Matra's engineer Gérard Ducarouge, and the sponsorship of Gitanes.
The sales of Ligier road going JS-2 had decreased drastically with the oil crisis and the team was preparing his entry in Formula 1 for 1976, this left limited financial and engineering means for Endurance racing. Ligier made the choice to run the race with the experienced Ligier JS-2's chassis fitted with DFV engines and Hewland gearboxes.
In terms of performance the Gulf prototypes were clearly superior to the Ligier that were initially designed in 1971 as Maserati-powered road-cars and hacked as Cosworth-powered Prototypes in 1975. Achieving superior reliability was the sole chance for the team to gain advantage over the Gulfs. Ligier chose to run some races of the World Championship before le Mans as tests runs for the Cosworth-powered JS-2.
Gulf entered 2 GR-8's in Le Mans while Ligier entered 2 JS-2 Cosworth and one JS-2 Maserati. Both rivals had seriously downgraded their DFV engines: the Gulf had around 380 hp (280 kW) while the Ligiers had 420 hp (310 kW) to compensate some of their handicap.

Alpine-Renault entered one 2.0 L A441 C with an all women team. As the A441 was probably the best 2.0 L car of that era and 2.0 L cars weren't much restrained by fuel limitation this car was a serious outsider.

Porsche made a minimal effort, being represented only by private teams. The rest of the opposition consisted in a brand new and very aerodynamic-looking Lola T380-Cosworth entered by the gentleman-driver Alain de Cadenet that teamed Chris Craft. De Cadenet was here to finish, according to various sources he had limited his DFV RPMs so low that the engine wasn't able to deliver more than 350 hp.

Without surprise the two Gulfs took the lead of the race. Schuppan and Jaussaud had an alternator failure and went six laps down to teammates Ickx and Bell. The race went on at planned with the Gulf leading, near midnight the brand-new de Cadenet Lola was were it was expected to be, in third position. But the car lost its entire rear bodywork in the straight. Francois Migault hit it at full stride with his Ligier. After nearly an hour's repairs attempts, the Ligier coupe retired. The Lola carried on ; by luck the engine cover had missed the rear wing completely.
Not long after 2:30 p.m.
Ickx pitted to repair a broken exhaust pipe, the repairs were completed as the remaining Ligier entered the lead lap. During the race the V8 powered Ligiers were also plagged by broken exhaust pipes due to DFV's destructive vibrations to a worse extend that the Gulf but with the experience gained in other races and a design of the exhaust system allowing quicker parts exchange they losted less time in the pits than the Gulfs.

It was later revealed that the winning Gulf had also a serious differential problems.
The experienced John Wyer managed to hide his anxiety. According to some, Guy Ligier had the false conviction that everything else went as planned for the leading Gulf and missed the opportunity to put more pressure on the leaders to push them to mechanical failure, on the other hand considering the dysbalance between the teams some thinks that in Guy Ligier's mind securing 2nd position was enough to ensure the funding of Ligier as an F1 team in the future. The truth was probably in-between : fuel consumption was in favor of the Gulf and only a major failure could gave a victory the Ligier while Ligier had to handle with fuel consumption limit to have a homologated result.

The Gulf GR-8 driven by Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell finished the race at the first place having led the race during the 24 hours. The other Gulf had mechanical problem finished third leaving the second position to a Ligier piloted by Guy Lafosse and Guy Chasseuil.
The gap between the winning Gulf and the Ligier was only one lap, and the public made an equal ovation to the first a the second.
De Cadenet's Lola was third finishing the race with a bodywork sticked together with a lot of adhesive tape. This remains be the best result of de Cadenet in Le Mans and the best result of a Lola chassis.
Reinhold Joest, Jürgen Barth and Mario Casoni were fourth in their aged Porsche 908/3.


 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
1988 was with out a doubt TWR Jaguar's best year in Group C racing. In Febuary, the TWR Castrol XJR-9 ended Porsche's 11 year run of victory at the Daytona 24 Hour's by beating all comer's.
The Sebring 12 Hours always eluded the TWR team. The World Sport's car Championship was going there way as well, after Sauber/Mercedes took the first win at Jerez, Jag bounced back by winning at Jarama, Monza and Silverstone to take a healthy lead in the championship. Then it came to Le-Mans, the "works" Porsche's were back but Sauber?Mercedes were not, withdrawing after tyre trouble's in qualifying.
Jag entered a field of 5 car's, No's 1 2 & 3 were entered under TWR UK and the No 21 & 22 were entered under TWR US, but all 5 were in full Silk Cut sponsorship.
After the 3 Works Porsche's lead early on, No2 look the lead and pulled away when the Porsche's were fighting amongst themselfs.
No's 1 & 3 retired with mechanical problem's but the No2 of Lammers, Wallace and Dumfrice survived justahead of the Stuck, Bell and Ludwig 962, ending Porsche's 7 year stangle hold at La-Sarthe.




The winning XJR-9 of 1988 & XJR-12 of 1990


From a 50-car entry list, 28 genuine starters emerged for the 1992 race. It was the lowest car count at Le Mans since 1932 when Raymond Sommer and Luigi Chinetti won for Alfa Romeo, and smaller even than the field for the inaugural 1923 24 Hours.
The thin entry included four makeweight 2.0-liter Peugeot 905 center-seat spyders from the French national series.
Jean Sage brought six Peugeot 905s, three racers and one T-car for each driver set.
Tom's Toyota saw its chance but brought only one V10 T-car for its three-car team. Peugeots gridded first, second and sixth with Toyotas third, fourth and fifth. Full marks to Peugeot's Yannick Dalmas for lapping the new 8.45mi course five seconds faster than Mark Blundell's '90 pole-winning lap.
Even Mother Nature seemed to disapprove of this small field and covered the first three hours of the race with a penetrating rain.
The reining champion's (Mazda) came back with the lack of it's patented rotery engine, now using a Jaguar XJR-14 chassis, replacing the Cosworth V8 with a Judd V10, and the previous 3 winning driver's were joined by Luis Perez Sala.
Peugeot and Toyota locked out the first 6 place's, but few believed that these C1 car's were to last the distance.
In fact, 4 of the top 6 finished, only the No31 Peugeot and No7 Toyota failed to finish.
Peugeot won through tough compatition and bad weather, adding to their already big lead in the Sports Car Championship. Mazda finished 4th, 16 lap's down and never really looked in woth a shout for victory
Peugeot finished out the year as the final FIA Sports Car Champion. The series was abandoned, and the question on nearly everyone's mind was, "Now what?"




The the Winning 905's of 1992 & 1993


The rear Spoilers...


I do believe there is something wrong with the Rear wing on these 905's, it seem's to high up. It should be lower down and further back from the rear of the car.


Here's a very amaturish way i did to show where the spoiler should be.






The 2nd placed Toyota, Also made by Ixo.


 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The 1994 race was won by a car that had its roots in a 10 year old design. Porsche exploited an unusual quirk in the GT regulations at the time. German fashion magnate Jochen Dauer had had a road-going version of the 962 built and, using this design, Porsche entered two Dauer 962s in the GT category. With factory support, a Dauer-Porsche 962 won the 1994 24h race, the other came in a close third.
Toyota, having themselves dusted off a pair of Group C chassis after its 3.5-litre engined TS010 was no longer eligible, suffered transmission problems with 90 minutes to go after leading a great slice of the race, leaving Eddie Irvine to finish 2nd in his 94CV after a amazing drive, only just beating the No35 Dauer by mere yard's.
This was also supposed to be Derek Bell's swansong Le Mans, driving a Porsche-powered Kremer with Gulf sponsorship, but the lure of driving a McLaren F1 GTR with son Justin the following year proved too strong.





1997 was again a year in which manufactuer interest grew. Porsche, Nissan, Panoz, Lister, Mclaren, Lotus & Ferrari were all out in force to win. But right from the start Porsche dominated throughout, 2 Work's GT1's ran together at the front, with Bob Wollek in line for his first win in 27 attempt's, but his engine expired after 16 hours.
There team-mate's look set to win, but they themselfs cought fire with less than 2 hour's to go, this handed victory to the Joest run TWR Porsche WSC Chassis No7 that won the previous year, (This was the second time Joest had won back to back Le-Mans with a Porsche which was the same chassis back in 1984 & 1985)
All 3 of the Works Nissan's suffered from Gear-Box cooling problem's. 2 of the 3 Gulf McLarens cought fire and retired, while J.J Letho in his Fina McLaren hit the wall at Mulsane corner putting that car out, there team-mates upheld GT honours by coming 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
All 3 Panoz's dropped out from engine failiure's after showing good form and Lister had a torid time with there new car, one crashing out and the other retiring with a broken clutch.




And now, for what is most likely the most famous of the Audi R8's (Amongst us collector's anyway) The Crocodile from the Adelade 1000Km's






Now i can Join Felix in having both in both 1:18 & 1:43


For some reason, only the Minichamps has the winglet's at the front, the 1:1 car certainly had them, why not the Maisto 1:18?
 
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