Sauber C8

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Sauber C8
2011 11 2 Imperial Palace Harrahs Auto collection-1-64 - Flickr - Moto@Club4AG.jpg
Category Group C Prototype
Constructor Sauber Motorsport
Designer(s) Peter Sauber
Predecessor Sauber C7
Successor Sauber C9
Technical specifications
Chassis Light alloy monocoque
Suspension (front) double wishbones, coil springs over shock absorbers, torsion bar stabilizer
Suspension (rear) double wishbones, coil springs over shock absorbers, torsion bar stabilizer
Length 189 in (480.1 cm)
Width 78 in (198.1 cm)
Height 42.1 in (106.9 cm)
Axle track 63 in (160.0 cm)
Wheelbase 106.3 in (270.0 cm)
Engine Mercedes-Benz M117 5.0 L Turbo 90º V8 Twin KKK Turbos Mid, longitudinally mounted
Transmission 5-speed Manual
Weight 870 kg (1,918.0 lb)
Fuel Bosch Motronic MP 1.2 Fuel Injection
Tyres Dunlop, Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrants Switzerland Sauber Racing
Switzerland Kouros Racing Team
France Noël del Bello
Notable drivers Denmark John Nielsen
Austria Dieter Quester
Switzerland Max Welti
France Henri Pescarolo
Germany Christian Danner
New Zealand Mike Thackwell
Debut 1985 24 Hours of Le Mans
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
7 1 0 0
Teams' Championships 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

The Sauber C8 was a Group C prototype race car introduced in 1985 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the first in a partnership between Sauber and Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes decided not to put forth the money for a full effort on their own until they had time to develop the production-based M117 5.0L Turbocharged V8. Therefore, Mercedes turned to Sauber to create a chassis for them and initially to run the team before Mercedes took on a larger role. Sauber chose to evolve the previous C7 prototype for the C8, although modifications were needed to house the larger V8 instead of the C7's previous Inline-6.

In its debut at the 1985 24 Hours of Le Mans, Sauber was able to qualify 17th. However, the car suffered an accident later in the race week that caused enough damage that the car was not able to participate in the race. The team promised to appear at a few more races in the World Sportscar Championship season, but never showed.

For 1986, the team became known as Kouros Racing Team, and the C8 was entered in the full season of the 1986 World Sportscar Championship season. For the first two races the C8 showed promise, with an 8th and a 9th. However later in the season two C8s were entered in the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans where unfortunately neither car was able to finish. For the 1000km of Nürburgring, the team was able to achieve its first victory with drivers Henri Pescarolo and Mike Thackwell, made all the more important by being won in front of the Mercedes-Benz executives in attendance. With this victory the Kouros Racing Team was able to end the season 5th in the teams championship.

In 1987, the Kouros team switched to the newer Sauber C9, while C8 chassis #2 was sold to privateer French team Noël del Bello, which entered the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans and 1000km of Nürburgring, but failed to finish either race. Noël del Bello continued into 1988, but failed to finish any of the races it entered again.

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Class No. Team Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1985 C1 61 Switzerland Sauber Racing Denmark John Nielsen
Austria Dieter Quester
Switzerland Max Welti
DNS DNS
1986 C1 61 Switzerland Kouros Racing Team Denmark John Nielsen
New Zealand Mike Thackwell
61 DNF DNF
C1 62 Switzerland Kouros Racing Team France Henri Pescarolo
Germany Christian Danner
Austria Dieter Quester
86 DNF DNF
1987 C1 42 France Noël del Bello † Switzerland Pierre-Alain Lombardi
France Gilles Lempereur
France Jacques Guillot
4 DNF DNF
1988 C1 42 France Noël del Bello Racing † Switzerland Bernard Santal
France Noël del Bello
Belgium Bernard de Dryver
157 DNF DNF

† Privateer team

Achievements[edit]

The C8 had a top-speed of 370 km/h (230 mph).

See also[edit]