Le Mans in 1993

The 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 61st Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 19 and 20 June 1993.

The race was won by Peugeot Talbot Sport, with drivers Geoff Brabham, and Le Mans rookies Éric Hélary and Christophe Bouchut completing 375 laps in their Peugeot 905 Evo 1B. Brabham became just the third Australian to win the French classic after Bernard Rubin in 1928, and Vern Schuppan in 1983.

A class for Grand Touring (GT) style cars was included for the first time since the 1986 race.[1] With the extra class, the entry list expanded from 30 cars in 1992 to 48 in 1993.

Regulations and Entries

The 1992 race had seen the lowest number of entries since the iconic race's advent in the 1920s, and in October 1992 the FIA officially cancelled the Sportscar World Championship - a series that had been running, in various guises, continuously since 1953. The idea to run the premier class on F1-derived engines had proved a spectacular failure with negligible interest from the major car manufacturers that had been anticipated, and too high costs for small teams. Soon after the series cancellation, and with no alternative international series proposed, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) took matters into its own hands, drafting up regulations for a new "Le Mans Prototype" category: open-cockpit, flat-bottomed cars powered by regular production or restricted race engines. Early in 1993 the American IMSA federation also announced a new "World Sports Car" category along very similar (but crucially, not identical) lines.

In March however the ACO only had 21 entrants, but with no formal championship to adhere to, the ACO was now free to set its own invitation list to the great race and so it revised its entry parameters to offer four distinct divisions:[2]

  • Category 1 - for the 1991-92 FIA Sportscars (in effect, the Peugeot and Toyota works cars)
  • Category 2 - Group C cars from IMSA or the pre-1991 regulations, now with no fuel restrictions, but engine restrictors instead
  • Category 3 - cars in the new IMSA WSC, using 3.0L production or F3000 engines, also balanced by engine restrictors
  • Category 4 - the ACO's version of the forthcoming GT regulations still being drafted by FISA

This marked the return of GT cars to Le Mans, since the solitary Group B BMW M1 raced in 1986. The revision worked and soon a number of Group C and GT teams lined up. When entries closed in April, it had a full field of 58, including the first Ferrari (a GT) to appear since 1984. They also revived the May Test Day (last run in 1987), attracting 32 cars. A number of current and future F1 drivers were in the driver list. A new rule was also included that teams had to qualify the car to be used in the race, to stop abuses with specialised test-cars, and that reserve cars could be qualified in case of accident to the primary cars.


Over a sunny race week, unsurprisingly the Category 1 works Peugeots and Toyotas set the pace. In attempting to better their Wednesday times, both teams damaged their chances: Philippe Alliot wrote his Peugeot off in a big accident doing nearly 200 km/h in the Porsche Curves, while Eddie Irvine had a spin at Mulsanne corner with his car using a special qualifying engine. Expecting to have to use their reserve car, Peugeot instead returned a fully repaired car the very next day. People suspected a replacement had been built on a spare monocoque but nothing could be proven.[3] In the end, Alliot's earlier time of 3:24.94 won pole and the six works cars locked out the front rows. The elderly Porsche 962s in Category 2, hampered by engine restrictors were at least 13 seconds slower. In GT, the latest variant of the Porsche 911, the 964-series Turbo S Le Mans from the Porsche works team, was fastest ahead of the three new Jaguar XJ220C of Tom Walkinshaw Racing. 48 cars survived Qualifying however neither the Ferrari (punted off in Warm-up by Irvine's Toyota) nor a new MiG (Russian designed, and the first all-carbon GT) reached the starting grid.[4]

The Race


From flagfall, Alliot and Irvine dueled at the front, with the latter's Toyota taking the lead on the eighth lap when the Peugeot spun at Mulsanne corner. Irvine continued to hold the lead through two driving shifts until a slow pitstop (Sekiya lost 2 laps waiting for his drinks bottle to be secured[5]) handed the lead back to the Peugeot, now driven by Mauro Baldi. At 6.30pm Raphanel brought in the second Toyota, while running third, with an engine misfire. Half an hour later the lead Peugeot lost 35 minutes and 8 laps with a broken oil pipe. The to and fro battle between the works teams was then picked up by Geoff Lees' Toyota and the Peugeot of Boutsen/Dalmas/Fabi. In GT, one of the TWR-Jaguars was out with a blown head-gasket after only half an hour. After the works Porsche was held up for 20 minutes with a sticking throttle,[6] the other two Jaguars dominated the class, around 15th place, mixing it with the Group C (Category 2) cars, ahead of a raft of works and private Porsches. In the works Porsche, Walter Röhrl had driven hard to make back 2 of the 5 laps by 10pm when he rammed the back of the Debora in the Mulsanne chicanes. Losing oil, the engine seized before it could reach the pits.[7]


Juan Manuel Fangio II had been closing in on the leader into the night until 11pm when he was hit from behind by Yojiro Terada's Lotus GT missing its braking point at the 2nd Mulsanne chicane. Repairs cost it 35 minutes, dropping it to 10th. Through the night Boutsen and his co-drivers held the lead over the third team car of steady teammates Brabham/Bouchut/Hélary, with a recovering Irvine a lap behind. At 2.30am, Fabi bought his Peugeot into the pit with smoke in the cockpit from faulty wiring. Though fixed in five minutes they lost the lead to their sister-car. When Irvine's Toyota lost more time with electrical problems, the two Peugeots had a comfortable lead, swapping the lead depending on the pit strategy. In Category 2, brilliant night-time driving by Roland Ratzenberger in the Toyota 93C-V of Shin Kato's SARD team kept them the lead, ahead of the Porsche 962s, that he had got them soon after 5pm.


At 7am Hélary had his rear wing damaged by debris, losing the lead, then at 8.50am Boutsen lost a lap with a fractured exhaust handing the lead back. Irvine, meanwhile, was driving blisteringly fast, breaking the lap record and making back a lap. But battery and clutch issues affected the Toyotas: Wallace's car came to a stop out at the Dunlop curves at 7.45am with gearbox problems, then Irvine's challenge ended after midday with a 30-minute engine repair, and finally Lees' car, despite all three drivers doing triple stints to save pit-time, needed gearbox repairs dropping it from 4th to 9th. In GT, the private Porsche of Jean-Pierre Jarier's Monaco Média team had been leading for 6 hours, chased by the remaining Jaguar who finally passed it in the 21st hour.

Finish and post-race

So with Toyota's problems, Jean Todt's Peugeots finished a convincing 1-2-3, with Alliot's car making its way back up through the field to 3rd (still 8 laps behind). Toyota ended up finishing 4-5-6, with the older Category 2 (Group C) cars heading the rest of the field home with a big lead over the Porsche 962s, with Roland Ratzenberger and Mauro Martini holding on for the Japanese SARD team. In the battle of the 962s, the Obermeier team's reliability beat its bigger brothers: the Joest and Kremer teams.

Sir Jack Brabham had two of his sons on the podiums when David, along with fledgling test-driver David Coulthard and veteran John Nielsen bought the Jaguar XJ220C as the first GT home. However, it had raced under waiver due to scrutineering concerns on its lack of catalytic converters like its production-model had (although no other GT cars used them, nor the racing-spec version of the Jaguar). A month later, they were disqualified on a technicality- Jaguar's evidence and appeal had been filed correctly with the ACO, but not on time with the French motorsport authority (FFSA).[8] The record thus shows the GT win went to the Porsche 911 of Jürgen Barth that had finished 2 laps behind.

In the small Category 3 field of 3 LMP cars, Gérard Welter's latest WR-Peugeot prototype had started well, staying in the top 20 well ahead of its rivals until delayed by wheel-bearing problems. Didier Bonnet's Debora SP93 took the category lead until the WR overtook it again just before dawn, until delayed again - this time replacing a driveshaft. The Debora took over again until halted the engine broke with just over an hour to go, handing the win to the long-suffering WR drivers.[9]

With consecutive wins, this was the last Le Mans for the works Peugeot team for 14 years. After the race, Jean Todt immediately left Peugeot to manage the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team.[10] Back in Japan, blame was laid at the engine engineering department. A month later, Toyota bought out Anderson Motor Sports, running its rally cars and set up Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne for a European racing programme.[11]

Included in the GT field were seven new Venturi 500LM supercars, coming out of the French one-make race series. Although not on the pace with the Porsche 911s or Jaguars, five of them finished. It was a success for the brand though: Jürgen Barth's German Porsche series joined Patrick Peter and Stéphane Ratel's Venturi series in 1994 to create the BPR Global GT Series (named for their surname initials) - the only major international sports car series running that year, piquing FISA's interest.

Official results

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps Time/Reason
1 C1 3 France Peugeot Talbot Sport France Éric Hélary
France Christophe Bouchut
Australia Geoff Brabham
Peugeot 905 Evo 1B M 375 23:54:12.590
Peugeot SA35 3.5 L V10
2 C1 1 France Peugeot Talbot Sport Belgium Thierry Boutsen
France Yannick Dalmas
Italy Teo Fabi
Peugeot 905 Evo 1B M 374 + 1 Lap
Peugeot SA35 3.5L V10
3 C1 2 France Peugeot Talbot Sport France Philippe Alliot
Italy Mauro Baldi
France Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Peugeot 905 Evo 1B M 367 + 8 laps
Peugeot SA35 3.5L V10
4 C1 36 Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Eddie Irvine
Japan Toshio Suzuki
Japan Masanori Sekiya
Toyota TS010 M 364 + 11 laps
Toyota RV10 3.5 L V10
5 C2 22 Japan Y's Racing Team
Japan SARD Co. Ltd.
Austria Roland Ratzenberger
Italy Mauro Martini
Japan Naoki Nagasaka
Toyota 93C-V D 363 + 12 laps
Toyota R36V 3.6 L Turbo V8
6 C2 25 Japan Nisso Trust Racing Team South Africa George Fouché
Sweden Eje Elgh
Sweden Steven Andskär
Toyota 93C-V D 358 + 17 laps
Toyota R36V 3.6 L Turbo V8
7 C2 21 Germany Obermaier Racing GmbH Germany Otto Altenbach
Germany Jürgen Oppermann
Switzerland Loris Kessel
Porsche 962C G 355 + 20 laps
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
8 C1 38 Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Geoff Lees
Netherlands Jan Lammers
Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio II
Toyota TS010 M 353 + 22 laps
Toyota RV10 3.5 L V10
9 C2 18 Germany Joest Porsche Racing France Bob Wollek
France Henri Pescarolo
Germany Ronny Meixner
Porsche 962C G 351 + 24 laps
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
10 C2 14 France Courage Compétition United Kingdom Derek Bell
France Lionel Robert
France Pascal Fabre
Courage C30LM G 347 + 28 laps
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
11 C2 13 France Courage Compétition France Pierre Yver
France Jean-Louis Ricci
France Jean-François Yvon
Courage C30LM G 343 + 32 laps
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
12 C2 10 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Germany Jürgen Lässig
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi
South Africa Wayne Taylor
Porsche 962CK6 D 328 + 47 laps
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
13 C2 11 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing United States Andy Evans
Spain Tomás Saldaña
France François Migault
Porsche 962CK6 D 316 + 59 laps
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
14 C2 23 France Team Guy Chotard France Denis Morin
France Didier Caradec
France Alain Sturm
Porsche 962C G 308 + 67 laps
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
15 GT 47 France Monaco Media International
France Larbre Compétition
France Joël Gouhier
Germany Jürgen Barth
France Dominique Dupuy
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR P 304 + 71 laps
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
16 GT 78 France Jack Leconte
France Larbre Compétition
Spain Jesús Pareja
France Jack Leconte
France Pierre de Thoisy
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR G 301 + 74 laps
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
17 GT 65 Germany Heico Dienstleistungen Germany Ulrich Richter
Germany Dirk Rainer Ebeling
Germany Karl-Heinz Wlazik
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Y 299 + 76 laps
Porsche 3.8L Flat-6
18 GT 77 Switzerland Scuderia Chicco d'Oro Switzerland Claude Haldi
Switzerland Olivier Haberthur
Switzerland Charles Margueron
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR P 299 + 76 laps
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
19 GT 62 Austria Konrad Motorsport Austria Franz Konrad
Japan Jun Harada
Brazil Antônio Hermann de Azevedo
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Y 293 + 82 laps
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
20 C2 24 France Graff Racing France Jean-Bernard Bouvet
France Richard Balandras
France Bruno Miot
Spice SE89C G 288 + 87 laps
Ford Cosworth DFL 3.3 L V8
21 GT 66 Germany Mühlbauer Motorsport Germany Gustl Spreng
Switzerland Sandro Angelastri
Germany Fritz Müller
Porsche 911 Carrera RS P 276 + 99 laps
Porsche 3.6 L Flat-6
22 GT 40 Germany Obermaier Racing GmbH Belgium Philippe Olczyk
Germany Josef Prechtl
France Gerard Dillmann
Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cup P 274 + 101 laps
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
23 GT 55 Italy Agusta Racing Italy Onofrio Russo
Italy Riccardo Agusta
Italy Paolo Mondini
Venturi 500LM D 274 + 101 laps
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
24 LMP 33 France Welter Racing France Patrick Gonin
Switzerland Bernard Santal
France Alain Lamouille
WR LM93 M 268 + 107 laps
Peugeot 2.0 L Turbo I4
25 GT 57 France Écurie Toison d'Or Belgium Marc Duez
Belgium Éric Bachelart
Belgium Philip Verellen
Venturi 500LM D 267 + 108 laps
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
26 GT 49 Belgium Team Paduwa France Bruno Ilien
France Alain Gadal
France Bernard Robin
Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cup D 266 + 109 laps
Porsche 3.6 L Flat-6
27 GT 70 France Éric Graham Belgium Pascal Witmeur
Belgium Michel Neugarten
France Jacques Tropenat
Venturi 500LM D 262 + 113 laps
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
28 GT 91 France Alain Lamouille France Patrice Roussel
France Édouard Sezionale
France Hervé Rohée
Venturi 500LM D 246 + 129 laps
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
29 GT 92 France BBA Compétition France Jean-Luc Maury-Laribière
France Michel Krine
France Patrick Camus
Venturi 500LM D 243 + 132 laps
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
30 LMP 35 Italy Sport & Immagine SRL Italy Fabio Magnani
Italy Luigi Taverna
Italy Roberto Ragazzi
Lucchini SP91 P 221 + 154 laps
Alfa Romeo 3.0 L V6
DNF C2 17 Germany Joest Porsche Racing Germany Manuel Reuter
Germany Frank Jelinski
Germany "John Winter" (Louis Krages)
Porsche 962C G 282 engine
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMP 34 France Didier Bonnet Racing France Yvan Muller
France Gérard Tremblay
France Georges Tessier
Debora SP93 P 259 engine
Alfa Romeo 3.0 L V6
DNF C1 37 Japan Toyota Team Tom's France Pierre-Henri Raphanel
United Kingdom Kenny Acheson
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
Toyota TS010 M 212 gearbox
Toyota RV10 3.5 L V10
DNF GT 71 France Jacadi Racing France Jacques Laffite
France Michel Maisonneuve
France Christophe Dechavanne
Venturi 500LM D 210 engine
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
DNF C2 15 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Italy Almo Coppelli
United Kingdom Robin Donovan
United States Steve Fossett
Porsche 962CK6 D 204 fuel pump
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF GT 52 United Kingdom TWR Jaguar Racing France Paul Belmondo
United States Jay Cochran
Germany Andreas Fuchs
Jaguar XJ220 D 176 overheating
Jaguar JV6 3.5 L Turbo V6
DNF C2 28 France Roland Bassaler France Roland Bassaler
France Patrick Bourdais
France Jean-Louis Capette
Sauber SHS C6 G 166 accident
BMW M88 3.5 L I6
DNF GT 44 United Kingdom Lotus Sport
United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering
United Kingdom Richard Piper
France Olindo Iacobelli
France Ferdinand de Lesseps
Lotus Esprit S300 D 162 head gasket
Lotus 2.2 L Turbo I4
DNF C2 27 United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering United States Andy Petery
United Kingdom Nick Adams
Belgium Hervé Regout
Spice SE89C G 137 engine
Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5 L V8
DNF C2 12 France Courage Compétition Japan Tomiko Yoshikawa
El Salvador Carlos Moran
Italy Alessandro Gini
Courage C30LM G 108 puncture => accident
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF GT 45 United Kingdom Lotus Sport
United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering
Japan Yojiro Terada
United Kingdom Peter Hardman
Denmark Thorkild Thyrring
Lotus Esprit S300 D 92 overheating
Lotus 2.2L Turbo I4
DNF GT 56 France Stéphane Ratel Greece Costas Los
United States Johannes Bardutt
France Claude Brana
Venturi 500LM D 80 accident
Renault PRV 3.0 L Turbo V6
DNF GT 46 Germany Le Mans Porsche Team Germany Walter Röhrl
Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck
United States Hurley Haywood
Porsche 911 Turbo S LM-GT G 79 accident damage => engine
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF GT 76 Switzerland Cartronic Motorsport Switzerland Enzo Calderari
Italy Luigino Pagotto
Switzerland Lilian Bryner
Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cup P 64 accident
Porsche 3.6 L Flat-6
DNF GT 48 Belgium Team Paduwa Germany Harald Grohs
Belgium Jean-Paul Libert
Belgium Didier Theys
Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cup D 8 overheating
Porsche 3.6 L Flat-6
DNF GT 51 United Kingdom TWR Jaguar Racing Germany Armin Hahne
United Kingdom Win Percy
United Kingdom David Leslie
Jaguar XJ220 D 6 overheating
Jaguar JV6 3.5 L Turbo V6
DSQ GT 50 United Kingdom TWR Jaguar Racing Denmark John Nielsen
Australia David Brabham
United Kingdom David Coulthard
Jaguar XJ220 D 306 disqualified/illegal exhaust
Jaguar JV6 3.5 L Turbo V6
DNS GT 72 United Kingdom Simpson Engineering United Kingdom Robin Smith
Italy Stefano Sebastiani
Japan Tetsuya Ota
Ferrari 348 LM P - accident in warm-up
Ferrari 3.4 L V8
DNS GT 41 Obermaier Racing GmbH Italy Ruggero Grassi

Italy Sergio Brambilla

Italy Renato Mastropietro

Porsche 964 Carrera 2 Cup P - accident in practice
Porsche 3.6 L F6

† - #50 finished first in the GT category but was disqualified a month after the race for failing to utilize catalytic converters on the XJ220C.


  • Pole Position - Philippe Alliot, #2 Peugeot Talbot Sport - 3:24.940 (238.90 km/h)
  • Fastest Lap - Eddie Irvine, #36 Toyota Team Tom's - 3:27.470
  • Distance - 5100.0 km (375 laps, 3168.99 miles) - a record distance: from Le Mans to Maine - crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 24 hours
  • Average Speed - 213.358 km/h
  • Highest Trap Speed — Peugeot 905 – 346 km/h (race), Porsche 962C - 366 km/h (qualifying)
  • Attendance - 110000


  1. ^ Automobile Year, 1993/94, page 195
  2. ^ Spurring 2014, p.119
  3. ^ Spurring 2014, p.120
  4. ^ Spurring 2014, p.140
  5. ^ Spurring 2014, p.123.
  6. ^ Spurring 2014, p.128
  7. ^ Spurring 2014, p.128
  8. ^ Spurring 2014, p.126
  9. ^ Spurring 2014, p.134-5
  10. ^ Spurring 2014, p.122
  11. ^ Spurring 2014, p.124
  12. ^ "Le Mans 24 Hours 1993 - Photo Gallery". Retrieved 22 August 2020.


  • Spurring, Quentin (2014) Le Mans 1990-99 Sherborne, Dorset: Evro Publishing ISBN 978-0-9928209-1-6
  • Laban, Brian (2001) Le Mans 24 Hours London: Virgin Books ISBN 1-85227-971-0

External links