N°180 driven by: René Metge & Claude Ballot-Lena
Best lap in race 3'47’’
The Porsche factory comes back to LeMans in 1986 with the goal to get back its place of leader in endurance racing. The official team has left the victory of 1985 to the private German Joest Team and the coming back of Jaguar is marked by their victory in Silvertone few weeks before: Porsche has a lot to do. It enters 3 cars under the Rothmans colors, which development is made under the management of Norbert Singer. And in proper name it enters the first very simple decorated Porsche 961 closely derived of the 959, and 1986 Paris-Dakar winner.
The Porsche 961 is the endurance version of the production Porsche 959. The body does not look very different. It appears for the first time at LeMans Test on 9th May 1986 and arouses the curiosity. It is the first four-wheel drive car entered in LeMans. The transmission system is multi-disks. It allows compensating for the losses of road holding on one of the wheel axle and the car is fitted with a electronic control unit for variable distribution of the engine torque. The integrated sensors into the chassis measure in real time, the speed, the clutch skating and engine speed such as the commands of the driver.
The engine which equips the 961 is the same as the one of the 956/962 of the Group C : 6 flat cylinders with 4 valves. Its capacity is of 2848 cm3. It is composed by a double turbo KKK with mixed cooling system; in air for cylinders, in water for breeches and dry sump lubrication. It can develop up to 680 horsepower.
This prototype is provided with an on-board computer to switch to the two-wheel driving in straight line like on the Hunaudieres for a maximal efficiency. The bet is audacious for Porsche who knows the weaknesses of a 4x4 system which turns out advantageous especially in unfavorable weather conditions. It is also the only one car in its category: GTX.
The teammates René Metge and Claude Ballot Léna are experimented but the driving of the car is also very technical and physical. And the expected favorable weather conditions are not there.
René Metge’s car clocks only in the 24th place at mid-race while it was 27th on the start grid. The team wastes more than fifty minutes into the pit because of 3 main incidents: a problem of spring of accelerator, a flat with high speed and a change of half-propeller shaft of transmission on Sunday morning. It stops for 23 refueling but mainly benefits from the failure and retirements of competitors to finally cross the finish line in the 7th position behind 6 other Porsche.
It is the only one good result of the Porsche 961 which career ends after the 24 Hours Le Mans 1987; all the more it does not find its customers because of its very high price of sale.
1986 was for Porsche a year with strong competitors. The result is as high as the expectations of the German car manufacturer. The Joest team does well by taking the 3rd place in final ranking.
Chargement... Veuillez patienter.
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