1976 24 Hours of Le Mans

 

The 1976 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 44th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 12 and 13 June 1976. This year the FIA introduced its new Group 5 and Group 6 regulations and the race was now open to nine distinct classes, although it was still not part of the World Championship seasons. Porsche introduced its new models, the 936 in Group 6, the 935 in Group 5 and the 934 in Group 4. In response, BMW had its modified 3.0 CSL in Group 5. It was the year that turbos arrived in considerable numbers, with over a dozen turbocharged entries, led by the Renault Alpine A442. It saw the arrival of French prototype manufacturers Jean Rondeau and Gérard Welter in a new GTP class and a first-time invitation to American IMSA and NASCAR entries.

Once an initial challenge from Renault Alpine was seen off, the 936 of previous race-winners Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep built a relentless, inexorable lead that was never headed. Even a 30-minute stop to repair a cracked exhaust on Sunday morning was not enough for the following pack and they won by a comfortable 11-lap margin. Second was the Mirage of French drivers François Migault and Jean-Louis Lafosse – the same car that had finished third the year before. Alain de Cadenet’s privateer effort showed far greater reliability this year and he achieved his best Le Mans result with third place.

The works Porsche 935 turbo of Rolf Stommelen and Manfred Schurti was fourth, easily winning the Group 5 class. After early issues, Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Pierre Beltoise bought their new Inaltéra home in 8th to take the inaugural GTP-class win. André Gahinet's privateer Porsche 911 was the unexpected winner in Group 4 when all the major teams, and their new Porsche 934s faltered. The race also saw the death of Frenchman André Haller when his Datsun 260Z crashed at speed at the Mulsanne Kink and caught fire.

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) saw the small fields in these events and decided it needed to open its entry to both categories in one race, against current FIA policy. The FIA promptly scheduled a championship race at the Circuit Paul Ricard on the same weekend which, unsurprisingly, then had to be cancelled for lack of entries. Ostracised by the FIA, the ACO instead developed closer bonds with the developing IMSA organisation in North America. A new Le Mans-Daytona Trophy was inaugurated linking the 24-hour sports-car races. The ACO opened its entry list to IMSA-category cars as well as NASCAR racers to encourage American participation.

For their own part, the ACO continued with its GTX non-homologated class – a counterpoint to Group 5. Significantly, this year it also introduced its new GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class – a counterpart of Group 6. These cars were closed-topped cars at least 110 cm high, 850 kg minimum weight (heavier than Group 6) and without wings, nominally as prototypes for new GT designs. GTP was to become the forerunner of the Group C regulations used in the 1980s. All together there were now nine separate classes of entry.

The ACO's 1975 experiment with the fuel limitations was not repeated (although GTP cars had to use less than 25 litres of fuel per 100 km). Consequently, the freedom to replace and repair all parts was also rescinded. It was now not permitted to replace the engine block, cylinder heads, gearbox or differential within the course of the race. The ACO stated that all entries had to have been built from January 1, 1972. They also dictated that every driver had to do at least 1 lap with 125% of the fastest 3 laps done by drivers in their category.

Where we have not had a model of the car through the business as raced I've added another example of the car as an illustration (where I have one)

Pos Car No. Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps
1 Porsche 936 20  Martini Racing Porsche System  Jacky Ickx
 Gijs van Lennep
Porsche 936 Porsche 2.1L F6 turbo 349
2 Mirage M8 10  Grand Touring Cars Inc.  Jean-Louis Lafosse
 François Migault
Mirage M8 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 338
3 Still Looking 12  A. de Cadenet
(private entrant)
 Alain de Cadenet
 Chris Craft
De Cadenet-Lola T380 LM76 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 337
4 Porsche 935 40  Martini Racing Porsche System  Rolf Stommelen
 Manfred Schurti
Porsche 935 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 331
5 Mirage M8

(example)

11  Grand Touring Cars Inc.  Derek Bell
 Vern Schuppan
Mirage M8 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 326
6 Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

52  G. Méo
(private entrant)
 Raymond Touroul
 Alain Cudini
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 314
7 Porsche 908

(example)

17  Joest Racing  Ernst Kraus
 Günther Steckkönig
Porsche 908/3 Turbo Porsche 2.1L F6 turbo 313
8 Inaltera GT

(example)

1  Inaltéra  Henri Pescarolo
 Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Inaltéra LM Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 305
9 Porsche 934

(example)

63  Egon Evertz K.G.  Heinz Martin
 Hartwig Bertrams
 Egon Evertz
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 302
10 BMW 3.5 CSL 42  BMW Motorsport GmbH
 Alpina-Faltz
 Harald Grohs
 Sam Posey
 Baron Hughes de Fierlandt
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 299
11 Porsche 934

(example)

54  L. Meznarie
(private entrant)
 Hubert Striebig
 Anne-Charlotte Verney
 Helmut Kirschoffer
Porsche 934/5 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 298
12 Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

71  "Ségolen"
(private entrant)
 "Ségolen” (André Gahinet)
 Michel Ouvière
 Jean-Yves Gadal
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 292
13 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 53  ASA Cachia  Thierry Sabine
 Philippe Dagoreau
 Jean-Claude Andruet
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 288
14 Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

77  T. Vaugh
(private entrant)
 
 Tom Vaugh
 John Rulon-Miller
 Jean-Pierre Laffeach
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 283
15 Still Looking 35  Daniel Brillat
 Georges Morand
(private entrant)
 Georges Morand
 François Trisconi
 André Chevalley
Lola T292 Cosworth BDG 1998cc S4 279
16 Porsche 934

(example)

57  Gelo Racing Team  Tim Schenken
 Toine Hezemans
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 277
17 Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

67  J. Laplacette
(private entrant)
 Joël Laplacette
 Alain Leroux
 Georges Bourdillat
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 273
18 Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

50  T. Perrier
(private entrant)
 Thierry Perrier
 Guy de Saintpierre
 Martine Rénier
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 273
19 Porsche 934 65  Kremer Racing  Bob Wollek
 Didier Pironi
 Marie-Claude Beaumont
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 270
20 Lancia Stratos 3  Aseptogyl  Lella Lombardi
 Christine Dacremont
Lancia Stratos Turbo Ferrari Dino 2.4L V6 turbo 265
21 Inaltera GT

(example)

2  Inaltéra  Jean Rondeau
 Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
 Christine Beckers
Inaltéra LM Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 264
22 Still Looking 31  Chandler IBEC
 Dorset Racing Associates
 Tony Birchenhough
 Ian Bracey
 Simon Phillips
Lola T294 Cosworth FVC 1950cc S4 252
23 Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

55  Equipe Alméras Frères  Christian Poirot
 René Boubet
 Jean-Claude Lagniez
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 245
24 BMW 3.5 CSL

(example)

95  Les Maisons de Week-End
(private entrant)
 Jean-Louis Ravenel
 Jean ‘Jacky’ Ravenel
 Jean-Marie Détrin
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 237
N/C* Still Looking 30  J.-M. Lemerle
(private entrant)
 Jean-Marie Lemerle
 Alain Levié
 Patrick Daire
Lola T294 Simca-ROC 1996cc S4 218
N/C* Porsche 934

(example)

61  ASA Cachia  Jean-Claude Andruet
 Henri Cachia
 Jacques Borras
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 203
N/C* Porsche 934

(example)

70  "Beurlys"
(private entrant)
 “Beurlys” (Jean Blaton)
 Nick Faure
 John Goss
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 168
DNF Porsche 935

(example)

47  Porsche Kremer Racing  Juan Carlos Bolaños
 Eduardo Lopez Negrete
 Billy Sprowls
 Hans Heyer
Porsche 935 Porsche 2.8L F6 turbo 272
DNF Porsche 934

(example)

58  Porsche Club Romand
 G.V.E.A.
 Bernard Cheneviére
 Peter Zbinden
 Nicolas Bührer
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 270
DNF Still Looking 26  Société Racing Organisation
Course
 Fred Stalder
 Albert Dufrène
 Alain Flotard
Chevron B36 Simca-ROC 1996cc S4 241
DNF Porsche 911 (934) 69  Schiller Racing Team  Claude Haldi
 Florian Vetsch
Porsche 934 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 219
DNF Porsche 936

(example)

18  Martini Racing Porsche System  Reinhold Joest
 Jürgen Barth
Porsche 936 Porsche 2.1L F6 turbo 218
DNF BMW 3.5 CSL

(example)

46  Team Brock
(private entrant)
 Peter Brock
 Brian Muir
 Jean-Claude Aubriet
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 156
DNF Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

78  Diego Febles Racing
(private entrant)
 Diego Febles
 Alec Poole
 Hiram Cruz
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 144
DNF Renault Alpine A442 19  Renault Sport  Jean-Pierre Jabouille
 Patrick Tambay
 José Dolhem
Renault Alpine A442 Renault 1997cc V6 turbo 135
DNF BMW 3.5 CSL

(example)

44  ASPM-Tanday Music
(private entrant)
 Jean-Claude Justice
 Jean Bélin
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 128
DNF Peugeot WM P76

(example)

5  Ecurie Batteries et Piles TS  Claude Ballot-Léna
 Guy Chasseuil
 Xavier Mathiot
WM P76 Peugeot PRV 2.7L V6 125
DNF Porsche 908

(example)

16  Egon Evertz K.G.  Egon Evertz
 Leo Kinnunen
Porsche 908/3 Turbo Porsche 2.1L F6 turbo 124
DNF BMW 3.5 CSL 43  BMW Motorsport GmbH
 Schnitzer Motorsport
 Dieter Quester
 Albrecht Krebs
 Alain Peltier
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 117
DNF Ford Gran Torino

(example)

90  NASCAR
 W.C. Donlavey
 Dick Brooks
 Dick Hutcherson
 Marcel Mignot
Ford Torino Ford 7.0L V8 104
DNF Still Looking 27  Société Racing Organisation
Course
 François Servanin
 Laurent Ferrier
Chevron B36 Simca-ROC 1996cc S4 88
DSQ Still Looking 29  J. Thibault
(private entrant)
 José Thibault
 Alain Hubert
 Michel Lateste
Lenham Cosworth FVC 1840cc S4 88
DNF Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

72  W. Vollery
(private entrant)
 William Vollery
 Jean-Pierre Aeschlimann
 Roger Dorchy
Porsche 911 Carrera RS Porsche 3.0L F6 82
DNF Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

62  P. Dagoreau
(private entrant)
 Christian Bussi
 Philippe Gurdjian
 Christian Gouttepifre
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 79
DNF Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

49  Gelo Racing Team  Clemens Schickentanz
 Howden Ganley
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Porsche 3.0L F6 74
DNF Still Looking 33  Schäfer Team
(private entrant)
 Georges Schäfer
 Jean-Pierre Adatte
 Riccardo Albanesi
Chevron B36 Cosworth FVC 1980cc S4 62
DNF Datsun 260Z 2+2

(example)

73  Sion Auto
(private entrant)
 André Haller
 Claude Buchet
 Jean-Luc Favresse
Datsun 260Z Datsun 2.6L S6 39
DNF Chevrolet Corvette 76  IMSA
 Greenwood Corvettes
 John Greenwood
 Bernard Darniche
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Chevrolet 7.0L V8 29
DNF BMW 3.5 CSL

(example)

41  BMW Motorsport GmbH  Brian Redman
 Peter Gregg
BMW 3.0 CSL Turbo BMW 3.2L S6 turbo 23
DNF BMW 3.5 CSL

(example)

45  Hermetite Productions Ltd.  John Fitzpatrick
 Tom Walkinshaw
BMW 3.0 CSL BMW 3.5L S6 17
DNF Still Looking 75  IMSA
 M. Keyser
 Michael Keyser
 Eddie Wachs
Chevrolet Monza GT Chevrolet 4.4L V8 11
DNF Lola T286

(example)

21  GVEA Porsche Club Ramond
 X. Lapeyre
(private entrant)
 Xavier Lapeyre
 Bernard Chevanne
Lola T286 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 9
DNF Porsche 911 (934)

(example)

48  J.-L. Chateau
(private entrant)
 
 Jean-Louis Chateau
 Dominique Fornage
 Jean-Claude Guérie
Porsche 934/5 Porsche 3.0L F6 turbo 9
DNF Dodge Charger

(example)

4  NASCAR
 H. McGriff
 Hershel McGriff
 Doug McGriff
Dodge Charger Dodge Hemi 5.6L V8 2
DNF Still Looking 36  Cheetah Racing Cars  Daniel Brillat
 Michel Degourmois
 "Dépnic" (Jean-Claude Depince)
Cheetah G-601 BMW 1998cc S4 2
DNS De Tomaso Pantera GT4

(example)

82  Wicky Racing Team  Martial Delalande
 Jacques Marché
 Max Cohen-Olivar
De Tomaso Pantera Ford 5.8L V8 0
DNQ Still Looking 8  Racing Team Schulthess
(private entrant)
 Heinz Schulthess
 Jean-Claude Lagniez
 Max Antichan
Toj SC301 Cosworth DFV 3.0L V8 0
DNQ Still Looking 25  Racing Team Schulthess
(private entrant)
 Heinz Schulthess
 Jean-Claude Lagniez
 Max Antichan
Toj SC204 Simca-ROC 1996cc S4 0
DNQ Porsche 911 RSR Turbo

(example)

83  P. Rilly
(private entrant)
 Paul Rilly
 Roger Le Veve
Porsche 911 Carrera SC Porsche 3.0L F6 0

 


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Last Edit: 01/05/2022 Page Created 01/052022