Le Mans Grand Prix d'Endurance

The first Le Mans was held in 26/27 May 1923 and was won by Andre Lagache and Rene Leonard in their 3 litre Chenard & Walcker. All races since then have been held in June, with the exceptions of 1956 (July) and 1968 (September). Traditionally, the race always starts at 16:00 on the Saturday, although in 1984 the race started at 15:00 due to the conflicting French General Election. The race has been held every year since then with the exceptions of 1936, and between 1940 and 1948, when the Second World War intervened.

In the original configuration, the race track used was 10.73 miles (17.26 km) long, and has subsequently been shortened on several occasions. The traditional start, where drivers ran across the track to their race cars, was last used in 1969.

The worst ever motorsport accident unfortunately occured during the 1955 Le Mans race. Having voiced his unease at the narrowness of the straight in front of the pits, Pierre Levegh's Mercedes struck the rear of an Austin Healey driven by Lance Macklin on the pit straight. The car rammed the bank, exploded, and its engine flew into the packed grandstand, killing 80. Levegh died instantly, and the entire Mercedes team was withdrawn, including Stirling Moss and Juan-Manuel Fangio. This precipitated the complete withdrawal from motorsport for Mercedes.



Le Mans 24 Hrs past winners

Year  Car                Drivers                           Distance  Speed
                                                            (miles)  (mph)
Circuit - 10.726 miles
1923  Chenard & Walcker  A.Lagache, R.Leonard (F)          1372.9    57.21
1924  Bentley 3 litre    J.Duff, F.Clement (GB)            1290.8    53.78
1925  La Lorraine        G.de Courcelles, A.Rossignol (F)  1388.1    57.84
1926  La Lorraine        R.Bloch, A.Rossignol (F)          1586.0    66.08
1927  Bentley 3 litre    D.Benjafield, S.Davis (GB)        1472.5    61.34
1928  Bentley 4.5        W.Barnato, B.Rubin (GB)           1658.6    69.11

Circuit - 10.153 miles
1929  Bentley 6 speed    W.Barnato, Sir H.Birkin (GB)      1767.1    73.63
1930  Bentley 6 speed    W.Barnato, G.Kidston (GB)         1821.0    75.88
1931  Alfa Romeo 8C2300  E.Howe, Sir H.Birkin (GB)         1875.1    78.13

Circuit - 8.475 miles
1932  Alfa Romeo 8C2300  R.Sommer, L.Chinetti (F,I)        1835.6    76.58
1933  Alfa Romeo 8C2300  R.Sommer, T.Nuvolari (F,I)        1953.6    81.40
1934  Alfa Romeo 8C2300  L.Chinetti, P.Etancelin (I,F)     1793.9    74.74
1935  Lagonda M45R       JS Hindmarsh, L.Fontes (GB,RA)    1868.3    77.85
1936  Race cancelled
1937  Bugatti 57G        JP Wimille, R.Benoist (F)         2043.0    85.13
1938  Delahaye 135M      E.Chaboud, J.Tremoulet (F)        1976.5    82.36
1939  Bugatti 57G        JP Wimille, P.Veyron (F)          2084.5    86.69
1940-48 Race cancelled
1949  Ferrari 166MM      L.Chinetti, Lord Selsdon (USA,GB) 1974.9    82.28
1950  Talbot-Lago        L.Rosier, JL Rosier (F)           2153.1    89.71
1951  Jaguar C-Type      P.Walker, P.Whitehead (GB)        2243.9    93.50
1952  Mercedes-B.300SL   H.Lang, F.Riess (D)               2320.1    96.67
1953  Jaguar C-Type      T.Rolt, D.Hamilton (GB)           2540.2   105.84
1954  Ferrari 375        F.Gonzalez, M.Trintignant (RA,F)  2523.5   105.15
1955  Jaguar D-Type      M.Hawthorn, I.Bueb (GB)           2569.6   107.07

Circuit - 8.364 miles
1956  Jaguar D-Type      R.Flockhart, N.Sanderson (GB)     2507.2   104.47
1957  Jaguar D-Type      R.Flockhart, I.Bueb (GB)          2732.2   113.85
1958  Ferrari 250TR58    O.Gendebien, P.Hill (B,USA)       2548.8   106.20
1959  Aston Martin DBR1  C.Shelby, R.Salvadori (USA,GB)    2701.7   112.57
1960  Ferrari 250TR59/60 O.Gendebien, P.Frere (B)          2620.6   109.19
1961  Ferrari 250TR61    O.Gendebien, P.Hill (B,USA)       2781.6   115.90
1962  Ferrari 330LM/TR   O.Gendebien, P.Hill (B,USA)       2765.9   115.24
1963  Ferrari 250P       L.Scarfiotti, L.Bandini (I)       2834.5   118.10
1964  Ferrari 275P       J.Guichet, N.Vaccarella (F,I)     2917.5   121.56
1965  Ferrari 250LM      J.Rindt, M.Gregory (A,USA)        2906.2   121.09
1966  Ford GT40 Mk2      C.Amon, B.McLaren (NZ)            3009.4   125.39
1967  Ford GT40 Mk4      D.Gurney, AJ Foyt (USA)           2630.2   135.48

Circuit - 8.369 miles
1968  Ford GT40          P.Rodriguez, L.Bianchi (Mex,B)    2766.9   115.29
1969  Ford GT40          J.Ickx, J.Oliver (B,GB)           3105.6   129.40
1970  Porsche 917        H.Herrmann, R.Attwood (D,GB)      2863.2   119.30
1971  Porsche 917        H.Marko, G.van Lennep (A,NL)      3315.2   138.13

Circuit - 8.475 miles
1972  Matra-Simca MS670  H.Pescarolo, G.Hill (F,GB)        2915.1   121.45
1973  Matra-Simca MS670B H.Pescarolo, G.Larrousse (F)      3016.1   125.67
1974  Matra-Simca MS670B H.Pescarolo, G.Larrousse (F)      2862.4   119.27
1975  Mirage-Ford M8     J.Ickx, D.Bell (B,GB)             2855.6   118.98
1976  Porsche 936        J.Ickx, G.van Lennep (B,NL)       2963.9   123.49
1977  Porsche 936        J.Ickx,J.Barth,H.Haywood(B,D,USA) 2902.8   120.95
1978  Renault Alpine     JP Jaussaud, D.Pironi (F)         3134.5   130.60

Circuit - 8.467 miles
1979  Porsche 935        K.Ludwig,B & D.Whittington		(D,USA)     2590.9   108.10
1980  Rondeau Ford M379B JP Jaussaud, J.Rondeau			(F)         2861.4   119.23
1981  Porsche 936-81     J.Ickx, D.Bell				(B,GB)      2998.3   124.93
1982  Porsche 956-82     J.Ickx, D.Bell				(B,GB)      3044.2   126.84
1983  Porsche 956-83     V.Schuppan, H.Haywood, A.Holbert   	(A,USA,USA) 3136.5   130.70
1984  Porsche 956B       K.Ludwig, H.Pescarolo 			(D,F)       3045.0   126.88
1985  Porsche 956B       K.Ludwig, P.Barilla, J.Winter      	(D,I,D)     3157.9   131.76


Circuit - 8.51 miles
1986  Porsche 962C       D.Bell, H.Stuck, A.Holbert		(GB,D,USA)  3088.1   128.66

Circuit - 8.45 miles
1987  Porsche 962C       D.Bell, H.Stuck, A.Holbert		(GB,D,USA)  2977.0   124.06
1988  Jaguar XJR-9LM     J.Dumfries, J.Lammers, A.Wallace	(GB,NL,GB)  3313.2   137.72
1989  Sauber Mercedes C9 J.Mass, S.Dickens, M.Reuter		(D,S,D)     3269.6   136.23

Circuit - 8.45 miles (with Mulsanne Chicanes)
1990  Jaguar XJR-12      M.Brundle, J.Nielsen, P.Cobb		(GB,DK,USA) 3040.7   126.69
1991  Mazda 787B         J.Herbert, B.Gachot, V.Weidler		(GB,B,D)    3058.9   127.45
1992  Peugeot 905        D.Warwick, Y.Dalmas, M.Blundell	(GB,F,GB)   2992.0   124.66
1993  Peugeot 905B       G.Brabham, E.Helary, C.Bouchut		(AUS,F,F)   3168.8   133.34
1994  Dauer Porsche962LM Y.Dalmas, H.Haywood, M.Baldi		(F,USA,I)   2912.2   121.33
1995  McLaren F1 GTR     Y.Dalmas, JJ Lehto, M.Sekiya		(F,SF,J)    2518.1   105.01
1996  Porsche WSC95      D.Jones, M.Reuter, A.Wurz		(USA,D,A)   2991.3   124.65
1997  Porsche WSC95      M.Alboreto, S.Johansson, T.Kristensen	(I,S,DK)    3050.5   126.88
1998  Porsche 911 GT1-98 A.McNish, S.Ortelli, L.Aiello		(GB,F,F)    2966.0   123.85
1999  BMW V12 LMR        Y.Dalmas, J.Winkelhock, P.Martini	(F,D,I)     3084.3   128.51
2000  Audi A8            F.Biela, T.Kristensen, E.Pirro		(D,DK,I)    3109.6   129.57
2001  Audi R8            F.Biela, T.Kristensen, E.Pirro		(D,DK,I)    2712.4   113.09

Circuit - 8.483 miles
2002  Audi R8            F.Biela, T.Kristensen, E.Pirro		(D,DK,I)    3181.3   132.42
2003  Bentley EXP Speed8 R.Capello, T.Kristensen, G.Smith    	(I,DK,GB)   3196.1   133.17
2004  Audi R8            S.Ara, T.Kristensen, R.Capello    	(J,DK,I)    3215.3   133.88
2005  Audi R8            JJ Lehto, T.Kristensen, M.Werner	(SF,DK,D)   3075.8   128.16
2006  Audi R10 TDI       F.Biela, E.Pirro, M.Werner		(D,I,D)     3158.9   131.18

Circuit - 8.469 miles
2007  Audi R10 TDI       F.Biela, E.Pirro, M.Werner		(D,I,D)     3125.1   129.95
2008  Audi R10 TDI       A.McNish, R.Capello, T.Kristensen	(GB,I,DK)   3226.6   134.41
2009  Peugeot 908Hdi-FAP A.Wurz, D.Brabham, M.Gene		(A,AUS,E)   3235.0   134.63
2010  Audi R15-plus TDI  T.Bernhard, R.Dumas, M.Rockenfeller	(D,F,D)     3361.2   139.95
2011  Audi R18 TDI       B.Treluyer, M.Fassler, A.Lotterer	(F,CH,D)    3006.4   125.06
2012  Audi R18 e-tron q. B.Treluyer, M.Fassler, A.Lotterer	(F,CH,D)    3201.3   133.27
2013  Audi R18 e-tron q. A.McNish, T.Kristensen, L.Duval	(GB,DK,F)   2947.1   122.69
2014  Audi R18 e-tron q. A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer, M.Fassler	(D,F,CH)    3209.6   133.55

See also Maison Blanche for Le Mans History and news.