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1997 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 65th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 14 and 15 June 1997.

1997 24 Hours of Le Mans
Previous: 1996 Next: 1998
Index: Races | Winners

The race saw the first of a record (as of 2013) 9 wins at Le Mans for popular Danish driver Tom Kristensen.

Pre-raceEdit

The Dunlop chicane was modified slightly in order to slow speeds again but also accommodate larger gravel traps as runoff area for the protection of motorcycle riders using the Bugatti Circuit. Frenchman Sébastien Enjolras lost his life in a pre-qualifying accident in his Welter Racing WR LM97-Peugeot.

RaceEdit

The 1997 race was won by the same chassis as had won in 1996, marking the second time that Joest had won back-to-back Le Mans with the same chassis (previously done in 1984 and 1985). They were able to beat factory teams in the GT1 and LMP classes from Porsche, BMW and Nissan. The TWR-Porsche was not the fastest on track during the race, but was able to take advantage of the leading Porsche 911 GT1's and McLaren F1 GTR's mechanical problems, allowing the Joest Racing machine to claim victory by one lap.

Official resultsEdit

 
Le Mans in 1997
Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
Engine
1 LMP 7   Joest Racing GmbH   Michele Alboreto
  Stefan Johansson
  Tom Kristensen
TWR Porsche WSC-95 G 361
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
2 LMGT1 41   Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren   Jean-Marc Gounon
  Pierre-Henri Raphanel
  Anders Olofsson
McLaren F1 GTR M 360
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
3 LMGT1 43   BMW Motorsport   Peter Kox
  Roberto Ravaglia
  Éric Hélary
McLaren F1 GTR M 358
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
4 LMP 13   Courage Compétition   Didier Cottaz
  Jérôme Policand
  Marc Goossens
Courage C41 M 336
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
5 LMGT1 33   Schübel Engineering   Pedro Lamy
  Armin Hahne
  Patrice Goueslard
Porsche 911 GT1 M 331
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
6 LMP 3   Moretti Racing Inc.   Gianpiero Moretti
  Didier Theys
  Max Papis
Ferrari 333 SP Y 321
Ferrari F310E 4.0 L V12
7 LMP 8   La Filière Elf   Henri Pescarolo
  Jean-Philippe Belloc
  Emmanuel Clérico
Courage C36 M 319
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
8 LMGT1 27   BMS Scuderia Italia   Pierluigi Martini
  Christian Pescatori
  Antônio Hermann
Porsche 911 GT1 P 317
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
9 LMGT2 78   Elf Haberthur Racing   Michel Neugarten
  Guy Martinolle
  Jean-Claude Lagniez
Porsche 911 GT2 D 307
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
10 LMGT2 74   Roock Racing   André Ahrlé
  Andy Pilgrim
  Bruno Eichmann
Porsche 911 GT2 M 306
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
11 LMGT2 73   Roock Racing   Manuel Mello-Breyner
  Tomaz Mello-Breyner
  Pedro Mello-Breyner
Porsche 911 GT2 M 295
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
12 LMGT1 23   Nissan Motorsport   Kazuyoshi Hoshino
  Érik Comas
  Masahiko Kageyama
Nissan R390 GT1 B 294
Nissan VRH35L 3.5 L Turbo V8
13 LMGT2 80   GT Racing Team AG   Claudia Hürtgen
  John Robinson
  Hugh Price
Porsche 911 GT2 P 280
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
14 LMGT2 63   Société Viper Team Oreca   Justin Bell
  Pierre Yver
  John Morton
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 278
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
15 LMGT2 64   Chamberlain Engineering   Hans Hugenholtz Jr.
  Jari Nurminen
  Chris Gleason
Chrysler Viper GTS-R G 269
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
16 LMP 10   Courage Compétition   Fredrik Ekblom
  Jean-Louis Ricci
  Jean-Paul Libert
Courage C36 M 265
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
17 LMP 15   Team TDR   Yojiro Terada
  Jim Downing
  Franck Fréon
Kudzu DLM-4 G 263
Mazda R26B 2.6 L 4-Rotor
DNF LMGT1 26   Porsche AG   Emmanuel Collard
  Ralf Kelleners
  Yannick Dalmas
Porsche 911 GT1 Evo G 327
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 39   Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren   Ray Bellm
  Andrew Gilbert-Scott
  Masanori Sekiya
McLaren F1 GTR M 326
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 61   Société Viper Team Oreca   Philippe Gache
  Olivier Beretta
  Dominique Dupuy
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 263
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
DNF LMGT1 25   Porsche AG   Hans-Joachim Stuck
  Thierry Boutsen
  Bob Wollek
Porsche 911 GT1 Evo G 238
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 42   BMW Motorsport   JJ Lehto
  Steve Soper
  Nelson Piquet
McLaren F1 GTR M 236
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
DNF LMGT1 29   Société JB Jabouille Bouresche   Jürgen von Gartzen
  Olivier Thévenin
  Alain Ferté
Porsche 911 GT1 M 236
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 54   David Price Racing   Andy Wallace
  James Weaver
  Butch Leitzinger
Panoz GTR-1 G 236
Ford-Roush 6.0 L V8
DNF LMGT1 30   Kremer Racing   Christophe Bouchut
  Andy Evans
  Bertrand Gachot
Porsche 911 GT1 G 207
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT2 75   Société Larbre Compétition   Patrick Bourdais
  Peter Kitchak
  André Lara-Rezende
Porsche 911 GT2 M 205
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMP 9   Courage Compétition   Mario Andretti
  Michael Andretti
  Olivier Grouillard
Courage C36 M 197
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 52   Société DAMS   Franck Lagorce
  Éric Bernard
  Jean-Christophe Boullion
Panoz GTR-1 M 149
Ford-Roush 6.0 L V8
DNF LMGT1 55   David Price Racing   David Brabham
  Perry McCarthy
  Doc Bundy
Panoz GTR-1 G 145
Ford-Roush 6.0 L V8
DNF LMGT1 21   Nissan Motorsport   Martin Brundle
  Jörg Müller
  Wayne Taylor
Nissan R390 GT1 B 139
Nissan VRH35L 3.5 L Turbo V8
DNF LMGT1 28   Konrad Motorsport   Franz Konrad
  Mauro Baldi
  Robert Nearn
Porsche 911 GT1 P 138
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT2 67   Saleen/Allen Speedlab   Steve Saleen
  Price Cobb
  Carlos Palau
Saleen Mustang SR D 133
Ford 5.9 L V8
DNF LMGT2 79   Konrad Motorsport   Toni Seiler
  Larry Schumacher
  Michel Ligonnet
Porsche 911 GT2 P 126
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 22   Nissan Motorsport   Riccardo Patrese
  Eric van de Poele
  Aguri Suzuki
Nissan R390 GT1 B 121
Nissan VRH35L 3.5 L Turbo V8
DNF LMGT1 49   GT1 Lotus Racing   Jan Lammers
  Mike Hezemans
  Alexander Grau
Lotus GT1 M 121
Chevrolet LT5 6.0 L V8
DNF LMP 5   Kremer Racing   Tomás Saldaña
  Carl Rosenblad
  Jürgen Lässig
Kremer K8 Spyder G 103
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT2 84   Stadler Motorsport   Enzo Calderari
  Lilian Bryner
  Angelo Zadra
Porsche 911 GT2 P 98
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 44   Team Lark McLaren   Akihiko Nakaya
  Keiichi Tsuchiya
  Gary Ayles
McLaren F1 GTR M 88
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 77   Société Chereau   Jean-Luc Chéreau
  Jack Leconte
  Jean-Pierre Jarier
Porsche 911 GT2 M 77
Porsche 3.6L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 46   Newcastle United Lister Storm   Julian Bailey
  Thomas Erdos
  Mark Skaife
Lister Storm GTL D 77
Jaguar 7.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 62   Société Viper Team Oreca   Tommy Archer
  Soheil Ayari
  Marc Duez
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 76
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
DNF LMGT2 60   Agusta Racing Team   Almo Coppelli
  Rocky Agusta
  Éric Graham
Callaway Corvette LM-GT2 D 45
Chevrolet LT1 6.2 L V8
DNF LMGT2 66   Saleen/Allen Speedlab   David Warnock
  Rob Schirle
  Allen Lloyd
Saleen Mustang SR D 28
Ford 5.9 L V8
DNF LMGT1 45   Newcastle United Lister Storm   Geoff Lees
  Tiff Needell
  George Fouché
Lister Storm GTL D 21
Jaguar 7.0 L V12
DNF LMP 4   Pilot Racing   Michel Ferté
  Adrián Campos
  Charlie Nearburg
Ferrari 333 SP D 18
Ferrari F310E 4.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 70   Team Marcos   Cor Euser
  Takaji Suzuki
  Harald Becker
Marcos Mantara LM600 D 15
Chevrolet 5.9 L V8
DNF LMGT1 32   Roock Racing Motorsport   Stéphane Ortelli
  Allan McNish
  Karl Wendlinger
Porsche 911 GT1 M 8
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMP 14   Pacific Racing   Harri Toivonen
  Eliseo Salazar
  Jesús Pareja
BRM P301 P 6
Nissan 3.0 L Turbo V6
DNS LMGT1 40   Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren   John Nielsen
  Thomas Bscher
  Chris Goodwin
McLaren F1 GTR M -
BMW S70 6.0 L V12

StatisticsEdit

  • Pole Position - #7 Joest Racing - 3:41.581
  • Fastest Lap - #7 Joest Racing - 3:45.068
  • Distance - 4909.6 km
  • Average Speed - 207 km/h
  • Highest Trap Speed — Porsche GT1-Evo - 326 km/h (qualifying)