1997 FIA GT Championship
The 1997 FIA GT Championship was the inaugural season of FIA GT Championship, an auto racing series endorsed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and organized by the Stéphane Ratel Organisation. The FIA GT Championship replaced the BPR Global GT Series, held races and championships from 1994 to 1996 after the series was promoted by the FIA, while Stéphane Ratel took over as promoter and organizer of the new championship, replaced the former BPR Organisation after the departure of partners Jürgen Barth and Patrick Peter; the races featured grand touring cars conforming to two categories of regulations, GT1 and GT2, awarded driver and team championships in each category. The season began on 13 April 1997 and ended on 26 October 1997 after 11 rounds, visiting Europe and the United States. Bernd Schneider and his AMG Mercedes team won the GT1 Drivers' and Teams' Championships, while Justin Bell and Viper Team Oreca secured the GT2 titles. For the new international championship, much of the calendar was new.
The Nürburgring, Spa and Suzuka's endurance event were all retained, but much of the European calendar was new to the series. Donington Park replaced Brands Hatch as the second British round, while Hockenheimring was added as a second German event. Mugello took over from Monza in Italy, A1-Ring brought the series to Austria for the first time. A street circuit in Helsinki was unique to the calendar, served as the first race of a shorter three-hour duration. Two American events of a three-hour duration replaced the former season-ending fly-away race in China, visiting Sebring and Laguna Seca. Points were awarded to the top six finishers in each category. Entries were required to complete 75 % of the race distance. Teams score points for all cars. Cars must complete at least 75% of the race distance to be classified. Official FIA GT homepage 1997 FIA GT Championship race results 1997 FIA GT Championship images Retrieved from www.racingsportscars.com on 24 August 2009 1997 FIA GT Championship Classifications Retrieved from web.archive.org on 24 August 2009 1997 FIA GT Championship points tables Retrieved from web.archive.org on 24 August 2009 Grand Touring Car Technical Regulations Retrieved from web.archive.org on 25 August 2009
1994 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 62nd Grand Prix of Endurance, took place on 18 and 19 June 1994. The 1994 race was won by a car. Porsche exploited an unusual quirk in the GT regulations at the time, using German fashion magnate Jochen Dauer in a plan to have a street-legal version of the outdated Porsche 962 built. Using this road car design, Porsche entered two racing modified Dauer 962s in the GT category. With factory support, the Dauer 962 was able to take the other 962 coming in a close third. Toyota, having themselves dusted off a pair of Group C chassis after its 3.5-litre engined TS010 was no longer eligible, suffered transmission problems with 90 minutes to go, leaving Eddie Irvine to finish 2nd in his 94C-V. After the death of global Sports Car racing, GT racing came to the fore. Knowing that teams would always want to race prototype sports cars at Le Mans, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest came up with a pioneering equivalency formula to allow the production-based GT cars to compete for the outright win against its own LMP class and the IMSA WSC cars.
These involved engine air-inlet restrictors, smaller fuel tanks and minimum weights to limit the prototypes' performance. The ACO allowed the old 1990 Group C cars but they now had to be open-topped, with flat underfloors. FISA's new GT rules had developed through 1993, aligning with the ACO, IMSA and Japanese JAF, defining a GT as a road-going car on sale to the public and registered for road-use in two of the following countries: France, Great Britain, Germany, USA or Japan. To allow time for entrants to prepare, the ACO was forced to issue its own GT regulations in September 1993, before FISA had completed their work. A summary of the restrictions: LM-WSC: fuel tank 80L, target output 550 bhp, min weight 900 kg, max tyre width 16" LM P2: fuel tank 80L, target output 400 bhp, min weight 620 kg, with production engines, max tyre width 12" LM GT1: fuel tank 120L, target output 650 bhp, min weight 1000 kg, max tyre width 14" LM GT2: fuel tank 120L, target output 450 bhp, min weight 1050 kg, max tyre width 12" IMSA GT-Supreme: fuel tank 100L, target output 650 bhp, min weight 1000 kg, max tyre width 16"Minimum annual production levels were 25 for GT1, 200 for GT2, however a crucial loophole in the rules allowed a manufacturer to apply for GT1 homologation when still planning the car design and before any cars had been made, meaning a single prototype for a proposed model could be raced.
Several manufacturers spot this exemption and would exploit it, most notably Porsche, whom managed to homologate the now decade old 962C. Overall, interest was high with the ACO receiving 83 applications, accepting 50 +reserves, to vie for the 48 starting places. From the aging Group C population there were 4 LMP2 entries. Toyota was backing two Japanese teams driving their new Toyota 94C-V. Roland Ratzenberger was scheduled to drive in the SARD Toyota but was tragically killed in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix. Eddie Irvine took his place on the team, Ratzenberger's name was left on the car in tribute. Yves Courage, still trying emulate Jean Rondeau with an owner/racer Le Mans win, had three of his own cars, the Kremer brothers had a new spyder in Gulf Racing livery. Roland Bassaler took the chance to run his old 1982-vintage ALPA one last time. Welter Racing again fielded two fast little LMP2s; the two American WSC entries were withdrawn, however there were three entrants for the IMSA GT-S silhouette category.
These included the two Nissans from Clayton Cunningham's championship winning team that had earlier in the year won the Daytona and Sebring endurance races. In GT, the two direct works entries were in GT2, with debutants Honda working with the Kremer brothers bringing three new NSX cars, a pair of Lotus Esprit S300 entered by Hugh Chamberlain; the two Porsche 962 facsimiles were run by Joest Racing. All up there were 11 different marques represented in the GT field, including returns from Alpine-Renault, Bugatti, De Tomaso and Dodge. Ferrari was back in some force, as well as Reeves Callaway's new, modified Corvette. With the new LMP regulations trimming power, as well as reducing downforce by 50%, unsurprisingly the Group C cars struggled and were about 10 seconds slower than previously. Courage took confidence by gaining their first pole position, courtesy of former single-seat and Peugeot works driver Alain Ferté. Derek Bell was second-fastest in the Kremer spyder came the little WR from LMP2, of Patrick Gonin, punching well above its weight.
But clutch problems prevented Marc Rostan from doing any qualifying laps so only Gonin and Petit were allowed to race. The Dauer 962s started 4th and 6th, on laps that were 20 seconds slower than a 962C's best lap, set by Oscar Larrauri in 1990, but 15 seconds faster than ADA Engineering's true LMP1 Porsche 962C; the two Nissan 300SX in the GT-S category came in 9th and 12th amongst the rest of the LMP field, with the next fastest GT being the Ennea/Obermaier Racing Ferrari F40 starting in 14th, just ahead of the Jacadi Racing Venturi of ex-F1 racer Olivier Grouillard and Michel Ferté. With the GTs mixing it up with the sports cars, it was looking like the ACO had got the equivalence formula about right. Bell's Kremer took the lead, but was soon overtaken by Ferté's Courage, the local favourite. Ricci's Courage and Regout's WR collided first time through the Porsche curves. After spinning on the first lap, Stuck got his Dauer-Porsche into the lead, with their 50% bigger fuel tank the two teammates and Bal
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
ORECA is a French racing team and race car constructor, founded in 1973 and run by Hugues de Chaunac, former team manager of F1 team AGS. Oreca has had success in many areas of motorsport. Since the early 1990s the team has concentrated on running GT cars. In the 1970s and 1980s, drivers including Alain Prost, Jacques Laffite and Jean Alesi won the French Formula Three Championship for the team a record 11 times. In the 1990s, Oreca ran a BMW operation in the French Supertouring Championship, it won the FIA GT Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours in the GT2 class with a Chrysler Viper GTS-R and overall for Mazda 787B in 1991, on their second attempt and first after a decade. The team prepared the Renault Clio S1600 for rallying and won the ice racing Andros Trophy with a Toyota Corolla driven by Alain Prost. In the 2000s, Oreca assisted Renault Sport in building the new Megane V6 for the Renault Eurocup Megane Sport and fielding an Audi R8 in the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours with support from Audi France.
For 2006 Oreca ran the Saleen S7R in the Le Mans Series. The Oreca Saleen S7R had won the 2006 Spa-Francorchamps Le Mans race. Oreca worked with Dodge on the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, producing well over 100 customer cars in the period 2006–2007 to GT3 specification. Oreca entered a customer spec Peugeot 908 HDi FAP with'Semi-works' help for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as for the rest of the Le Mans Series races, taking overall honours at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve and the overall championship ahead of the factory Peugeot teams. In 2011, Oreca won the 12 Hours of Sebring race despite still using a 2010-spec car versus the new for 2011 Peugeot 908s. In 2012 Oreca was selected to run the Toyota TS030 Hybrid LMP1 car with support from Toyota Motorsport GmbH in the FIA World Endurance Championship; the car showed promising speed but did not finish at Le Mans due to a large crash involving one car and mechanical problems sidelining the other. On September 14, 2007, Oreca announced their plans to purchase sports prototype manufacturer Courage Compétition.
Its first project was the Oreca 01, made for the LMP1 class. It was first raced at the 2009 1000 km of Spa with two entries. During 2009, Oreca started producing the Formula Le Mans'FLM09'; this was run in its own series named the Formula Le Mans Cup until 2010 when it was adapted to allow it to be run three other endurance series including the American Le Mans Series which gave the car its own category. The idea was to give an affordable platform for smaller teams to get into endurance racing; the Oreca 03 was launched to accommodate the new LMP2 regulations for 2011. In 2015, the Oreca 05 was unveiled. Oreca was selected as one of the four 2017 LMP2 manufacturers, launched the Oreca 07. A variation of the 07, the Acura ARX-05, was created for IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class under the Daytona Prototype international regulations, in partnership with Honda Performance Development. Official website
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency"; the event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport. The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which contains a mix of closed public roads and dedicated sections of racing track, in which racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure. Of the 60 cars which qualified for the 2018 race, 41 cars ran the full duration. Since 2012, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship; because of the decision to run a World Endurance Championship super-season in the period May 2018 to June 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run twice in the same season: it will be both the second and the last round of the season.
In 2011 it was a part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, it formed a part of the World Sportscar Championship from 1953 until that series' final season in 1992. Over time, Le Mans has influenced events that have sprung up all around the globe, popularizing the 24-hour format at locations such as Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Bathurst; the American Le Mans Series and Europe's Le Mans Series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Other races include the Le Mans Classic, a race for historic Le Mans race cars from years' past held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a motorcycle version of the race, held on the shortened Bugatti version of the same circuit, a kart race, a truck race, a parody race 24 Hours of LeMons; the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held on June 15–16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. At a time when Grand Prix motor racing was the dominant form of motorsport throughout Europe, Le Mans was designed to present a different test.
Instead of focusing on the ability of a car company to build the fastest machines, the 24 Hours of Le Mans would instead concentrate on the ability of manufacturers to build sporty yet reliable cars. This encouraged innovation in producing reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles, because endurance racing requires cars that last and spend as little time in the pits as possible. At the same time, the layout of the track necessitated cars with better aerodynamics and stability at high speeds. While this was shared with Grand Prix racing, few tracks in Europe had straights of a length comparable to the Mulsanne. Additionally, because the road is public and thus not as meticulously maintained as permanent racing circuits, racing puts more strain on the parts, increasing the importance of reliability; the oil crisis in the early 1970s led organizers to adopt a fuel economy formula known as Group C that limited the amount of fuel each car was allowed. Although it was abandoned, fuel economy remains important as new fuel sources reduce time spent during pit stops.
Such technological innovations have had a trickle-down effect and can be incorporated into consumer cars. This has led to faster and more exotic supercars as manufacturers seek to develop faster road cars in order to develop them into faster GT cars. Additionally, in recent years hybrid systems have been championed in the LMP category as rules have been changed to their benefit and to further push efficiency; the race is held in June, leading at times to hot conditions for drivers in closed vehicles with poor ventilation. The race begins in mid-afternoon and finishes the following day at the same hour the race started the previous day. Over the 24 hours, modern competitors cover distances well over 5,000 km; the record is 2010's 5,410 km, six times the length of the Indianapolis 500, or 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix. Drivers and racing teams strive for speed and avoiding mechanical damage, as well as managing the cars' consumables fuel and braking materials, it tests endurance, with drivers racing for over two hours before a relief driver can take over during a pit stop while they eat and rest.
Current regulations mandate. Competing teams race in groups called "classes", or cars of similar specification, while competing for outright placing amongst all classes; the race showcased cars as they were sold to the general public called "Sports Cars", in contrast with the specialised racing cars used in Grand Prix motor racing. Over time, the competing vehicles evolved away from their publicly available road car roots, today the race is made of two overall classes: prototypes, Grand Touring cars; these are further broken down into 2 sub-classes each, constructors' prototypes, privateer prototypes and 2 subclasses of GT cars. Competing teams have had a wide variety of organization, ranging from competition departments of road car manufacturers to professional motor racing teams to amateur teams; the race has spent long periods as a round of the World S
FIA GT Championship
The FIA GT Championship was a sports car racing series organized by the Stéphane Ratel Organisation at the behest of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. The championship was concentrated in Europe, but throughout the years has visited other continents including Asia and South America. At the end of 2009, the championship was replaced by the FIA GT1 World Championship, which morphed into the FIA GT Series for 2013. FIA defines several categories of GT cars with the top two specifications being GT1, or Grand Touring Cars, GT2, or Series Grand Touring Cars; each category has an annual driver champion, team champion, manufacturer champion. Both categories are based on production road car designs, which must be produced in a minimum quantity of 25 examples to qualify. Both types may undergo significant modifications from the road car they are based on, but GT1 allows the use of exotic materials, better aerodynamics, larger brakes, wider tires and larger engine admission restrictors. For the 2006 season, the FIA created a new class called GT3.
GT3 cars are closer to their production counterparts and are simply racetrack prepared with the essentials. All cars are performance balanced together via different weights, tyre pressures etc. Prestigious motorsports makes such as Aston Martin, Dodge, Lamborghini and Maserati take part in FIA GT3 European Championship, a support series in some rounds of the main championship; the FIA defines a GT car as "an open or closed automobile which has no more than one door on each side and a minimum of two seats situated one on each side of the longitudinal centre line of the car. This car must be able to be used legally on the open road, adapted for racing on circuits or closed courses." All races in the FIA GT Championship were of endurance type, a full race distance lasting a minimum of 500 km or a maximum of three hours, with the exception of the Spa 24 Hours, Istanbul 2 hours and the exhibition Mil Milhas Brasileiras, run over a thousand miles and was planned to be a round of the championship in 2007.
However, with the release of the 2007 FIA GT Championship schedule and rules, the FIA GT series becomes more of a sprint race event, with all races being a maximum of 2 hours with the exception of the Spa 24 Hours. In 1997, due to increasing interest from manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and Panoz, the FIA took over control of the expanding BPR Global GT Series, standardizing the race-length at 500 km instead of the usual four hours, liberalizing the technical regulations and leaving commercial exploitation in the hands of one of BPR's founders, Stéphane Ratel, who managed to get TV support from the pan-European TV station Eurosport; the new manufacturers built "homologation specials", racing-bred cars that took full advantage of the new rules, to build quasi-prototypes with limited production runs of 25 cars. Chrysler and Marcos, not wanting to accompany the cost escalation, moved down to the GT2 class; this proved to be the wisest move, as Mercedes dominated the new category and the other manufacturers pulled out after the end of the 1998 season.
This left Chrysler's Viper to become the dominating car in the series, with the aging Porsche 993 GT2 and the Lister Storm providing a certain degree of competition. However, there was no lower inexpensive category for amateur drivers, this led to the creation of the N-GT class in 2000. While the manufacturer field in the main class blossomed, the new category became swamped with Porsches and Ferraris, but lower running costs meant both classes enjoyed a balanced number of entries. In order to boost the championship's status, the SRO added the 24 Hours of Spa a touring car race, to the calendar, where it became the series' most important race; the FIA banned official manufacturer involvement, although certain teams had preferential treatment, with Porsche establishing a "round robin" system. After the end of the 2004 season, the FIA renamed the classes GT1 and GT2, somewhat liberalized the GT1 regulations, allowing "supercars". While this was made to accommodate the Saleen S7, the biggest beneficiary was the purpose-built Maserati MC12, which lead the FIA to impose aerodynamic limitations on the Italian car.
However, thanks to a weight penalty system, the fight for the championship is protected from more domineering cars. The level of competition remains tight, with gentlemen drivers managing to fight for the wins with professional drivers, some of them with Formula One experience. Following the 2009 season, the SRO announced that the FIA GT Championship's two categories, GT1 and GT2, would break off into separate series; the GT1 category became a world championship with rounds across the world. Cars which fit the GT1 class were eligible to race only in the FIA GT1 World Championship, as the ACO banned the cars from the event and all of its associated series; this meant that the category that once was eligible to race not only in the FIA GT, Le Mans Series and numerous national championships, was now only able to run in the new World Championship. A few GT1 were entered in the LMGT1 class at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans; the GT1 cars continued to race in the World Championship in 2010 and 2011, but in 2012 the series switched to GT3 machinery due to shrinking car counts and the fact that most of the cars were ageing and no one was willing to build new models.
This meant that the San Luis round of the 2011 season was the last time GT1 cars contested in international motorsport. The 2012 FIA GT1 season was contested with GT3 cars (yet retaining GT1 in se
1993 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 61st Grand Prix of Endurance, took place on 19 and 20 June 1993. The race was won by Peugeot Talbot Sport, with drivers Geoff Brabham, 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, Vern Schuppan in 1983. A class for Grand Touring style cars was included for the first time since the 1986 race. With the extra class, the entry list expanded from 30 cars in 1992 to 48 in 1993; the 1992 race had seen the lowest number of entries since the iconic race's advent in the 1920s, in October 1992 the FIA cancelled the Sportscar World Championship - a series, 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, anticipated, too high costs for small teams. Soon after the series cancellation, with no alternative international series proposed, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest 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 announced a new "World Sports Car" category along similar 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: Category 1 - for the 1991-92 FIA Sportscars 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 balanced by engine restrictors Category 4 - the ACO's version of the forthcoming GT regulations still being drafted by FISAThis marked the return of GT cars to Le Mans, since the solitary Group B BMW M1 raced in 1986. The revision 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 to appear since 1984. They revived the May Test Day, attracting 32 cars.
A number of current and future F1 drivers were in the driver list. A new rule was included that teams had to qualify the car to be used in the race, to stop abuses with specialised test-cars, that reserve cars could be qualified in case of accident to the primary cars. Over a sunny race week, unsurprisingly the Category 1 works 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 repaired car the next day. People suspected a replacement had been built on a spare monocoque but nothing could be proven. 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 a new MiG reached the starting grid. From flagfall 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 handed the lead back to the Peugeot, now driven by Mauro Baldi. At 6.30 pm Raphanel brought while running third, with an engine misfire. Half an hour the lead Peugeot lost 35 minutes and 8 laps with a broken oil pipe; the to and fro battle between the works teams was 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, the other two Jaguars dominated the class, around 15th place, mixing it with the Group C 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. 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. 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 SAR