Le Mans in 1997

The 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 65th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 14 and 15 June 1997.

The race saw the first of a record (as of 2022) 9 wins at Le Mans for popular Danish driver Tom Kristensen.


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 the GT1 and LMP classes from Porsche, BMW and Nissan. 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.

Official results

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
1 LMP 7 Germany Joest Racing GmbH Italy Michele Alboreto
Sweden Stefan Johansson
Denmark Tom Kristensen
TWR Porsche WSC-95 G 361
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
2 LMGT1 41 United Kingdom Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren France Jean-Marc Gounon
France Pierre-Henri Raphanel
Sweden Anders Olofsson
McLaren F1 GTR M 360
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
3 LMGT1 43 Germany BMW Motorsport Netherlands Peter Kox
Italy Roberto Ravaglia
France Éric Hélary
McLaren F1 GTR M 358
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
4 LMP 13 France Courage Compétition France Didier Cottaz
France Jérôme Policand
Belgium Marc Goossens
Courage C41 M 336
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
5 LMGT1 33 Germany Schübel Engineering Portugal Pedro Lamy
Germany Armin Hahne
France Patrice Goueslard
Porsche 911 GT1 M 331
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
6 LMP 3 Italy Moretti Racing Inc. Italy Gianpiero Moretti
Belgium Didier Theys
Italy Max Papis
Ferrari 333 SP Y 321
Ferrari F310E 4.0 L V12
7 LMP 8 France La Filière Elf France Henri Pescarolo
France Jean-Philippe Belloc
France Emmanuel Clérico
Courage C36 M 319
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
8 LMGT1 27 Italy BMS Scuderia Italia Italy Pierluigi Martini
Italy Christian Pescatori
Brazil Antônio Hermann
Porsche 911 GT1 P 317
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
9 LMGT2 78 Switzerland Elf Haberthur Racing Belgium Michel Neugarten
France Guy Martinolle
France Jean-Claude Lagniez
Porsche 911 GT2 D 307
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
10 LMGT2 74 Germany Roock Racing Germany André Ahrlé
United States Andy Pilgrim
Switzerland Bruno Eichmann
Porsche 911 GT2 M 306
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
11 LMGT2 73 Germany Roock Racing Portugal Manuel Mello-Breyner
Portugal Tomaz Mello-Breyner
Portugal Pedro Mello-Breyner
Porsche 911 GT2 M 295
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
12 LMGT1 23 Japan Nissan Motorsport Japan Kazuyoshi Hoshino
France Érik Comas
Japan Masahiko Kageyama
Nissan R390 GT1 B 294
Nissan VRH35L 3.5 L Turbo V8
13 LMGT2 80 Switzerland GT Racing Team AG Germany Claudia Hürtgen
United Kingdom John Robinson
United Kingdom Hugh Price
Porsche 911 GT2 P 280
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
14 LMGT2 63 France Société Viper Team Oreca United Kingdom Justin Bell
France Pierre Yver
United States John Morton
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 278
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
15 LMGT2 64 United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering Netherlands Hans Hugenholtz Jr.
Finland Jari Nurminen
United States Chris Gleason
Chrysler Viper GTS-R G 269
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
16 LMP 10 France Courage Compétition Sweden Fredrik Ekblom
France Jean-Louis Ricci
Belgium Jean-Paul Libert
Courage C36 M 265
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
17 LMP 15 Japan Team TDR Japan Yojiro Terada
United States Jim Downing
France Franck Fréon
Kudzu DLM-4 G 263
Mazda R26B 2.6 L 4-Rotor
DNF LMGT1 26 Germany Porsche AG France Emmanuel Collard
Germany Ralf Kelleners
France Yannick Dalmas
Porsche 911 GT1 Evo G 327
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 39 United Kingdom Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren United Kingdom Ray Bellm
United Kingdom Andrew Gilbert-Scott
Japan Masanori Sekiya
McLaren F1 GTR M 326
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 61 France Société Viper Team Oreca France Philippe Gache
Monaco Olivier Beretta
France Dominique Dupuy
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 263
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
DNF LMGT1 25 Germany Porsche AG Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
France Bob Wollek
Porsche 911 GT1 Evo G 238
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 42 Germany BMW Motorsport Finland JJ Lehto
United Kingdom Steve Soper
Brazil Nelson Piquet
McLaren F1 GTR M 236
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
DNF LMGT1 29 France Société JB Jabouille Bouresche Germany Jürgen von Gartzen
France Olivier Thévenin
France Alain Ferté
Porsche 911 GT1 M 236
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 54 United Kingdom David Price Racing United Kingdom Andy Wallace
United Kingdom James Weaver
United States Butch Leitzinger
Panoz GTR-1 G 236
Ford-Roush 6.0 L V8
DNF LMGT1 30 Germany Kremer Racing France Christophe Bouchut
United States Andy Evans
Belgium Bertrand Gachot
Porsche 911 GT1 G 207
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT2 75 France Société Larbre Compétition France Patrick Bourdais
United States Peter Kitchak
Brazil André Lara-Rezende
Porsche 911 GT2 M 205
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMP 9 France Courage Compétition United States Mario Andretti
United States Michael Andretti
France Olivier Grouillard
Courage C36 M 197
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 52 France Société DAMS France Franck Lagorce
France Éric Bernard
France Jean-Christophe Boullion
Panoz GTR-1 M 149
Ford-Roush 6.0 L V8
DNF LMGT1 55 United Kingdom David Price Racing Australia David Brabham
United Kingdom Perry McCarthy
United States Doc Bundy
Panoz GTR-1 G 145
Ford-Roush 6.0 L V8
DNF LMGT1 21 Japan Nissan Motorsport United Kingdom Martin Brundle
Germany Jörg Müller
South Africa Wayne Taylor
Nissan R390 GT1 B 139
Nissan VRH35L 3.5 L Turbo V8
DNF LMGT1 28 Germany Konrad Motorsport Austria Franz Konrad
Italy Mauro Baldi
United Kingdom Robert Nearn
Porsche 911 GT1 P 138
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT2 67 United States Saleen/Allen Speedlab United States Steve Saleen
United States Price Cobb
Spain Carlos Palau
Saleen Mustang SR D 133
Ford 5.9 L V8
DNF LMGT2 79 Germany Konrad Motorsport Switzerland Toni Seiler
United States Larry Schumacher
France Michel Ligonnet
Porsche 911 GT2 P 126
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 22 Japan Nissan Motorsport Italy Riccardo Patrese
Belgium Eric van de Poele
Japan Aguri Suzuki
Nissan R390 GT1 B 121
Nissan VRH35L 3.5 L Turbo V8
DNF LMGT1 49 United Kingdom GT1 Lotus Racing Netherlands Jan Lammers
Netherlands Mike Hezemans
Germany Alexander Grau
Lotus GT1 M 121
Chevrolet LT5 6.0 L V8
DNF LMP 5 Germany Kremer Racing Spain Tomás Saldaña
Sweden Carl Rosenblad
Germany Jürgen Lässig
Kremer K8 Spyder G 103
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT2 84 Switzerland Stadler Motorsport Switzerland Enzo Calderari
Switzerland Lilian Bryner
Italy Angelo Zadra
Porsche 911 GT2 P 98
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 44 Japan Team Lark McLaren Japan Akihiko Nakaya
Japan Keiichi Tsuchiya
United Kingdom Gary Ayles
McLaren F1 GTR M 88
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 77 France Société Chereau France Jean-Luc Chéreau
France Jack Leconte
France Jean-Pierre Jarier
Porsche 911 GT2 M 77
Porsche 3.6L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMGT1 46 United Kingdom Newcastle United Lister Storm United Kingdom Julian Bailey
Brazil Thomas Erdos
Australia Mark Skaife
Lister Storm GTL D 77
Jaguar 7.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 62 France Société Viper Team Oreca United States Tommy Archer
France Soheil Ayari
Belgium Marc Duez
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 76
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
DNF LMGT2 60 United Kingdom Agusta Racing Team Italy Almo Coppelli
Italy Rocky Agusta
France Éric Graham
Callaway Corvette LM-GT2 D 45
Chevrolet LT1 6.2 L V8
DNF LMGT2 66 United States Saleen/Allen Speedlab United Kingdom David Warnock
United Kingdom Rob Schirle
United Kingdom Allen Lloyd
Saleen Mustang SR D 28
Ford 5.9 L V8
DNF LMGT1 45 United Kingdom Newcastle United Lister Storm United Kingdom Geoff Lees
United Kingdom Tiff Needell
South Africa George Fouché
Lister Storm GTL D 21
Jaguar 7.0 L V12
DNF LMP 4 France Pilot Racing France Michel Ferté
Spain Adrián Campos
United States Charlie Nearburg
Ferrari 333 SP D 18
Ferrari F310E 4.0 L V12
DNF LMGT2 70 United Kingdom Team Marcos Netherlands Cor Euser
Japan Takaji Suzuki
Germany Harald Becker
Marcos Mantara LM600 D 15
Chevrolet 5.9 L V8
DNF LMGT1 32 Germany Roock Racing Motorsport Monaco Stéphane Ortelli
United Kingdom Allan McNish
Austria Karl Wendlinger
Porsche 911 GT1 M 8
Porsche 3.2 L Turbo Flat-6
DNF LMP 14 United Kingdom Pacific Racing Finland Harri Toivonen
Chile Eliseo Salazar
Spain Jesús Pareja
BRM P301 P 6
Nissan 3.0 L Turbo V6
DNS LMGT1 40 United Kingdom Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren Denmark John Nielsen
Germany Thomas Bscher
United Kingdom Chris Goodwin
McLaren F1 GTR M -
BMW S70 6.0 L V12


  • 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)