1977 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 45th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the Grand Prix d' Endurance les 45e 24 Heures du Mans, took place from 11 to June 12, 1977 held at the Circuit des 24 Heures.

  • 2.1 pilots after Nations
  • 2.2 Final ranking
  • 2.3 Class Winner
  • 2.4 racing data

The race

The Teams

After the first attempts in the 1960s and 1970s, Renault Alpine came in 1977 again with his sports prototype to Le Mans to win the 24 - hour race. Under the leadership of team boss Gerard Larrousse, who won as a driver in 1973 and 1974, the race for Matra, Renault brought three works cars at La Sarthe. The three A442 were powered by 2- liter V6 turbo engines. A fourth A442 has been used by Jacky Haran and Hugues de Chaunac, now the team manager of ORECA and had ample work support. Closely related to the Renault works team was also the Grand Touring cars Incorporation. The two Mirage GR8 were also equipped this year with the 2 -liter turbo engine from Renault.

The toughest adversary of Renault was again Porsche. The work team from Zuffenhausen set up two 936 Spyder and a 935. The most famous driver pairing was the duo Jacky Ickx and Henri Pescarolo, both multiple Le Mans winner. For plant -935 came four other cars of this type that have been reported by the German team Loos and Kremer. In total, spread over the different classes were 27 Porsche at the start.

In addition to the Alpine Inaltera prototypes came from France. There they sat in the engine choice on the V8 engines from Cosworth. This engine also came in the new Lola by Alain de Cadenet used. After a year of absence, was with the 365 GT4/BB of the North American Racing Team Ferrari again at the start. And for the first time since 1964, Aston Martin was again reported. Robin Hamilton had a DBS constructed with a 5.3 -liter V8 engine for this race and reported in the GTP class.

The race course

Immediately after the start took over the factory Renault the lead in the race. At the front of the A442 was the # 9, who had gone from the pole position on the grid and was alternately driven by Jean -Pierre Jabouille and Derek Bell. However, Renault had also recorded a loss already in the first round. The private A442 had to be parked in the very first round with turbocharger damage. Fastest Porsche was in the early stages of plant -935 by Rolf Stommelen and Manfred Schurti, but the car soon got technical problems and fell after three hours of racing from final. After three hours resulted to be the Bell / Jabouille -Renault, now before the two 936 Spydern. As a result, a wheel - to-wheel duel between Jean -Pierre and Henri Pescarolo Jabouille, which ended with a failure of the Porsche after Pescarolo had turns the engine developed. The second factory Porsche 936 by Jürgen Barth and Hurley Haywood had already fallen back to exchange the fuel pump behind and was to the end of the standings.

At the top were now the three plant -Renault. At Porsche, we met a far-reaching decision and sat Jacky Ickx unceremoniously as third driver in the car from Barth and Haywood. From the rules of this process was covered, since pilots were allowed to drive within a team, in two cars. Jacky Ickx drove the night of his best sports car racing and brought the Porsche up to the fourth place overall forward. And what was hardly thought possible happened during the Sunday morning. The Porsche took the lead, because all three failed with Renault engine damage. One hour before the end was the Schuppan / Jarier Mirage GR8 second. However, with a gap of 16 laps on the works Porsche 936 The Porsche was standing with a cylinder damage to the box and the big question was whether the Porsche technicians would bring the 936 once again up and running. Because the regulations stipulated that regardless of the lead vehicle had crossed the finish line in order to be counted. The entire Renault Alpine team had gathered at the Mirage box than the Porsche was pushed with Barth at the wheel a few minutes before the end of the race out of the box and two laps around the track with smoking engine and at slow speed to victory. Behind Vern Schuppan and Jean -Pierre Jarier placed second in the GR8.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

1 withdrawn 2 accident in training 3 not qualified 4 5 not qualified not qualified 6 not 7 not qualified qualified

Class winner

Race data

  • Starter: 55
  • Weather during the race weekend: Saturday, warm and dry; Sunday, cold and rainy
  • Distance: 13.640 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Pierre Ugeux, president of FISA
  • Distance of the winning team: 4671.830 km
  • Winners section: 194.651 km / h
  • Pole Position: Jean -Pierre Jabouille - Alpine A442 (# 9) - 3.31.070 = 231.951 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: Jacky Ickx - Porsche 936 /77 ( # 4) - 3.36.500 = 226.808 km / h
  • Race series: counted at any racing series