1991 24 Hours of Le Mans

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1991 24 Hours of Le Mans
Previous: 1990 Next: 1992
Index: Races | Winners

The 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 59th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 22 and 23 June 1991. It was also the fourth round of the Sportscar World Championship.

Pre-race[edit]

An entirely new complex along the front stretch was built, housing modern pit stalls, garages, and the new observation suites built above the garages.

As for the race, the grid line-up was an unusual affair. 1991 was supposed to be the first year the World Sportscar Championship ran to the new '3.5L' rules, which meant a new breed of sports-prototypes. Although TWR-Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot all built cars to the new regulations for the 1991 championship series, the amount of privateer teams was low and there was simply not enough of these new cars to fill the grid. The FIA allowed the first 10 spaces on the grid to be reserved for the fastest qualifying 3.5L cars from the World Sportscar Championship, while the rest of the field was made up of older formula Group C cars. In another twist, some teams which had 3.5L cars, but entered previous year's championships with Group C cars, were allowed to enter their "obsolete" but more reliable (and for Le Mans in 1991, quicker) Group C racers. In the case of TWR Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz, their 3.5L cars (the XJR-14 and C291 respectively) failed to qualify and instead they raced using their XJR-12 and C11 models. Peugeot Sport on the other hand only had their 905 model to race, with 1991 being their first full season in sportscar racing. Being the only factory team running the 3.5L formula, the French marque had the honour of starting 1st and 2nd, even though they had only set the 3rd and 8th fastest qualifying times.

Race[edit]

The Mazda's 787B, powered with a rotary model 26B Wankel engine, won in 1991, overcoming reliability issues in the older manufacturer cars. It was the first (and so far the only) Japanese manufacturer to win Le Mans, as well as the only non-piston engine car to ever win.

Official results[edit]

This Mazda 787B became the first (and to this day, the only) Japanese car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Class winners in bold. Cars failing to complete 70% of the winner's distance marked as Not Classified (NC).

Le Mans in 1991
Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
Engine
1 C2 55 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.
Germany Volker Weidler
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Belgium Bertrand Gachot
Mazda 787B D 362
Mazda R26B 2.6L 4-Rotor
2 C2 35 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
United States Davy Jones
Brazil Raul Boesel
France Michel Ferté
Jaguar XJR-12 G 360
Jaguar 7.4L V12
3 C2 34 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
France Bob Wollek
Italy Teo Fabi
United Kingdom Kenny Acheson
Jaguar XJR-12 G 358
Jaguar 7.4L V12
4 C2 33 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
United Kingdom Derek Warwick
Denmark John Nielsen
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
Jaguar XJR-12 G 356
Jaguar 7.4L V12
5 C2 31 Germany Team Sauber Mercedes Austria Karl Wendlinger
Germany Michael Schumacher
Germany Fritz Kreutzpointner
Mercedes-Benz C11 G 355
Mercedes-Benz M119 5.0L Turbo V8
6 C2 18 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.
France Oreca
Republic of Ireland Dave Kennedy
Sweden Stefan Johansson
Brazil Maurizio Sandro Sala
Mazda 787B D 355
Mazda R26B 2.6L 4-Rotor
7 C2 58 Austria Konrad Motorsport
Germany Joest Porsche Racing
Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck
United Kingdom Derek Bell
Germany Frank Jelinski
Porsche 962C G 347
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
8 C2 56 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.
France Oreca
Belgium Pierre Dieudonné
Japan Takashi Yorino
Japan Yojiro Terada
Mazda 787 D 346
Mazda R26B 2.6L 4-Rotor
9 C2 11 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Germany Manuel Reuter
Finland Harri Toivonen
Finland JJ Lehto
Porsche 962CK6 Y 343
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
10 C2 17 Switzerland Repsol Brun Motorsport Argentina Oscar Larrauri
Spain Jesús Pareja
Switzerland Walter Brun
Porsche 962C Y 338
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
11 C2 12 France Courage Compétition France François Migault
France Lionel Robert
France Jean-Daniel Raulet
Cougar C26S G 331
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
12 C1 41 Netherlands Euro Racing
Japan Team Fedco
Japan Kiyoshi Misaki
Japan Hisashi Yokoshima
Japan Naoki Nagasaka
Spice SE90C G 326
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
13
NC
C2 53 Switzerland Team Salamin Primagaz
Australia Team Schuppan
United States Hurley Haywood
United Kingdom James Weaver
South Africa Wayne Taylor
Porsche 962C D 316
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
14
NC
C1 43 Netherlands Euro Racing
United Kingdom PC Automotive
United Kingdom Richard Piper
France Olindo Iacobelli
France Jean-Louis Ricci
Spice SE89C G 280
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
15
NC
C2 15 Italy Veneto Equipe Italy Luigi Giorgio
Italy Almo Copelli
Lancia LC2 D 111
Ferrari 308C 3.0L Turbo V8
16
DNF
C2 1 Germany Team Sauber Mercedes France Jean-Louis Schlesser
Germany Jochen Mass
France Alain Ferté
Mercedes-Benz C11 G 319
Mercedes-Benz M119 5.0L Turbo V8
17
DNF
C2 49 France Courage Compétition
Japan Trust Racing
Sweden Steven Andskär
South Africa George Fouché
Porsche 962C D 316
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
18
NC
C2 47 France Courage Compétition France Michel Trollé
Canada Claude Bourbonnais
Italy Marco Brand
Cougar C26S G 293
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
19
DNF
C2 51 Switzerland Team Salamin Primagaz
Germany Obermaier Racing
Germany Jürgen Lässig
France Pierre Yver
Germany Otto Altenbach
Porsche 962C G 232
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
20
DNF
C2 32 Germany Team Sauber Mercedes United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer
Sweden Stanley Dickens
Denmark Kurt Thiim
Mercedes-Benz C11 G 223
Mercedes-Benz M119 5.0L Turbo V8
21
DNF
C2 52 Switzerland Team Salamin Primagaz
Australia Team Schuppan
Sweden Eje Elgh
Austria Roland Ratzenberger
United Kingdom Will Hoy
Porsche 962C D 202
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
22
DNF
C2 57 Austria Konrad Motorsport
Germany Joest Porsche Racing
Germany Louis Krages
Germany Bernd Schneider
France Henri Pescarolo
Porsche 962C G 197
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
23
DNF
C2 36 United Kingdom TWR Suntec Jaguar United Kingdom David Leslie
Italy Mauro Martini
United States Jeff Krosnoff
Jaguar XJR-12 G 183
Jaguar 7.4L V12
24
DNF
C1 39 France Graff Racing
France Automobiles Louis Descartes
France Jean-Philippe Grand
France Michel Maisonneuve
France Xavier Lapeyre
Spice SE89C G 163
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
25
DNF
C2 16 Switzerland Repsol Brun Motorsport Norway Harald Huysman
Canada Robbie Stirling
Switzerland Bernard Santal
Porsche 962C Y 138
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
26
DNF
C2 45 Netherlands Euro Racing
United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering
United Kingdom Nick Adams
United Kingdom Robin Donovan
United Kingdom Richard Jones
Spice SE89C G 128
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
27
DNF
C2 14 Switzerland Team Salamin Primagaz Switzerland Antoine Salamin
Morocco Max Cohen-Olivar
France Marcel Tarrès
Porsche 962C G 101
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
28
DNF
C2 21 Austria Konrad Motorsport Austria Franz Konrad
United Kingdom Anthony Reid
Switzerland Pierre-Alain Lombardi
Porsche 962C Y 98
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
29
DNF
C2 50 France Courage Compétition
France Alméras Freres
France Jacques Alméras
France Jean-Marie Alméras
France Pierre de Thoisy
Porsche 962C G 86
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
30
DNF
C1 44 Netherlands Euro Racing
United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering
United Kingdom John Sheldon
France Ferdinand de Lesseps
United Kingdom Charles Rickett
Spice SE89C G 85
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
31
DNF
C1 8 Netherlands Euro Racing Netherlands Cor Euser
Netherlands Charles Zwolsman
United Kingdom Tim Harvey
Spice SE90C G 72
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
32
DNF
C1 6 France Peugeot Talbot Sport Finland Keke Rosberg
France Yannick Dalmas
France Pierre-Henri Raphanel
Peugeot 905 M 68
Peugeot SA35 3.5L V10
33
DNF
C1 40 Netherlands Euro Racing
Japan A.O. Racing
United States Lyn St. James
South Africa Desiré Wilson
France Cathy Muller
Spice SE90C D 47
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
34
DNF
C2 13 France Courage Compétition United Kingdom Johnny Dumfries
Sweden Anders Olofsson
Sweden Thomas Danielsson
Cougar C26S G 45
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
35
DNF
C1 37 France Automobiles Louis Descartes
France Racing Organization Course (ROC)
Switzerland Bernard Thuner
France Pascal Fabre
ROC 002 G 38
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5L V8
36
DNF
C1 5 France Peugeot Talbot Sport Italy Mauro Baldi
France Philippe Alliot
France Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Peugeot 905 M 22
Peugeot SA35 3.5L V10
37
DNF
C2 46 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Mexico Tomás López
Switzerland Gregor Foitek
United Kingdom Tiff Needell
Porsche 962CK6 Y 18
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
38
DNF
C1 7 France Automobiles Louis Descartes France Philippe de Henning
Italy Luigi Taverna
France Patrick Gonin
ALD C91 G 16
Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5L V8
DNS C2 59 Austria Konrad Motorsport
Germany Joest Porsche Racing
Austria Franz Konrad
Germany Jürgen Barth
Porsche 962C G -
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
DNS C1 4 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
Italy Teo Fabi
United Kingdom Kenny Acheson
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
Jaguar XJR-14 G -
Jaguar Cosworth HB 3.5L V8
DNQ C2 48 France Courage Compétition United Kingdom Chris Hodgetts
United Kingdom Andrew Hepworth
France Thierry Lacerf
Cougar C24S G -
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
DNQ C1 2 Germany Team Sauber Mercedes Austria Karl Wendlinger
Germany Michael Schumacher
Germany Fritz Kreutzpointner
Mercedes-Benz C291 G -
Mercedes-Benz M291 3.5L Flat-12
DNQ C2 42 Netherlands Euro Racing United Kingdom Justin Bell
Japan Shunji Kasuya
Spice SE88P G -
Ferrari 308C 3.5L Turbo V8
DNQ C2 54 Switzerland Team Salamin Primagaz
United Kingdom Team Davey
Japan Katsunori Iketani
Austria Mercedes Stermitz
United Kingdom Val Musetti
Porsche 962C G -
Porsche Type-935 3.2L Turbo Flat-6

Statistics[edit]

  • Pole Position - #1 Team Sauber Mercedes - 3:31.270
    • #3 Silk Cut Jaguar was originally on pole but was withdrawn prior to the race.
  • Fastest Lap - #31 Team Sauber Mercedes - 3:35.564 (Michael Schumacher)
  • Distance - 4922.810 km
  • Average Speed - 205.333 km/h
  • Highest Trap Speed - Sauber Mercedes C11 - 342 km/h (race), Sauber Mercedes C11 - 363 km/h (qualifying)


World Sportscar Championship
Previous race:
1991 430km of Silverstone
1991 season Next race:
1991 430km of Nürburgring