1988 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 56th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the Grand Prix d' Endurance les 56e 24 Heures du Mans, took place from 11 to June 12, 1988 held at the Circuit des 24 Heures.

The race of records

As on Sunday by 15 clock of the victorious Jaguar XJR9 -LM, with Jan Lammers at the wheel, drove over the finish line, one of the fastest 24 -hour Le Mans race ended. With 5332.970 kilometers traveled missing Lammers and his team-mate Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace only less than two kilometers to the record of 5335.313 km, situated in the 24- hour race at Le Mans in 1971 by Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep in the Porsche 917.

In training the 400-km/h-Höchstgeschwindigkeits-Barriere fell. Roger Dorchy was measured in the Welter Racing P88 at the end of Les Hunaudières straight lines with 405 km / h. Welter had it set out to achieve the record. As "Project 400 " defined, the car had barely driven in the curves. The French tire manufacturer Michelin supplied tires with a special blend and guaranteed a speed of 410 km / h

The German Porsche driver Hans -Joachim Stuck broke through in training the 250- km / h barrier for the average speed on a lap. With 250.164 km / h to 250 km / h were exceeded only the third time.

Race course

More than 200,000 spectators flocked to Le Mans in order to pursue the three-way battle between the five works Jaguar, the three factory Porsche and the two Sauber-Mercedes with can. Before the race, but drew Peter Sauber C9, the two back. When training on Thursday Klaus Niedzwiedz was in the crease before the Mulsanne a puncture. Niedzwiedz could but catch the car at over 300 km / h and avoid an accident. Since the cause of the defect by technicians from Michelin in such a short time could not be determined, renounced clean for safety reasons at the start.

The XJR9 Jaguar had been modified and possessed over 17 - inch wheels, which gave the car a better output. At Porsche, there were improvements to the aerodynamics of the 962 and the new Motronic MP1 engine management system.

From the first lap Hans -Joachim Stuck came as leading back to the start and finish, but was ousted in the sixth round by Jan Lammers from the top. Thus began a duel of these two cars and their six drivers, that should last until the penultimate lap and was discharged with a constant maximum speed. In the 19 lap took over for a round - made ​​possible by pit stops of the leading car - the Andretti - Porsche -962 the lead. In this car Mario Andretti sat, his son Michael and his nephew John. After nine hours, led for 12 laps of Wollek / van der Merwe / Schuppan Porsche, but resigned soon after with engine failure.

After 16 hours of racing Lammers / Dumfries / Wallace Jaguar led by a margin of two rounds at the pursuing Porsche von Stuck, Klaus Ludwig and Derek Bell. In third place was the Jaguar by Martin Brundle and John Nielsen, but after 306 rounds failed with a defective cylinder. By the end of the race, the Porsche team did pressure on the Jaguar at the top and was able to catch a whole round in the last three hours.

In the end, however, won the conducted by Tom Walkinshaw Jaguar team, as this could constantly go over the long distance, the faster laps than the factory Porsche.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

1 accident in training 2 3 withdrawn withdrawn

Class winner

Race data

  • Starter: 49
  • Weather during the race weekend: hot and sunny
  • Distance: 13.535 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Mr. Yokose, CEO of Sumitomo Group
  • Distance of the winning team: 5332.970 km
  • Winners section: 221.754 km / h
  • Race series: 5th round of the World Sportscar Championship