Le Mans Classic (29.6 – 2.7 2023) was this year the 100 years celebration of the Le Mans Race. 235.000 visitors, 800 race cars, almost 1000 drivers made this one of the biggest motorsport events of the year. Unbelievable event in all respects
Our team participated to the Porsche Race which was open to the Porsche race cars build 1965 to 1980 with our 1965 911. This age group meant that the speed differences were quite big. We were driving in the same 13,6 km track which is used in the modern 24 Hours of Le Mans. Most of the track is on public roads and the speeds are high. There were a lot of legendary Porsche race cars from the 1970´s: 911 ST, RS and RSR, the mighty 935´s, 904, 906, 914…. There was also a lot of 1965 911´s from the 2.0 Liter Cup.
The race had two 50 minute qualifying rounds on Friday with 83 cars and the race on Saturday with 70 cars. This time Jussi was driving alone the whole event. The results were improving session by session. The first Qualifying was difficult as our engine did not work in its best way. The result was 73/83. The second Qualifying was in the evening, partially in the dark. The engine worked now fine and the result was improving, 62/83. On Saturday morning the track was wet and there were some spells of rain. In the race there was a compulsory 1 minute pit stop. The final results was 55/70 overall. In the performance race, where the results are indexed with the engine power, the result was good: 20/70. During the race there were several Slow Zone (Double yellow flag) situations where the race control limited the speed to 80 km/h for specific sector. This system is set up to avoid the need for Safety Car procedure which on such a long track would easily spoil the whole race.
Great track and great experience. The new speed record for our 1965 car is now 223 km/h. This is of course nothing for the modern cars, but with a 60 year old design the downforce started to fade after 220 km/h. Next time 235 km/h 🙂