Published on August 4th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Le Mans Endurance Racing Trivia Facts
Le Mans Endurance racing has had its share of interesting facts…..here are some.
Despite new components being compulsorily added, such as wheel tethers, to conform to 2014 safety regulations, this year’s Audi R18 e-tron quattro is the lightest sports prototype ever designed by the German manufacturer.
Toyota Racing’s Alex Wurz holds the record as the youngest driver to have ever won the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the age of 22. He was driving for Joest Racing in 1996 when he achieved his first victory, and also holds the record for the longest gap between victories – his second coming in 2009 with Peugeot Sport, driving alongside Marc Gené and David Brabham.
The highest speed achieved on the track is 405 km/h was set by Roger Dorchy with a WM Peugeot P88 in 1988, during the race, on the Hunaudières straight. Don’t forget this was in the era before the chicanes were installed (for the 1990 race) and this record has little chance of being beaten!
Porsche holds the record for the most overall victories by a constructor, 16. This includes those of the TWR Porsche and Dauer Porsche.
Audi is next up with 12 victories…who will be adding to their tally in two weeks’ time?
Porsche also holds the loyalty record for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 63 years of participation, and consistently each year since 1951.
In the last 50 races, the eventual winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has started from second place on the grid no fewer than 10 times, and 9 times from 4th place, including last year’s Audi Sport Team Joest winners (Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loïc Duval).
Endurance racing logic is thus respected: it’s not necessarily the fastest in qualifying who wins, but the car which spends the least amount of time in the pits!
Germany holds the record for the most number of victories by nationality (30), with Great Britain next with 17 and France with 15. With the addition of Nissan alongside Toyota Racing to the FIA WEC in 2015, Japan doubles its chances of adding to its single victory attained in 1991 by Mazda.