We’re only a few weeks after the Le Mans 24hours. Porsche will be in the annuals as the Le Mans 2016 winner for ever. However the drama that happened just a few minutes before the end of the race will be remembered. An engine failure of the leading Toyota forced him to slow down. That allowed the Porsche 919 Hybrid to overtake him, and drive to the overall victory. A finish that will be remembered for ages. Now the Circuit de La Sarthe in France is ready to be the epicentre of motorsport again. This time it won’t be the modern cars that play the major roles. Le Mans Classic is coming. And oh my god, in what a way.
Former Le Mans Winners at Le Mans Classic
Le Mans Classic gives spectators a unique opportunity to see the cars that took part in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1923 and 1993. And not only that, as many drivers use the event to get back behind the wheel. Emanuele Pirro is the man with the most victories on his name. No less than 5 times he was part of the winning team at the iconic endurace race. The Italian racer is a regular competitor in the different Peter Auto grids. At Le Mans Classic he’s racing an Alfa Romeo T33/3 (1969), a Lola T290 (1972) and a Lancia Beta Gr.V (1979). One of his former team mates, 3 time winner Marco Werner will be racing 3 different cars too : a Lotus IX (1955), a Maserati T63 Birdcage (1961) and a Maserati A6 GCS Barchetta (1954).
Romain Dumas took a plane to the USA right after the actual Le Mans 24H to compete in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb and win it. Now he’s back in Le Mans at the wheel of a Porsche 926C. Especially in France, everyone will remember Jean-Pierre Beltoise who passed away last year. His son Julien Beltoise will team up with Henry Pescarolo in the Inaltera that Pescarolo shared with Jean-Pierre Beltoise in 1976.
Gérard Larousse will drive a Porsche 550 Spyder and one of the team members of the heroic triple by Peugeot in 1993, Eric Hélary will be at the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette C3 (1970), a Lancia Beta Gr.V (1979) and an Alfa Romeo T 33 TT (1971).
The 1988 winner Andy Wallace jumps in an iconic Jaguar D-type. Dutch Jan Lammers, with no less than 22 starts in the Le Mans 24hours, will be racing an Austin Healy 3000. Emmanuel Collard will hopefully be at the lead of the pack in a Porsche 908/3 and an impressive Porsche 911 Turbo RSR. Jochen Mass and Gijs van Lennep, 2 more names that once stood on the highest step after 24hours will be racing a De Tomaso Pantera Gr. IV (1971), a Porsche 911 RSR 3L (1974) and a Porsche 908 LH (1968) respectively.
Class Winners at Le Mans Classic
In addition a number of class winners will also be on the grid including Casper Elgaard, first in the LM P2 category in 2009, in a 1964 Porsche 904. On top of that John Fitzpatrick, Ralf Kelleners and Uwe Alzen, all victorious at the wheel of Porsche 911s (1975, 1996 and 1999 respectively), who remain faithful to the Stuttgart make. Double Grand Touring winner,Raymond Narac, is at the wheel of a prototype, a Group C Porsche 962 (1987).
See our report of Le Mans Classic 2014
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