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What to look out for at Le Mans Classic

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It’s Le Mans Classic this weekend, the tenth edition on top of that. Here is what you need to know and what you should see. Hope to see you there.

Photo Peter Auto/Matthieu Bonnevie

Synthetic fuel

With the internal combustion engine under threat, there is no denying that even the classic car sector should look for ways to cut down on emissions. One very interesting initiative, researched by different manufacturers, is synthetic fuel. Le Mans organiser Peter Auto and the Saudi national oil company Aramco have joined forces and will have some cars run on synthetic fuel. Synthetic fuel is produced by mixing hydrogen with carbon (CO2) and at first will be added to regular fuel, in order to already lessen the existing emissions. Among the participating cars running on synthetic fuel are Richard Mille’s Lola T70 Mk3 B and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares’ Chevron B21.

Seven winners

Le Mans Classic can count on seven former Le Mans 24-winners showing up for the races. Emanuelle Pirro (4-time winner), Marco Werner (3-time winner), Kazuki Nakajime (3-time winner), Gérard Larrousse (double winner), Jürgen Barth, Eric Hélary and Stanley Dickens. Next to them, we will see Le Mans-faithfuls like Paul Belmondo and Ralf Kelleners return.

Photo Peter Auto/Matthieu Bonnevie

40 years of Group C

In 1982, Group C started one of sports car racing’s finest eras. Porsche dominated with the 956 and 962, followed by some strong TWR Jaguar-dominated years. The 1991-winning Mazda 787B will be the leading pace car on a 43-cars strong field, that counts the Peugeot 905 Evo 1 and the Jaguar XJR-12 among its star entries.

For the more modern Le Mans challengers, Endurance Racing Legends promises over 70 cars at the start, among them the Bentley EXP Speed 8, Audi R8, Ferrari 333SP and of course all the exciting GT cars (Aston Martin, Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Chevrolet Corvette,…).

Photo Peter Auto/Matthieu Bonnevie

Porsche and Jaguar only

The Jaguar Classic Challenge is a proven concept, bringing together only Jaguars on a series of race meetings across the UK. The field consists mainly of E-Types, but is open to all kinds of historical Jaguars. This year, the Brits have added Le Mans Classic to their calendar.

See Also

The concept of the Porsche Classic Race sounds familiar if you look at the Jaguar Classic Challenge. Porsches only in a race that lasts 50 minutes (on Saturday). Peter Auto has to approve the cars beforehand.

Photo Peter Auto/Matthieu Bonnevie

And then some

The main racing comes of course courtesy of the seven race classes that take part in a series of shorter races. The groups are numbered 1 through to 6. Groups 1 to 4 use the classic Le Mans running start. Group 1 is for cars from 1923 to 1939, group 2 unites cars from 1949 until 1956. Group 3 sees cars from 1957 to 1961, group 4 is 1962 to 1965, group 5 is 1966 to 1971. Finally, group 6 is 1972 to 1981.

If you can’t be there, you can follow Le Mans Classic live here.

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