1980 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 48th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the Grand Prix d' Endurance les 48e 24 Heures du Mans, took place from 14 to 15 June 1980 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

New Regulations

In February 1980, the Automobile Club de l' Ouest, the invited teams surprised once again with far-reaching changes to the regulations. The tank capacity of the vehicles was limited to 120 liters or 26 gallons. On top of that, the flow rate of the fuel was limited in the tanks of Le Mans boxes to 50 liters per minute. Thus the duration of the average fuel stops for 40 seconds to 2 minutes 30 has been extended. The fastest pit crew took 45 minutes in 1980 to the vehicle in the box cleared. No comparison to the existing record since 1952 by Lance Macklin and Eric Thompson, who spent her Aston Martin DB2 only 10 minutes in the pits.

Engine and transmission changes were limited. So could be used for the race each team only one motor for training and qualifying and another. At this hurdle the North American Racing Team failed, was not allowed to participate after two engine failures on the Ferrari 512 BB in training on race. Also, the time of free practice was restricted to two hours.

Even with the drivers there were significant changes. Now had every driver of a team, regardless of whether 2- or 3- team, driving qualifying times. Then a section was drawn from the best of times a team that was relevant to the grid. The first victim of this rule has been the South African Desiré Wilson, who formed a team with Alain de Cadenet and François Migault. Wilson had an accident in training and could go no qualifying round. The officials of the ACO under then told her to start.

Before the race, there was heated debate between some British team bosses and the ACO. The British, the discrepancies between the times in free practice and qualifying session in which could not be explained to their disadvantage and suspected irregularities in the timing. This has also affected the Triumph TR8 Turbo Ada Engineering. It would have been the first triumph at Le Mans since 1965. Despite fierce protests, the teams were not allowed to start.

Before the race

In 1980, only three factory teams at the start. Porsche gave up a message in the group 6 and brought three 924 Carrera GT to Le Mans. Nevertheless, a milestone for the Porsche brand. The three race cars were the first water-cooled front engine cars that brought the German company to the Sarthe. The second work team presented Lancia, that after the infamous appearances with the Lancia Stratos 1976 and 1977 for the first time was back with a great team at the start since 1953. Then there was a factory BMW.

In group 6 nevertheless a Porsche was reported. The Porsche 908/80 Joest Racing was a hybrid car. Reinhold Joest, the cockpit with Jacky Ickx parted, letting mounted on the chassis of a Porsche 936, a modified body of a Porsche 908. To this end, the race car of Jean Rondeau came with the Cosworth V8 engine.

In group 5 in addition to the factory Lancias mainly Porsche 935 were reported. In group 4, a Porsche 911SC is to say, which was operated with ethanol fuel. A single vehicle was in the GTX class ( Grand Touring Production) at the start - a BMW M1. Three other M1 launched alongside a plethora of Porsches, five Ferrari 512 BB and a Wankel Mazda RX- 7 in the IMSA class.

Race course

The launch took place in the pouring rain and strong winds. Jean Ragnotti came with his Rondeau from the first row off badly, and so took over pole sitter John Fitzpatrick in Dick Barbour Porsche 935 the lead. In the rain the GT cars had advantages because they had not so limited ground clearance as the group - 6-car and so is less prone to hydroplaning. After two hours driving time Hans -Joachim Stuck led the BMW M1; but when the track dried up, the Group 6 cars made inroads. Before it was night was the Ickx / Joest Porsche at the top, as the remained 908 are suddenly on the line before the Mulsanne. Already in training the team had had problems with the fuel pump, so the drivers were ready for this defect. Ickx was able to repair the pump with on-board tools and bring the Porsche back to the pits. After a lengthy pit stop the car went back into the race, but had slipped to the last place in the ranking. A seasoned pilot like Jacky Ickx could be but not be swayed by such a circumstance, and after 12 hours of driving the Porsche was back in the lead.

After lying in second place Ragnotti / Pescarolo - Rondeau failed with engine failure, the leading Porsche got again problems: He lost his fifth gear, had to settle for half an hour on the box, and the lead went to Rondeau by Jean -Pierre Jaussaud and Jean Rondeau. Just before the end of the race came again showers upon, and both the leading Rondeau and the Porsche each had a spin that could decide the race. Both cars were only slightly damaged and could continue.

At the end won by Jean Rondeau for the first and so far only time a driver in Le Mans, who was sitting in a vehicle that bore his own name. For Jean -Pierre Jaussaud it was after 1978, the second overall victory in a French team.

Live on TV

For the first time the 24 -hour race was broadcast live from a race car. In WM P79 Welter Racing, the Roger Dorchy and Guy Fréquelin piloted to the fourth place overall, a camera was mounted that was sent for 24 hours. On the whole area video walls were erected, and the audience had their first an idea of ​​pouring rain at 340 km / h to go les- Hunaudières Just down.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

1 engine damage not qualified in training 2 3 4 not qualified not qualified not qualified 5 6 7 not qualified not qualified not qualified 8 9 10 not qualified not qualified 11 not qualified reserve 12 13 Resvere

Class winner

Race data

  • Starter: 55
  • Weather during the race weekend: rain and fierce gusts of wind
  • Distance: 13.626 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Joachim Springer, Secretary General of the ADAC
  • Distance of the winning team: 4608.020 km
  • Winners section: 191.899 km / h
  • Pole position: John Fitzpatrick - Porsche 935 K3 (# 70) - 3.40.020 = 222.373 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: Jacky Ickx - Porsche 908/20 (# 9) - 3.40.600 = 222.177 km / h
  • Race series: 7th round of the World Sportscar Championship