1997 24 Hours of Le Mans
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|1997 24 Hours of Le Mans|
|Previous: 1996||Next: 1998|
|Index: Races | Winners|
The 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 65th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 14 and 15 June 1997.
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.
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 both GT and LMP classes from Porsche, McLaren, Nissan, and Ferrari. 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.
- 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)