52 cars turned up for scrutineering (48 entries and 3 reseves). The latter can race only if one of the cars in their group cannot start (Group 1 for the WSC/LMP2/GT1s and Group 2 for the GT2s). Changes are authorised up to 13h00 on Saturday.
The Trust Toyota withdrawal was followed by that of the Jota Lamborghini allowing the Norma and the Lister Storm, formerly reserves, into the race.
Scrutineering went off without problems as Alain Bertaut explained:”We’d already seen many of the cars before scrutineering either in pre-qualifying or at the factory. Only on cars seen for the first time were there any hitches like the aerodynamics on the 333 SP Ferari”. The only major problem came from the Gonin/Rostan/Petit WR which arrived at the last moment as the lorry was blocked on the motorway due to an accident. Another problem was the non-conformity of certain helmets as the SNELL standards had changed 2 weeks ago and at least 20 drivers had not been informed.
In the Marcos camp, Jan Lammers’ place has been taken by his fellow-countryman Cor Euser for “personal and commercial reasons”. In the no.12 Courage, Lionel Robert(budgetary problems) has been replaced by the Slovenian, Matjaz Tomlie who backs up Van de Poele and Beretta. Also for financial reasons, Carlos Paula may be replaced in the Pilot/Aldix Racing Ferrari F40 by Hervé Regout. Rupert Keegan and Dominic Chappell, originally down to drive the Lamborghini, have now found refuge in the Lister Storm. Bernard Santal has replaced Yves Hervalet (ill) in the Debora.
A few famous names appear among those on the entry list: Philippe Siffert in the no.82 Porsche and Johnny Unser in the no.73 Callaway. The former is the son of the late Joseph Siffert who raced here from 1965 to 1971, and the latter, the nephew of Al and Bobby Unser (hence, Al Unser jr’s cousin)? His father, Jerry, was killed at Indianapolis in 1959. There are 2 lady drivers: the Swiss, Lillian Brinner and the Japanese, Tomiko Yoshikawa who will team up with Alain Ferté and Kenny Acheson in the Sard.
Ferrari: the Euromotorsport team 333 SP was the first car scrutineered and attracted a lot of attention because of its rear engine cover and wing. It has a works engine and the Ferrari arrived in France on Sunday morning. Before this, Jay Cochrn had shaken it down at Putman Park near Indianapolis. According to Massimo Sigala, the chassis is a 95 model, no.009 and yellow is the colour of Modena.
KREMER-PORCHE: The yellow K3, no.3, is the Daytona winner and it has a carbon fibre/aluminium honeycomb chassis. Both cars have carbon fibre brakes and Dunlop tyres. The twin turbo 3 litre engines are supplied by the factory.
COURAGE: While awaiting Mario Andretti, Bob Wollek and Eric Hélary had nothing but good to say about the C34 which also has a works engine like the Kremer cars. This former Group C car has new suspension and spyder bodywork. Two Chevrolet powered C41s are also entered, one of which was just finished at the last minute and turned a wheel for the first time near Angers on Monday. The electronic problems seem to have been eliminated. No12 carries the colours of Walter Wolf who had his own F1 team between 1977 and 1979.
KUDZU MAZDA: This is the latest Kudzu DG3 which practised in April. It has a triple rotor engine as the four rotor version is banned in IMSA.
NORMA BUICK: It has covered over 1000 kms on the Nogaro circuit and Dominique Lacaud seems confident. The V6 Buick is prepared by Jim Ruggles as is that of the Tiga. The bottom end of the egine is the same as that of the Indycar.
TIGA BUICK: As he is too busy looking after the organisation, Sylvain Boulay has decided not to drive. The Tiga has been prepared in Vitré under the direction of Jean-Paul Sauvée, a former ALD regular like many others in this team. This car finished the Daytona 24 Hour race in 1993.
WR PEUGEOT: No.!, built this year, is an LM 95 while no.9 is an LM 94. Both cars will be powered by a 1905 cc engine. Over 2000 kms have been covered on the Paul Ricard circuit without problems. Since April, work has been concentrated on improving mechanical accessibility and optimisation of the engine management system.
DEBORA FORD: The Dsebora LMP 295 ( and not LMP 202) has been designed by the New Zealander, Roger Rimmer (chassis) and Didier Bonnet (bodywork). Its Ford Cosworth engine has been prepared in Lyon by Fochesato and is based on the four cylinder torbo version of the Escort Cosworth. It has sequential Hewland gearbox and Michelin tyre plus a power output of around 400 bhp.
NISSAN KYLINE GTR-LM: For their return to Le Mans, the Nissan factory has built a GT1 on the basis of the Skyline GTR which has made a name for itself in touring car racing ( winning the Spa 24 Hour race). The engine is a turbocharged 6 cylinder unit. No.23 has an X-Trac 6 speed sequential gearbox while no.22 is fitted with a manual Nissan version. The brakes are in carbon fibre and tyres are supplied by Bridgestone. The team is managed by Mr Mizuno.
SARD: The Shin Kato team has entered their own car, the Sard MC8R. Le Mans will be its first race. It has a V8 Lexus derived engine developed by Sard. Its 2 turbos give it a power output of 600 bhp. The team manager is Hervé Maréchal from Belgium. Alain Ferté has already shaken it down on the Ricard circuit. Sard has also entered a Toyota Supra GT-LM that has raced in the Japanese GT Championship.
McLAREN: The 7 F1 GTRs have all been given an improved transmission package (gearbox lubrication and carbon fibre clutch). The 5 English entries have also got carbon fibre brakes and special Le Mans bodywork with larger air intaks. The 2 French entries (BBA and Giroix) both have the original bodywork and steel brakes. Well do a couple of extra brake pad changes, said Fabien Giroix.
FERRARI: The F40s have had their gearboxes reinforced. Ennea is the administrative name of Ferrari Club Italia. This team has entered two F40 GTEs (E for Evoluzione) which are different from the F40 LM (derived from the IMSA version) of Pilot-Aldix Racing. The Group 2 reserve, Heinkele’s F355, has been prepared by Auvergne Motors, the Clérmond-Ferrand Ferrari concessionnaire.
VENTURI: The 600 SLM entered by the factory has done 1400 kms testing on the Ricard circuit and the Venturi private test track. The rear wing now has an adjustable flap. Drivers are Gounon, Belmondo and Trévisol. The factory is also backing the 600 LM entered by BBA Competition, the second reserve. Eric Graham’s 600 LM (third reserve) has been prepared by Auto Vitesse.
HONDA: The two NSX GT1s are followed by John Thompsons crew (TCP) which built them. Their V6 turbo is placed longitudinally as opposed to the normally aspirated V6 which is transversal. The GT2 has Yokahama tyres and is entered by Kunimitsu Takahashi.
LISTER: The team manager is Glen Waters. No major modifications have been made to the Lister Storm powered by the 7 litre V12 Jaguar engine derived from Group C.
JAGUAR: P.C Automotive has been reinforced by several mechaics from ADA Engineering with Chris Crawford as team manager. Bob Skene is looking after the technical side. No.57 raced here in 1993 while no.58 was the reserve. The gearboxes have been reinforced and the turbo pressure has been reduced.
MARCOS: The 2 LM 600s are powered by a V8 Chevrolet unit (6130 ccs) prpeared in the USA by Lozano. In the team are Jem Marsh (the founder and Chris’ father), the engineer, Chris Lawrence, the team manager, Dave Pruett and Roy Baker.
CALLAWAY: The works car is the one that raced here last year as the 95 version was destroyed in testing. The 94 car has been adapted to the regulations (flat bottom, diffuser, smller wing) and has been lightened. The 2 Augusta team entries are certainly more developed and the engines prepared by Callaway have a cubic capacity of 6243 ccs.
CHEVROLET: The ZR1 Corvette prepepared by DRM (Doug Rippie Motorsport) has kept its promise. One of the drivers is john Paul Jr, 2nd in 1984 wih Jean Rondeau.
PORSCHE: Larbre Comptition has received two 911 GT2 evolutions from the factory. They were shaken down by Jurgen Barth on Friday at Weissach. The chassis has been strengthened and the engine revised (con rods, pistons, oil pump etc) and the power output is now around 600 bhp. The front spoiler has larger air intakes and new dampers have been fitted. The 1st reserve (Chereaus 911 GT2) has had some of these modifications but its power is still around 550 bhp. The Freisinger 911 3.8 litre twin turbo was built by its owner. The six 911s in the GT2 category have all received new parts to improve reliability.