Porsche 911 GT1
The Porsche 911 GT1 is a car designed and developed by German automobile manufacturer Porsche AG to compete in the GT1 class of sports car racing, which required a street legal version for homologation purposes. The limited-production street-legal version developed as a result was named the 911 GT1 Straßenversion. With the revival of international sportscar racing in the mid-1990s, though the BPR Global GT Series Porsche expressed interest in returning to top level sports car racing and went about developing its competitor for the GT1 category. Cars in this category were heavily modified versions of road cars, such as the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F40. However, when the 911 GT1 was uneveiled in 1996, Porsche exploited the rule book to the full and stunned the sports car fraternity. Rather than developing a race version of one of their road going models, what they created was a purpose built sports-prototype but in order to comply with regulations a street legal version was developed called the 911 GT1 Straßenversion - a road-going racing car.
In spite of its 911 moniker, the car had little in common with the 911 of the time, only sharing the front and rear headlamps with the production sports car. However its frontal chassis was shared with the 911, while the rear of the chassis was derived from the 962 along with its water-cooled, twin-turbocharged and intercooled, 4 valves per cylinder 3,164 cc flat-six engine fuel fed by Bosch Motronic 5.2 fuel injection, longitudinally-mounted in a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, compared to the rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout of a conventional 911. The engine was generated a power output of about 600 PS. In comparison, the 993 generation 911 GT2, otherwise the company's highest-performance vehicle at the time, used an air-cooled engine with only two valves per cylinder; the 911 GT1 made its debut in the BPR Global GT Series at the Brands Hatch 4 hours, where Hans-Joachim Stuck and Thierry Boutsen won comfortably, although they were racing as an invited entry and were thus ineligible for points.
They followed up by winning at Spa and Ralf Kelleners and Emmanuel Collard triumphed for the factory team at Zhuhai. The 1996 911 GT1 clocked at a top speed of 330 km/h on the legendary Mulsanne Straight in the practice sessions of the 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours Race. Towards the end of the 1996 season, Porsche made revisions to the 911 GT1 in preparation for the 1997 season; the front end of the car was revised including new bodywork which featured headlamps that previewed the all-new generation of the Porsche 911 which would be unveiled in 1997. The revised car was known as the 911 GT1 Evo; as far as performance goes, the car had the same engine as the previous version, but new aerodynamic elements allowed the 1997 version to be faster than the 1996 version - acceleration was better, although the top speed was still around 330 km/h on the La Sarthe Circuit. However, the works cars did not last the full race distance. For the 1998 season, Porsche developed an all-new car, the 911 GT1-98. Designed to match the new Toyota GT-One and Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, the 911 GT1-98 featured bodywork which bore more of a resemblance to traditional sports-prototypes than the previous two models.
A new sequential gearbox was installed to reduce shift time. As per the regulations, a street-legal version of the 911 GT1-98 was spawned but it is believed that only one variant was produced, still sufficient to satisfy the new regulations. During the 1998 FIA International GT season the 911 GT1-98 struggled to match the pace of the Mercedes, improved, with the main reason being down to the air-restrictor rules which were regarded as unfavourable to the turbocharged engine; the Michelin tyres of the factory team and the Pirelli of the private Zakspeed team were considered inferior to the Bridgestone tyres of the Mercedes. At the 1998 Le Mans however, it was a different story; the BMW V12 LM retired with wheel bearing trouble, the Mercedes CLK-LM cars had oil pump troubles in the new V8 engines that replaced the former V12. The Toyota GT-One, considered to be the fastest car suffered gearbox reliability problems; the 911 GT1-98, despite being slower than the Toyota or the Mercedes, fulfilled Porsche's slim hopes, taking both first and second place overall thanks to reliability, giving Porsche its record-breaking 16th overall win at Le Mans, more than any other manufacturer in history.
At the Petit Le Mans race in Road Atlanta, the 911 GT1-98 of Yannick Dalmas made a spectacular backward flip and landed rear first before hitting the side barriers, as did the BMW V12 LMR at the same race in 2000, most infamously the Mercedes-Benz CLR at Le Mans in 1999. The GT1'98 was set up with higher downforce in the race than the previous two years, which reduced its maximum speed to 310 km/h. However, in the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours test days, the car hit 330 km/h on the Mulsanne Straight on a lower downforce setup. With Mercedes dominating FIA GT1 in 1998, all other entries including Porsche withdrew for the 1999 season; the GT1 class was cancelled, the FIA GT Championship was contested with GT2 cars. Porsche could have entered at Le Mans, but chose not to try to defend the win of 1998 against the new entrants from other manuf
Bob Wollek, nicknamed "Brilliant Bob", was a race car driver from Strasbourg, France. He was killed on 16 March 2001 at age 57 in a road accident in Florida while riding a bicycle back to his accommodation after the day's practice sessions for the following day's race, the 12 Hours of Sebring, he won an amazing 76 races in 71 of which on Porsche cars. Prior to his racing days as a university student, Wollek was a member of the French National Skiing Team between 1966-1968 competing in the Winter Universiade, he won three gold and two silver medals altogether His skiing career came to an end when he was injured during preparations for the Winter Olympics. Prior to a skiing accident which ended his skiing career, Wollek began racing cars when he entered the Mont-Blanc Rally in 1967 driving a Renault 8 Gordini and won; the following year, when his skiing career ended, he started his racing career when he entered a Volant Shell scholarship race taking place at the Le Mans' Bugatti Circuit, finishing runner-up to François Migault.
Wollek entered the Alpine Trophy Le Mans which he won, earning himself a place for the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans where he finished 11th overall and 2nd in class on his debut driving an Alpine A210. In 1969, Wollek made his debut in single seater racing competing in Formula France before graduating to the French Formula Three Championship. During a round at Rouen-Les-Essarts, Wollek was involved in a fatal accident which killed Jean-Luc Salomon, when the pair plus Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, Richard Scott and Mike Beuttler were all fighting for the lead at Scierie, where the track is a two-lane road. In 1971, Wollek switched to Formula Two driving for Ron Dennis's Rondel Racing. Despite a shaky start with only one point that year, he improved his performance for the following year with a single win at Imola and 21 points, placing him seventh. Despite this success, he abandoned his Formula One ambition to concentrate on sportscar racing where he would become one of the most recognizable names in the sport.
During his three decades of sports car racing exclusively in Porsches, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona four times and the DRM in 1982 and 1983, with the Porsche 936 and Porsche 956 entered by the Joest Racing team. In the mid-1970s, he raced a Porsche 935K2 improved and entered by the Kremer Racing team from Cologne. For many years, Monsieur Porsche challenged the factory team with entered cars, but was hired to become part of the official Porsche Le Mans team in 1978, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1996, 1997, 1998. In 1981, he raced a Group C-spec Kremer-built Porsche 917, about a decade after these cars were retired initially. Wollek never won the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall, despite coming close in a few of his thirty attempts. In 1997, his leading factory-entered Porsche 911 GT1 suffered damage in a minor incident, so the car had to be retired. In 1998, Porsche scored a 1-2 win. After the 1998 season, Porsche retired its GT1 cars from the Mercedes-dominated FIA GT Championship, providing only Porsche 911 based cars for the lower GT classes.
In 2000, Wollek scored many class wins in the American Le Mans Series in a Porsche 996 GT3. The last race Wollek entered was the 2001 12 Hours of Sebring in a Porsche 996 GT3-RS. Wollek had won there in 1985 with A. J. Foyt, driving a Porsche 962. Despite being over 50 years of age and still racing competitively, Wollek had developed a fitness regime of riding bicycles to stay in good physical condition for the longer races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to which he rode from home across France. Typical of many other racing drivers, Bob ran a car dealership for Jaguar. On Friday 16 March 2001, while leaving Sebring International Raceway following practice for the 12 Hours of Sebring, Wollek continued a tradition of cycling between the circuit and his accommodation, which took him west on Highway 98. While he had been riding close to the edge of the pavement, he was struck from behind by a van driven by an elderly driver from Okeechobee, Florida at 4:30 p.m. He was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring and was pronounced dead on arrival.
Wollek was due to start in the Petersen Motorsports Porsche 996 GT3-RS with Johnny Mowlem and Michael Petersen, however out of respect the car was withdrawn from the race. On race day, the organizers held a one-minute silence in memory of Wollek. Prior to his death, he announced he would retire from racing to serve as an ambassador for Porsche, was due to sign this agreement upon returning home after Sebring. Motorsport.com tribute Dick Barbour Racing statistics FIA GT Championship statistics Bob Wollek at Le Mans
Spirit Racing was a racing car constructor and racing team from the United Kingdom. Founded in 1981, it participated in the 1982 European Formula Two Championship in Formula One between 1983 and 1985, before competing in the 1988 F3000 season before folding at the end of the year. In 26 F1 races, its best finish was seventh at the 1983 Dutch Grand Prix. Spirit Racing was founded in August 1981 by ex-March employees Gordon Coppuck and John Wickham with backing from Bridgestone and Honda, who were keen to re-enter Formula One as an engine supplier; the initial plan was to participate in the 1982 European Formula Two Championship, so ex-McLaren designer John Baldwin was hired to produce the Spirit 201 chassis with Coppuck, to be powered by a naturally-aspirated 2-litre Honda V6 engine. With sponsorship from Marlboro and capable drivers in Stefan Johansson and Thierry Boutsen, the car was an immediate success, taking pole position in eight of the 13 rounds of the championship, while Boutsen won three times and challenged for the title before losing out in the final round to the March of Corrado Fabi.
Before the F2 championship was over, Honda had built prototypes for a turbocharged Formula One engine. After a dummy unit was sent to Spirit, the team modified one of its 201 chassis to meet F1 regulations, began a testing programme with the new engine in November 1982 at Silverstone, with plans to join the F1 World Championship midway through the 1983 season. Honda were anxious to keep a low profile – much as they had been when they had first entered F1 two decades earlier – and so the team avoided testing at the same time as other F1 teams, while taking its programme to Willow Springs and Riverside in California; when the decision was made to enter one car into the World Championship, Johansson was chosen as the driver – he was seen as a faded talent having made a disappointing F1 debut for Shadow in 1980, whereas Boutsen was seen as a star of the future. After a further test at Jacarepaguá, the team made its competitive F1 debut in April 1983, at the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch.
In a field of 13 cars, Johansson set the second-fastest time in free practice, but suffered engine problems in qualifying and started 12th. He retired early with a punctured radiator following a collision with the Theodore of Roberto Guerrero. Following this, the team resumed its testing programme, with sessions at Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park, before making its World Championship debut in July at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Driving a further revision of the F2 car, the 201C, Johansson qualified 14th out of 29 cars despite continued engine problems, ran in the early stages before retiring with a broken fuel pump; the team continued in the championship until the penultimate race of the season, the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. Johansson tended to qualify ahead of most of the naturally-aspirated cars, finished seventh at Zandvoort, but mechanical problems continued to blight the car. In the meantime, the team was building its first purpose-designed F1 car, the 101, but at the same time, Honda were showing concern at the lack of progress and were being courted by Williams, who offered a record of success.
Following a disastrous weekend for Spirit at Monza, where the 101 was presented but not driven and Johansson suffered another early retirement, the Japanese company decided to supply its engines to Williams only, Spirit thus missed the final race of the season at Kyalami. Spirit decided to continue in 1984 with Hart turbocharged engines. Twice world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and moneyed Italian Fulvio Ballabio were slated to drive; however Fittipaldi left to find a drive in Indycars after finding the machine uncompetitive and Ballabio was refused a Super Licence. Instead Mauro Baldi found funds and was nominated as the team's sole driver, Johansson being released as he could not find the funding to continue; the 101 was a neat but underpowered car and Baldi struggled to move away from the rear of the grid. Jean-Louis Schlesser had planned to take over from the third race before the threat of litigation from RAM saw Baldi stay until Huub Rothengatter took over; when the Dutchman's money ran out Baldi found enough funds to complete the season.
The team's best result was 8th place, scored by Baldi on Rothengatter once. The 101 chassis was updated again for 1985 and Baldi continued to drive. Allen Berg had arranged a deal to take over the seat in the season. Money was tighter and after three rounds Wickham decided to take up an offer from Toleman to buy out the team's tyre contract and folded the F1 outfit. Wickham promised to be back with a new car in 1986 but that never happened. Spirit resurfaced in Formula 3000 in 1988, running Bertrand Gachot, Steve Kempton and Paolo Barilla with some success, but Wickham left the outfit midway through the season and the team folded at the end of the year
Equipe Ligier is a motorsport team, best known for its Formula One team that operated from 1976 to 1996. The team was founded in 1968 by former French rugby union player Guy Ligier as a sports car manufacturer. After retiring from racing following the death of his friend Jo Schlesser, Guy Ligier decided to found his own team and had engineer Michel Tétu develop a sports car named JS1; the Cosworth-powered JS1 took wins at Albi and Monthlery in 1970, but retired at Le Mans and from the Tour Automobile de France. For 1971, Ligier had the JS1 developed into the JS2 and JS3; the JS2 was homologated for road use and used a Maserati V6 engine, while the JS3 was an open-top sports-prototype powered by a Cosworth DFV V8 engine. The JS3 failed to finish the minimum distance in Le Mans. Therefore, it was retired, Ligier installed the Cosworth DFV in the JS2 road car, finishing second overall at Le Mans in 1975. Guy Ligier switched his efforts into Formula One. Following the acquisition of the Matra F1 team's assets, Ligier entered Formula One in 1976 with a Matra V12-powered car, won the 1977 Swedish Grand Prix with Jacques Laffite.
This is considered to have been the first all-French victory in the Formula One World Championship as well as the first Formula One victory for a French team and a French engine. The deal with Matra ceased in 1979 and Ligier built a Cosworth-powered wing-car, the Ligier JS11; the JS11 began the season winning the first two races in the hands of Laffite. However, the JS11 faced serious competition when Williams and Ferrari introduced aerodynamically modified cars; the rest of the season was less successful for the French marque. The JS11 and its successors made Ligier one of the top teams through the early 1980s. Despite substantial sponsorship from Talbot and public French companies – SEITA, Gitanes and Française des Jeux – the competitiveness of the team began to decline around 1982. Around this time, they were testing a Matra V6 turbocharged engine. Thanks to the political support of Ligier long-time friend François Mitterrand, in the mid-1980s, the team benefitted from a free Renault turbo engine deal.
This, along with sponsorship from companies such as Loto and Elf Aquitaine, made the team more competitive, though not a frontrunner. When Renault left the sport in 1986, Ligier was left without a bona fide engine supplier. An abortive collaboration with Alfa Romeo was followed by customer engine deals with Megatron and Cosworth and works contracts with Lamborghini and Mugen-Honda. Between 1987 and 1991, the team struggled, failing to score points in 1988, 1990 and 1991, at the 1988 San Marino Grand Prix neither René Arnoux nor Stefan Johansson qualified for the race, the first time in team history that neither car made the grid. In 1990, when fellow team Larrousse were disqualified after claiming their chassis was built by themselves, while in fact it was built by Lola Cars, Ligier moved up into 10th place in the Constructors' Championship, which gave them subsidized travel benefits, despite not being classified due a to lack of points. In 1993 the team enjoyed an upswing when Guy Ligier sold the team to Cyril de Rouvre after a disappointing 1992 season when they once again failed to fulfil their potential despite being supplied with the same works Renault engines as the dominant Williams team.
The team was somewhat more competitive during this period, in part due to the talents of aerodynamicist Frank Dernie and engineer Loïc Bigois. They scored eight podium finishes over the next four years, contrasting with their failure to secure a single top three position between 1987 and 1992. In the last years Ligier lacked funds. In 1994, de Rouvre sold the team to Tom Walkinshaw. Other organisations bidded to purchase Ligier, including a consortium consisting of Hughes de Chaunac and Philippe Streiff, with the support of the Renault-powered Williams F1 team, who intended to turn Ligier into a'junior' team; the Mugen-Honda-powered JS43 turned out to be a well balanced car, if not on par with the Williams entries. It became a surprise winner as well, with the team taking the chequered flag with Olivier Panis at the Monaco Grand Prix, albeit in a race of heavy attrition, with only three cars finishing, it was the first "all-French" victory at Monaco since René Dreyfus in Bugatti in 1930. This ended a nearly fifteen-year-long winless-streak for the Ligier team, the longest of any uninterruptedly existing team between two wins.
In 1997 the team was sold to Alain Prost and became Prost Grand Prix in 1997. Prost GP, despite substantial financial backing by large private French companies, failed to make the team competitive and went bankrupt in 2002; the team traditionally used numbers 25 and 26. In 2004, Ligier returned to motorsport after acquiring Automobiles Martini. Tico Martini had designed a Formula 3 chassis, introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show as the Ligier JS47, but with the F3 market cornered by Dallara, the car only raced in the minor Recaro F3 Cup. In 2005 Ligier introduced a "gentlemen driver" sports car, the JS49, a sport prototype made for the 2000 cc CN class, which can be used in the V de V Challenge. Official website
Formula Two, abbreviated to F2, is a type of open wheel formula racing first codified in 1948. It was replaced in 1985 by Formula 3000, but revived by the FIA from 2009–2012 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship; the name returned in 2017. While Formula One has been regarded as the pinnacle of open-wheeled auto racing, the high-performance nature of the cars and the expense involved in the series has always meant a need for a path to reach this peak. For much of the history of Formula One, Formula Two has represented the penultimate step on the motorsport ladder. Prior to the Second World War, there existed a division of racing for cars smaller and less powerful than Grand Prix racers; this category was called voiturette racing and provided a means for amateur or less experienced drivers and smaller marques to prove themselves. By the outbreak of war, the rules for voiturette racing permitted 1.5 L supercharged engines. In 1946, the 3.0 L supercharged rules were abandoned and Formulae A and B introduced.
Formula A permitted the old 4.5 L aspirated cars, but as the 3.0 L supercharged cars were more than a match for these, the old 1.5 L voiturette formula replaced 3.0 L supercharged cars in an attempt to equalise performance. This left no category below Formula A/Formula One, so Formula Two was first formally codified in 1948 by FIA as a smaller and cheaper complement to the Grand Prix cars of the era. Among the races held in this first year of Formula Two was the 1948 Stockholm Grand Prix; the rules limited engines to two-litre aspirated or 750 cc supercharged. As a result, the cars were smaller and cheaper than those used in Formula One; this encouraged new marques such as Cooper to move up to Formula Two, before competing against the big manufacturers of Alfa Romeo and Maserati. In fact, Formula One in its early years attracted so few entrants that in 1952 and 1953 all World Championship Grand Prix races, except the unique Indianapolis 500, were run in Formula Two. F2 went into decline with the arrival of the 2.5 L F1 in 1954, but a new Formula Two was introduced for 1957, for 1.5 L cars.
This became dominated by rear-engined Coopers drawing on their Formula 3 and'Bobtail' sports car, with Porsches based on their RSK sports cars enjoying some success. Ferrari developed their'Sharknose' Dino 156 as a Formula Two car, while still racing front-engined Grand Prix cars; the dominant engine of this formula was the Coventry Climax FPF four-cylinder, with the rare Borgward sixteen-valve unit enjoying some success. A enlarged version of the F2 Cooper won the first two Formula One Grands Prix in 1958, marking the beginning of the rear-engined era in Formula One; the 1.5 L formula was short-lived, with Formula Junior replacing first Formula Three and Formula Two until 1963—but the 1961 1.5 L Formula One was a continuation of this Formula Two. Formula Junior was introduced in 1959, an attempt to be all things to all people, it was soon realised that there was a need to split it into two new formulae. Formula Two was the domain of Formula One stars on their days off. Engines were by Cosworth and Honda, though some other units appeared, including various Fiat based units and dedicated racing engines from BMC and BRM.
For 1967, the FIA increased the maximum engine capacity to 1600cc. With the "return to power" of Formula One the gap between Formula One and Formula Two was felt to be too wide, the introduction of new 1600cc production-based engine regulations for Formula Two restored the category to its intended role as a feeder series for Formula One; the FIA introduced the European Formula Two Championship in 1967. Ickx, driving a Matra MS5, won the inaugural championship by 11 points from the Australian, Frank Gardner; the most popular 1600cc engine was the Cosworth FVA, the sixteen-valve head on a four-cylinder Cortina block, the "proof of concept" for the legendary DFV. The 1967 FVA gave 220 bhp at 9000 rpm. Other units appeared, including a four-cylinder BMW and a V6 Dino Ferrari. Many Formula One drivers continued to drive the smaller and lighter cars on non-championship weekends, some Grand Prix grids would be a mix of Formula One and Formula Two cars. Jacky Ickx made his Grand Prix debut there in a Formula Two car, qualifying with the fifth fastest time overall.
Forced to start behind the slower Formula One cars, Ickx forced his way back into a points position, only to be forced to retire with broken suspension. Jim Clark, regarded as one of the greatest race drivers of all time, was killed in a Formula Two race early in 1968, at the Hockenheimring; the "invasion" of Formula One drivers in Formula Two ranks was permitted because of the unique grad
Williams Grand Prix Engineering
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited racing in Formula One as ROKiT Williams Racing, is a British Formula One motor racing team and constructor. It was founded by team owner Sir Frank Williams and automotive engineer Sir Patrick Head, it is still run by Williams; the team was formed in 1977 after Frank Williams's two earlier unsuccessful F1 operations: Frank Williams Racing Cars and Wolf–Williams Racing. All of Williams F1 chassis are called "FW" a number, the FW being the initials of team owner, Frank Williams; the team's first race was the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix, where the new team ran a March chassis for Patrick Nève. Williams started manufacturing its own cars the following year, Switzerland's Clay Regazzoni won Williams's first race at the 1979 British Grand Prix. At the 1997 British Grand Prix, Canadian Jacques Villeneuve scored the team's 100th race victory, making Williams one of only three teams in Formula One, alongside Ferrari and fellow British team McLaren, to win 100 races.
Williams won nine Constructors' Championships between 1980 and 1997. This stood as a record until Ferrari surpassed it in 2000. Drivers for Williams have included Australia's Alan Jones; each of these drivers, with the exception of Senna and Button, have captured one Drivers' title with the team. Of those who have won the championship with Williams, only Jones and Villeneuve defended their title while still with the team. Piquet moved to Lotus after winning the 1987 championship, Mansell moved to the American-based Indy Cars after winning the 1992 championship, Prost retired from racing after his 4th World Championship in 1993, while Hill moved to Arrows after winning in 1996. No driver who has won a drivers' title with Williams has managed to win a title again. Williams have worked with many engine manufacturers, most with Renault, winning five of their nine Constructors' titles with the French company. Along with Ferrari, McLaren and Renault, Williams is one of a group of five teams that won every Constructors' Championship between 1979 and 2008 and every Drivers' Championship from 1984 to 2008.
Williams F1 has business interests beyond Formula One racing. Based in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK, Williams has established Williams Advanced Engineering and Williams Hybrid Power which take technology developed for Formula One and adapt it for commercial applications. In April 2014, Williams Hybrid Power were sold to GKN. Williams Advanced Engineering had a technology centre in Qatar until it was closed in 2014. Frank Williams started the current Williams team in 1977 after his previous outfit, Frank Williams Racing Cars, failed to achieve the success he desired. Despite the promise of a new owner, Canadian millionaire Walter Wolf, the team's rebranding as Wolf–Williams Racing in 1976, the cars were not competitive. Williams left the rechristened Walter Wolf Racing and moved to Didcot to rebuild his team as "Williams Grand Prix Engineering". Frank recruited young engineer Patrick Head to work for the team, creating the "Williams–Head" partnership. Reuters reported on 20 November 2009 that Williams and Patrick Head had sold a minority stake in the team to an investment company led by Austrian Toto Wolff who said that it was purely a commercial decision.
In February 2011, Williams F1 announced plans to raise capital through an initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in March 2011, with Sir Frank Williams remaining the majority shareholder and team principal after the IPO. As of December 2017, ownership is as follows: Frank Williams. Williams entered a custom March 761 for the 1977 season. Lone driver Patrick Nève appeared at 11 races that year, starting with the Spanish Grand Prix; the new team failed to score a point. For the 1978 season, Patrick Head designed his first Williams car: the FW06. Williams signed Australian Alan Jones, who had won the Austrian Grand Prix the previous season for a devastated Shadow team following the death of their lead driver, Tom Pryce. Jones's first race for the team was the Argentine Grand Prix where he qualified the lone Williams car in 14th position, but retired after 36 laps with a fuel system failure; the team scored its first championship points two rounds at the South African Grand Prix when Jones finished fourth.
Williams managed their first podium position at the United States Grand Prix, where the Australian came second, some 20 seconds behind the Ferrari of future Williams driver Carlos Reutemann. Williams ended the season in tenth place in the Constructors' Championship, with a respectable 16 points, while Alan Jones finished 12th in the Drivers' Championship. Towards the end of 1978 Frank Williams recruited Frank Dernie to join Patrick Head in the design office. Head designed the FW07 for the 1979 season with Frank Dernie picking up the aerodynamic development and skirt design; this was the team's first ground effect car, a technology first introduced by Colin Chapman and Team Lotus. Williams obtained membership of the Formula One Constructors' Association which expressed a preference for teams to run two cars, so Jones was partnered by Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni, it was not until the seventh round of the championship, the Monaco Grand Prix, that they achieved a points-scoring position. Regazzoni came close to taking the team's first win but finished second, less than a second behind race winner Jody Scheckter.
The next round at Dijon is remembered for
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