1990 24 Hours of Le Mans

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1990 24 Hours of Le Mans
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Index: Races | Winners

The 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 58th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 16 and 17 June 1990.[1]

Track changes[edit]

Two chicanes were introduced along the Mulsanne Straight prior to the race. This was done to reduce the maximum speed of the cars after the Sauber C9 of Kenny Acheson reached 400 km/h (249 mph) the previous year.[2][3] FISA refused to renew the licence for the track unless the chicanes were installed to comply with a ruling passed by the World Motor Sport Council.[4] The ruling decreed no circuit licensed by FISA may have a straight longer than 2km.[4]

Race[edit]

The Sauber team did not compete after backers Mercedes pulled out of the race when it was declared a non-championship event.

Qualifying was dominated by Nissan. Mark Blundell in car 24 pulled out a phenomenal lap to qualify six seconds faster than anyone else (helped by the turbo wastegate sticking wide open), with the Japanese marque securing first, third, fourth and fifth on the grid. They were split by the Brun Porsche driven by Oscar Larrauri. The 25 Nissan which qualified fifth had a very short race. The car had to start from pit lane due to a issue with the gearbox, but it didn’t even complete a full lap before the problem proved terminal and it had to pull up.

The opening hours of the race looked much the same as qualifying, the Nissans swapping the lead with the Brun Porsche, whilst the Jaguars moved up the field after a sub-par qualifying. But four hours in a major incident occurred. Gianfranco Brancatelli driving the 24 collided with the Toyota of Aguri Suzuki at the Dunlop curve, the Japanese driver was uninjured but his car and the barrier were destroyed. Although the Nissan only had to pit to fix a damaged front nose, it was the beginning of the teams downfall; all of their cars would suffer from various problems during the night, with the 24 and 83 both dropping out. The incident also allowed the Jaguars to take control of the race, number 1 in the lead followed by number 3. Their sister car, number 2, lost time when Franz Konrad beached it in the gravel at Indianapolis.

As night fell problems began to hit the Jaguar team, with both no. 1 and no. 4 hit by engine trouble, allowing no. 3 to assume the lead. The problems would eventually put the 1 out, and it sparked a crucial decision from boss Tom Walkinshaw. He decided to remove Eliseo Salazar (who’d yet to drive) from the 3 and replace him with their top driver Martin Brundle, in an attempt to maximise the cars chances. The Chilean would subsequently be transferred into the 4 to replace the lacklustre Luis Pérez-Sala.

The decision paid off, as the 3 dominated the second half of the race allowing Brundle, John Nielsen and Price Cobb to claim victory by four laps, Jaguar’s second in three years. Second place looked like it was heading to the Brun Porsche, but with just 15 minutes of the race remaining it blew its engine. A heartbreaking result for the little team who had been the fastest Porsche all week. This allowed the no. 2 Jaguar of Jan Lammers, Andy Wallace and Konrad to complete a 1-2 for British marque. The misfortune of the Brun car also promoted the Japanese Alpha Racing Porsche, driven by the all-British crew of David Sears, Tiff Needell and Anthony Reid to a shock podium finish and the honour of top Porsche, ahead of the more fancied Joest car. The remaining Nissan, the all-Japanese no. 23, completed the top five.

Official results[edit]

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

Le Mans in 1990 (Note the chicanes added on the 3.6 mile Mulsanne Straight).
Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
Engine
1 C1 3 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
Denmark John Nielsen
United States Price Cobb
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
Jaguar XJR-12 G 359
Jaguar 7.0L V12
2 C1 2 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
Netherlands Jan Lammers
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
Austria Franz Konrad
Jaguar XJR-12 G 355
Jaguar 7.0L V12
3 C1 45 Japan Alpha Racing Team United Kingdom Tiff Needell
United Kingdom David Sears
United Kingdom Anthony Reid
Porsche 962C Y 352
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
4 C1 7 Germany Joest Porsche Racing Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck
United Kingdom Derek Bell
Germany Frank Jelinski
Porsche 962C M 350
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
5 C1 23 Japan Nissan Motorsports International Japan Masahiro Hasemi
Japan Kazuyoshi Hoshino
Japan Toshio Suzuki
Nissan R90CP D 348
Nissan VRH35Z 3.5L Turbo V8
6 C1 36 Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Geoff Lees
Japan Masanori Sekiya
Japan Hitoshi Ogawa
Toyota 90C-V B 347
Toyota R32V 3.2L Turbo V8
7 C1 13 France Courage Compétition France Pascal Fabre
France Michel Trollé
France Lionel Robert
Cougar C24S G 347
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
8 C1 9 Germany Joest Porsche Racing Germany Louis Krages
Sweden Stanley Dickens
France Bob Wollek
Porsche 962C M 346
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
9 C1 27 Germany Obermaier Racing Germany Jürgen Lässig
France Pierre Yver
Germany Otto Altenbach
Porsche 962C G 341
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
10 C1 15 Switzerland Brun Motorsport Norway Harald Huysman
Italy Massimo Sigala
Switzerland Bernard Santal
Porsche 962C Y 335
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
11 C1 44 United Kingdom Richard Lloyd Racing United Kingdom John Watson
Italy Bruno Giacomelli
Canada Allen Berg
Porsche 962C G 335
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
12 C1 33 Japan Team Schuppan
Japan Omron Racing
United States Hurley Haywood
South Africa Wayne Taylor
Sweden Rickard Rydell
Porsche 962C D 332
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
13 C1 63 Japan Trust Racing Team South Africa George Fouché
Sweden Steven Andskär
Japan Shunji Kasuya
Porsche 962C D 330
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
14 C1 6 Germany Joest Porsche Racing France Jean-Louis Ricci
France Henri Pescarolo
France Jacques Laffite
Porsche 962C G 328
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
15 C1 55 Japan Team Schuppan
Japan Omron Racing
Sweden Eje Elgh
Sweden Thomas Danielsson
Australia Tomas Mezera
Porsche TS962 D 326
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
16 C1 11 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing France Patrick Gonin
France Philippe Alliot
Belgium Bernard de Dryver
Porsche 962CK6 Y 319
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
17 C1 84 United States Nissan Performance Technology Inc. New Zealand Steve Millen
Republic of Ireland Michael Roe
United States Bob Earl
Nissan R90CK G 311
Nissan VRH35Z 3.5L Turbo V8
18 C1 21 United Kingdom Spice Engineering Spain Fermín Velez
United Kingdom Tim Harvey
United Kingdom Chris Hodgetts
Spice SE90C G 308
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
19 C1 20 United Kingdom Team Davey Morocco Max Cohen-Olivar
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi
United Kingdom Tim Lee-Davey
Porsche 962C D 306
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
20 GTP 203 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd. Japan Takashi Yorino
Japan Yoshimi Katayama
Japan Yojiro Terada
Mazda 767B D 304
Mazda 13J 2.6L 4-Rotor
21 C2 116 United Kingdom PC Automotive United Kingdom Richard Piper
France Olindo Iacobelli
United Kingdom Mike Youles
Spice SE89C G 304
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.3L V8
22 C1 82 France Courage Compétition Belgium Hervé Regout
France Alain Cudini
Greece Costas Los
Nissan R89C G 300
Nissan VRH35Z 3.5L Turbo V8
23 C2 102 France Graff Racing France Xavier Lapeyre
France Jean-Philippe Grand
France Michel Maisonneuve
Spice SE89C G 291
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.3L V8
24 C1 10 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Japan Kunimitsu Takahashi
South Africa Sarel van der Merwe
Japan Hideki Okada
Porsche 962CK6 Y 279
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
25 C2 103 United Kingdom Team Mako Canada Robbie Stirling
United Kingdom James Shead
United Kingdom Ross Hyett
Spice SE88C G 274
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.3L V8
26 C1 19 United Kingdom Team Davey Japan Katsunori Iketani
France Patrick Trucco
France Pierre de Thoisy
Porsche 962C D 261
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
27 C2 131 United Kingdom GP Motorsport United Kingdom Richard Jones
United Kingdom Dudley Wood
United States Stephen Hynes
Spice SE87C G 260
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.9L V8
28 C2 132 United Kingdom GP Motorsport New Zealand Craig Simmiss
United Kingdom Alistair Fenwick
United Kingdom Alex Postan
Tiga GC289 G 255
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.9L V8
29
DNF
C1 16 Switzerland Repsol Brun Motorsport Argentina Oscar Larrauri
Spain Jesús Pareja
Switzerland Walter Brun
Porsche 962C Y 353
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
30
DNF
C1 4 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
United States Davy Jones
Spain Luis Pérez-Sala
Chile Eliseo Salazar
Jaguar XJR-12 G 282
Jaguar 7.0L V12
31
DNF
C2 128 United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering France Philippe de Henning
Netherlands Charles Zwolsman
United Kingdom Robin Donovan
Spice SE90C G 255
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5L V8
32
DNF
C1 83 United States Nissan Performance Technology Inc. Australia Geoff Brabham
United States Chip Robinson
Republic of Ireland Derek Daly
Nissan R90CK G 251
Nissan VRH35Z 3.5L Turbo V8
33
DNF
C1 38 Japan Toyota Team SARD France Pierre-Henri Raphanel
Austria Roland Ratzenberger
Japan Naoki Nagasaka
Toyota 90C-V D 241
Toyota R32V 3.2L Turbo V8
34
DNF
C1 1 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
France Alain Ferté
United Kingdom David Leslie
Jaguar XJR-12 G 220
Jaguar 7.0L V12
35
DNF
C1 85 Japan Team Le Mans Japan Takao Wada
Sweden Anders Olofsson
Brazil Maurizio Sandro Sala
Nissan R89C Y 182
Nissan VRH35Z 3.5L Turbo V8
36
DNF
C1 43 United Kingdom Richard Lloyd Racing
Italy Italya Sport
Germany Manuel Reuter
Finland JJ Lehto
United Kingdom James Weaver
Porsche 962C GTi G 181
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
37
DNF
C2 107 Switzerland Pierre-Alain Lombardi Switzerland Pierre-Alain Lombardi
France Denis Morin
France Ferdinand de Lesseps
Spice SE87C G 170
Ford Cosworth DFY 3.0L V8
38
DNF
C2 105 United Kingdom ADA Engineering United Kingdom Ian Harrower
United Kingdom John Sheldon
United Kingdom Jerry Mahony
ADA 02B G 164
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.3L V8
39
DNF
GTP 202 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd. Germany Volker Weidler
Belgium Bertrand Gachot
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Mazda 787 D 148
Mazda R26B 2.6L 4-Rotor
40
DNF
GTP 201 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd. Sweden Stefan Johansson
Republic of Ireland David Kennedy
Belgium Pierre Dieudonné
Mazda 787 D 147
Mazda R26B 2.6L 4-Rotor
41
DNF
C1 24 Japan Nissan Motorsports International United Kingdom Mark Blundell
United Kingdom Julian Bailey
Italy Gianfranco Brancatelli
Nissan R90CK D 142
Nissan VRH35Z 3.5L Turbo V8
42
DNF
GTP 230 Germany MOMO Gebhardt Racing Italy Gianpiero Moretti
United Kingdom Nick Adams
Germany Günther Gebhardt
Porsche 962C G 138
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
43
DNF
C1 26 Germany Obermaier Racing Germany Jürgen Oppermann
Germany Harald Grohs
Belgium Marc Duez
Porsche 962C G 140
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
44
DNF
C1 54 Italy Mussato Action Cars Italy Massimo Monti
Italy Fabio Magnani
Lancia LC2 D 86
Ferrari 308C 3.0L Turbo V8
45
DNF
C1 37 Japan Toyota Team Tom's Japan Aguri Suzuki
United Kingdom Johnny Dumfries
Italy Roberto Ravaglia
Toyota 90C-V B 64
Toyota R32V 3.2L Turbo V8
46
DNF
C1 12 France Courage Compétition Switzerland Bernard Thuner
France Alain Ianetta
France Pascal Pessiot
Cougar C24S G 57
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
47
DNF
C2 113 France Etablissements Chereau France Philippe Farjon
France Jean Messaoudi
Cougar C20S G 43
Porsche Type-935 2.8L Turbo Flat-6
48
DNF
C2 106 France Automobiles Louis Descartes France François Migault
France Gérard Tremblay
France Jacques Heuclin
ALD C289 D 36
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.3L V8
49
DNF
C1 25 Japan Nissan Motorsports International United Kingdom Kenny Acheson
United Kingdom Martin Donnelly
France Olivier Grouillard
Nissan R90CK D 0
Nissan VRH35Z 3.5L Turbo V8
DNS C1 8 Germany Joest Porsche Racing France Bob Wollek
United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer
France Philippe Alliot
Porsche 962C M -
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6

Statistics[edit]

  • Pole Position - Mark Blundell, #24 Nissan Motorsports International - 3:27.020[1]
  • Fastest Lap - Steve Millen, #84 Nissan Performance Technology Inc. - 3:40.030[1]
  • Distance - 4882.4 km
  • Average Speed - 204.036 km/h
  • Highest Trap Speed — Jaguar XJR-12 - 353 km/h (219 mph) (race), Nissan R90CK - 366 km/h (227 mph) (qualifying)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "1990 Le Mans 24 hrs overview". Motor Sport Magazine. July 1990. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  2. ^ "1989 Le Mans 24 Hours" C.Moity & J.M. Teissedre, Autotechnica, London 1989
  3. ^ http://www.mulsannescorner.com/maxspeed.html
  4. ^ a b "FISA waves stick at Le Mans". Motor Sport Magazine. January 1990. p. 74. Retrieved 2020-01-08.