19th - 20th June

55 starters 18 classified finishers

The arrival of Group C, the first measures aimed at limiting fuel consumption and a historie sixth victory for Jacky Ickx were the main features of the 50th Le Mans 24 Hour race which saw total domination by the 956 Porsehes, plus victory in all the other categories for the Stuttgart company. Derek Bell increased his tally of Le Mans wins to three. The start was given by Luigi Chinetti, also three times winner of the raee.

CIRCUIT : 13.626 layout.

13.626 kms. Layout unchanged but the zone between the Dunlop Curve and Tertre Rouge was modemised and the pits straight was also modified.


First Le Mans race open to cars complying with the Group C regulations. Fuel tank capacity limited to 100 litres with 2600 litres allocated to each competitor for a maximum of 25 refuelling stops plus, of course, a full tank at the start. Obligatory flat bottom of 100 x 80 cms. Each competitor was obliged to take part in an intenational event before 30th May 1982. Introduction of a 45 minute free practiee session on the Saturday morning before the start. Final year of the cohabitation between Groups 4/5/6 and Group C. Suppression of the GTP Category and only 2 IMSA classes : GT and GTX.


55 cars 7 nations 18 makes

France : 1 Cougar, 6 Rondeaus, 2 WMs. Gerrnany: 3 BMWs, 16 Porsehes, 1 URD. Great Britain : 1 Chevron, 1 De Cadenet, 1 Grid, 2 Lolas, 2 Marches, 2 Nimrods.

ltaly : 4 Ferraris, 4 Lancias.

Japan : 2 Mazdas, 1 Dome.

Switzerland : 2 Saubers.

United States of America : 2 Chevrolets, 2 Fords.


The new Porsehe 956s (monocoque chassis and 2.6 litre turbo engine) had the best possible debut as they finished the race in the first three places in their tearn order 1. 2. 3. Jacky Ickx, victorious for the sixth time, shared the winning car for the third time with Derek Bell. Debut of the Le Mans built Cougar of Yves Courage plus the semi - official return of Aston Martin under the Nimrod banner, one of which finished in seventh place. Although leading in the early stages none of the cars powered by the 3. 9 litre version of the V8 Cosworth (2 Ford C 100s, 2 Sauber Fords, 1 Lola Ford and the 3 M 82 Rondeau Fords) finished : the majority of retirements were caused by electrieal and mechanical problems due to the excessive vibrations generated by the enlarged version of the engine. The future winners took the lead soon after midnight and their only threat came from their team members and the 936 of Bob Wollek and the Martin brothers which retired shorfly before the end when in third place. Both Group 6 Lancias failed to finish, atter having stopped on the circuit on lap 2 with ignition and fuel feed problems, taking over an hour to rejoin their pits , while the only other Group 6 car, the Chevron Ford B 36, also retired . For the second year running Group 5 honours went to the British entered 935 of John Cooper and Claude Bourgoigne associated with Paul Smith. Finally, the Mirage Porsche of Mario and son Michel Andretti was hastily dragged off the grid just before the start for non-conforrnity.


The fastest lap went to Jean Ragnotti Rondeau M 382 in 3'36"9, a speed of 226.168 km/h. A new distanee and average speed record was set by Jacky Ickx's and Derek Bell's Porsehe 956 which covered 4899.086 kms at a speed of 204.128 km/h. Fastest lap in praetice : Ickx Porsehe 956 in 3'28"40, a speed of 235.381 km/h.

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Author: ArchitectPage