LE MANS 24 HOURS 1983

18th - 19th June

51 starters 20 cassified finishers

Porsche had commercialised their 956s at the start of the season at a price of around £200,000 each, and the German cars made up no less than one third of the Group C field.

While 2 of the 3 works cars made it a factory double, teutonic supremaey in the race was emphasized by the fact that private 956s monopolised the next 6 positions. Never in the history of the race had a manufacturer managed to fill the first 8 plaees. It was also the third conseeutive victory for Stuttgart and the first for an Australian in the affable personage of Vern Schuppan. The start was given by Bemard Malsait. the Sarthe Superintendant and Republican Cormmissaire.

CIRCUIT :

Unchanged 13.626 layout.

REGULATIONS :

A clean sweep in relation to the past with the disappearanee of Groups 4. 5 and 6. Introduction of Group C Junior with a minimum weight of 700 kgs and a 55 litre fue1 tank with a total fuel al1owance of 1430 litres for 24 hours. Group B succeeded Group 4 and was open to Grand Touring cars.

STARTERS

51 cars 7 nations 19 makes

France : 1 cougar. 7 Rondeaus, 1 Sthemo. 2 WMs.

Germany: 1 BMW, 21 Porsches, 1 URD. Great Britain : 1 De cadenet. 1 Emka, 1 Grid, 1 Lola. 1 Nimrod.

ltaly: 1 Alba. 5 Lancias.

Japan : 1 Dome, 2 Mazdas.

Switzerland : 1 Sauber. 1 Sehear.

United Slates of America : 1 Ford.

SUMMARY :

Porsche's main adversary in the world championship. Lancia. entered 3 of their new LC2s powered by a 2.6 litre turbocharged V8 derived from the engine of the Ferrari 308 GTE. Fast but fragile they were never a real match for the 956s. Among the debutant drivers was Jacques Villeneuve brother of the late great Gilles. This time the Andrettis. father and son were at the start. Almost immediately the works ears were in trouble as Jacky lckx had a coming together with the Canon 956 of Jan Lammers on the entry to Mulsanne. In addition. he was to loose further time with electrical gremlins. However, off into the distance at high speed went the Mass - Bellof car before being eliminated with a blown engine just after midnight. The works team were lucky enough to have a "tortoise" in the form of the Haywood - Holbert - Sehuppan 956 to take up the running. It held first place until the chequered flag in spite of losing a door on Les Hunaudieres and the engine seizing solid on the final lap. Thus a very smoky Porsche took the chequered flag only 3 kilometres ahead of the lckx - Bell entry which was running out of fuel and being quickly reeled in by the Andrettis - Alliot car. First non Porsche finisher was the ninth placed 3.5 litre Sauber BMW. John Cooper (with Paul Smith and David Ovey) won the GT class for the third year running in his Porsehe 930. Al1 the works Lancias retired.

RECORDS:

Jacky lckx set a new fastest 1ap in 3'29"7, a speed of 233.922 km/h while the winning trio of Holbert, Haywood and Schuppan set new distance and average speed records for the 13.626 km circuit in 5047.934 kms and 210.330 km/h respectively. the first time that the 5000 km barrier had been breached on this layout. In praetice, lckx set a new unoffidal lap record in 3'16"36, a speed of 249. 009 km/h.

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Le Mans 1964

Author: ArchitectPage