Focus on the Porsche 911 GT1 # 005 of the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans

The Porsche 911 GT1 Evo

Since the success of the 956 and 962, Porsche no longer presented a factory car, but rather lent a helping hand (sometimes even a very strong one) to its private teams. An exception to all of this was the victory at the 24 Hours of Mans 1994 with the Dauer 962 Le Mans from Yannick Dalmas, Hurley Haywood, Mauro baldi. In fact, a 962 modified in « GT1 ».

The German automaker is focusing on producing a racing version of the current 911 model, the 993 turbo. At that time there were GT1s, and GT2s. For the first category, the legislator then required a production of 25 copies per year.

The Porsche factory is primarily interested in GT2, a category for which the 993 model is relatively easy to adapt. In 1995, some Porsche 993 GT2 were modified in an attempt to promote them in GT1, but the gap was too large to be closed.

After McLaren’s victory with his F1 GTR at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche is opening its eyes. We are then convinced that to win at Le Mans, we will need a GT1 car based on the 911 type 993.

Porsche decides to first design a racing car and then adopt it for road use in order to meet homologation requirements. The biggest problem with the 996 GT2 is the location of its engine which does not allow the use of « Venturi tunnels », essential for obtaining downforce.

The engineers decided to “move” the flat six, making this GT1 the first 911 with a rear mid-engine and also water-cooled. With an engine derived from the 3200 cc twin turbo Porsche 962 developing 600 hp, roughly the same power as the BMW V12, the Porsche 911 GT1 was born.

A problem then arises for Porsche. The FIA ​​says it will have to limit turbocharged engines, leaving Porsche with its 911 GT1 to run 50 to 60 hp less. This new rule obliges the Stuttgart brand to make a new version of its 911 GT1, an Evo version in 1997 …

The 911 GT1 # 005 Evo

The 911 GT1 chassis # 005, seen at Le Mans in August, is one of three new factory cars built for the 1997 season. It was awarded to Hans-Joachim Stuck and Thierry Boutsen for the FIA ​​GT championship in the second half of 1997.

But, before, it made its debut in competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans driven by Emmanuel Collard, Ralf Kelleners and Yannick Dalmas. She wears # 26. During the pre-qualifying practice, they set 3rd absolute time in 3’44 »685 and 5th time in qualifying for the month of June in 3’45 »490.

In the race, it takes the lead with the sister car, the # 25 of Hans-Joachim Stuck, Bob Wollek, Thierry Boutsen. After the latter was abandoned due to a fault by the French, the # 26 took the lead, but a spectacular fire ended the race at 13:43 following a ruptured oil hose.

After the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it therefore participates in the FIA ​​GT Championship, Stuck / Boutsen cannot do better than 4th place at Mugello. The # 005 was then sold to Champion Motors in 1998 and entered the ALMS championship. She signed, among other things, a 3rd place at the 12 Hours of Sebring with Thierry Boutsen, Bob Wollek and Andy Pilgrim (# 74). It won the GT1 category three times that year. Less luck at the 24 Hours of Daytona with an abandon (but ranked 19th) due to overheating while being led by Thierry Boutsen, Andy Pilgrim and Ralf Kelleners.

In 1999, she notably competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring with Bob Wollek, Thierry Boutsen and Dirk Müller. The three men finished 4th. This chassis ends 7th at Petit Le Mans 1999 with Allan McNish, Ralf Kelleners and Bob Wollek. Then in 2000 Gunnar Racing did not enter it until the 24 hours Daytona 2001. It was driven by Gunnar Jeannette, Wayne Jackson, Mike Brockman and a certain Paul Newman, but unfortunately an oil leak at the start of the race prevented it. to go far.

It was then resold in Europe and in 2016 it was presented to the Techno Classica by the dealer Jan Lühn. It now belongs to a French driver who has decided to put it back in its 1997 Le Mans version. He entered it during the Endurance Racing Legends last August, as a preamble to the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2021. It was entrusted to the one of its former pilots from 1997, Manu Collard!

A few photos of Endurance Racing Legends as the curtain rises at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans …

Laisser un commentaire