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Fastest-ever on the Hunaudieres/Mulsanne? (merged)


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#1 BuonoBruttoCattivo

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 19:57

Who has the outright record for top speed on the Hunaudieres straight?
Was it the 905 Peugot or the 917LHs.
When was said record achieved, in what situation (practice/quals/race) and under what conditions?
Thanks in advance. :up:

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#2 Heretic

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 20:18

The fastest speed i have heard of is 251 MPH or 407KPM by a Peugot in 88.

http://www.nissan.co...ws/lemans3.html

#3 dretceterini

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 20:25

Yes, the fastest speed was 251 by a Peugeot V-6 turbo powered car, but it was a WM, and not a factory Peugeot

#4 Barry Boor

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 21:09

I seem to recall that a certain F. Migault held that record for a time but that it was eventually surpassed.

#5 rdrcr

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 21:27

Originally posted by dretceterini
Yes, the fastest speed was 251 by a Peugeot V-6 turbo powered car, but it was a WM, and not a factory Peugeot


Yes I think this is the one... Club-Arnage.com also has this as the fastest trap speed as well.

I also found this: "...They built a new car for 1988 with even lower drag and went for it about 3 hours into the race with cooling intakes taped over for further drag reduction and Roger Dorchy achieved a speed of 407kph (251mph). The engine was then finished and the car wheeled away at the end of the lap by a happy team. Incidentaly, Michelin supplied WM with special narrow tyres to aid the drag reduction quest..."

#6 bill moffat

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 23:31

Project 400 as it was known in 1988. 400 as in kph equates to 250mph.

Good old Roger...bolt on a set of narrow Michelins, tape over any duct or crevice that might add to the drag and dial in the lowest downforce settings. Then invite Monsieur Dorchy to drive down what is basically a standard French Route Nationale at a speed some 70mph in excess of the slowest cars..magnifique !!!

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 01:15

And this was the view the onlookers had...

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Well, maybe not exactly like this one, but this is the bit of Mulsanne that would see this type of car going plenty fast each year. Glad I was there to see it...

'Fastest on the Hunaudieres' also brings to mine how little time I had to enjoy my breakfast at the Resaurant Hunaudieres the next morning...

#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 05:58

How were these speeds measured?

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 06:18

Originally posted by Roger Clark
How were these speeds measured?


Not sure, Roger, but I think radar was used.

#10 Geza Sury

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 08:25

Originally posted by Heretic
The fastest speed i have heard of is 251 MPH or 407KPM by a Peugot in 88.

I seem to remember that that one of the Sauber Mercedes was clocked 408 kmh down Mulsane in 1989.

#11 Peter Morley

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 09:11

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Not sure, Roger, but I think radar was used.


Can't have been the sort used on normal (UK) roads, since I am told they don't record speeds above 150 mph/240 kmh.

But agreed it is most likely to be a radar, certainly not strips across the track, possibly a pair of light beams across the track near the end of the straight?

I seem to remember that that one of the Sauber Mercedes was clocked 408 kmh down Mulsane in 1989.



How fortunate for them, that with all thair budget they managed to beat the local garages effort by a whole 1 kmh!!

I wonder how independent the measurement was?
But it would go well with their Le-Mans altitude records!!

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 09:29

I think the WM effort had more than a few amateurs behind it...

The guys worked at Peugeot, didn't they? Back door stuff, I'm sure... 4-valve quad cam engines don't come easily to any amateurs.

#13 robert dick

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 10:16

Question concerning the WM engine :
Was it a real racing engine or a turbocharged "PRV block"?

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 10:20

It was built on a Peugeot 604 bottom end...

The crankcase, block, crankshaft and rods were all production items. Twin turbos, new pistons and the trick heads made a lot of difference.

I used to have a slide of a spare engine in their tent, but a friend gave it away!

#15 No27

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 10:43

407 km/h....

Amsterdam-Paris in one and a half hour
Amsterdam-Rome in four hours
Hamburg Muenchen in three hours

Did F1 cars ever hit the 400km/h?

#16 bill moffat

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 10:45

Originally posted by Geza Sury

I seem to remember that that one of the Sauber Mercedes was clocked 408 kmh down Mulsane in 1989.


400kph for the Sauber in '89. WM had been previous winners of the "Mulsanne Grand Prix" with fastest ever speeds of 381kph (1987) and 351kph (1980). It is interesting to look at the top speeds recorded by various other cars over the years , albeit the statistics being somewhat confounded by the fact that the later cars had to negotiate 2 chicanes (OK roundabouts) during their journey South:

374kph Porsche 956

367kph Renault Alpine

351kph Toyota GT1./ Peugeot 905

343kph Ford GT40.

340kph Matra Simca MS670.

301kph Ferrari 250LM.


The 917's were presumably up around the 350kph mark also. It is the speed differential that amazes me. This year there will probably be a speed differential of "only" 40mph between the fastest and the slowest cars. Back in the late 60's you would be flat at 220mph (perhaps in the dark when Le Mans cars are at their most efficient) and quite likely to find one of the also-rans in your path at perhaps 120mph. Frightening stuff..

#17 VAR1016

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 10:56

Originally posted by bill moffat


400kph for the Sauber in '89. WM had been previous winners of the "Mulsanne Grand Prix" with fastest ever speeds of 381kph (1987) and 351kph (1980). It is interesting to look at the top speeds recorded by various other cars over the years , albeit the statistics being somewhat confounded by the fact that the later cars had to negotiate 2 chicanes (OK roundabouts) during their journey South:

374kph Porsche 956

367kph Renault Alpine

351kph Toyota GT1./ Peugeot 905

343kph Ford GT40.

340kph Matra Simca MS670.

301kph Ferrari 250LM.


The 917's were presumably up around the 350kph mark also. It is the speed differential that amazes me. This year there will probably be a speed differential of "only" 40mph between the fastest and the slowest cars. Back in the late 60's you would be flat at 220mph (perhaps in the dark when Le Mans cars are at their most efficient) and quite likely to find one of the also-rans in your path at perhaps 120mph. Frightening stuff..


There's a letter from Derek Bell in the latest edition of EVO magazine.

He says that in testing in the 917 in 1971, he was using 8100 rpm.

Apparently when told this, Norbert Singer said, "That's good, because at 8200, the engine blows up."

Singer was then seen chuckling over his slide rule. Pressed for his reasons, he revealed that allowing for tyre growth, the 917 was travelling at 396kM/hr or 246 mph.

PdeRL

#18 bill moffat

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 10:57

sorry, the 917 was, of course, much quicker than that..386kph in 1971.

Just to illustrate my comment regarding speed differentials; if you had taken your GT40 to Le Mans in 1966 you would have shared the circuit with a Mini Marcos, Austin Healey Sprites, several 1Litre CD's and a host of 1.3 Litre Alpines. The latter marque was, however, a serious concern and Henri Grandsire finished 9th...

#19 Yves

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 15:48

In the 60-70, the speed in Hunaudières where mesured by the gendarmerie with the first type of radar used in France (Mesta something).

In early 50s, the speed differential was enormous when the slowest cars like the Renault 1063 (based on the popular 4cv sedan, 750cc and no more as 50 cv.

Maximum speed in the straight was around 140 km/h when the best car at that time (51-52-53)were runing around 300 km/h which are some 160 kmh-100mph diff.

Y.

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#20 troyf1

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 16:14

Originally posted by rdrcr


Yes I think this is the one... Club-Arnage.com also has this as the fastest trap speed as well.

I also found this: "...They built a new car for 1988 with even lower drag and went for it about 3 hours into the race with cooling intakes taped over for further drag reduction and Roger Dorchy achieved a speed of 407kph (251mph). The engine was then finished and the car wheeled away at the end of the lap by a happy team. Incidentaly, Michelin supplied WM with special narrow tyres to aid the drag reduction quest..."


I also read somewhere that when Jean Marie Balestre heard about this he went balistic and demanded that the chicanes be put on the Mulsanne or he would declare LeMans a outlaw event. Setting the record was great but sadly it set in motion what became the destruction of what IMHO was the greatest straight in motor racing :

#21 Yves

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 16:22

Originally posted by troyf1


I also read somewhere that when Jean Marie Balestre heard about this he went balistic and demanded that the chicanes be put on the Mulsanne or he would declare LeMans a outlaw event. Setting the record was great but sadly it set in motion what became the destruction of what IMHO was the greatest straight in motor racing :


and also the most dangerous we must say :o

Y.

#22 VAR1016

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 16:34

Originally posted by troyf1


I also read somewhere that when Jean Marie Balestre heard about this he went balistic and demanded that the chicanes be put on the Mulsanne or he would declare LeMans a outlaw event. Setting the record was great but sadly it set in motion what became the destruction of what IMHO was the greatest straight in motor racing :


Balestre was a git; what's the difference between 245mph and 251mph? 6mph is the answer.

The WM-Peugeot project was just an eccentric exercise; cars had been exceeding 240mph since the early 1970s.

PdeRL

#23 mhferrari

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 16:46

Originally posted by No27
Did F1 cars ever hit the 400km/h?


No. The fastest I think an F1 car went was at the old Hockenheim course, and I think it was 218 mi/h (351 km/h). I think that speed was by David Coulthard in the McLaren-Mercedes.

#24 dretceterini

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 16:49

I read somewhere a long time ago that the long tail Porsche 917s reached 241 mph. 10 mph faster 15 years later should not have been a big deal, and the Mulsanne straight should have never been altered.

Personally, I think racing was a lot more intersting when there were 750cc cars with top speeds of maybe 90 mph and cars capable of 175-180 mph on the track at the same time. Dangerous, yes, but it required more sense and skills to win than the case now..

#25 cheesy poofs

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 16:54

Wasn't the Sauber's speed achieved in the race while Dorchy's was in unofficial practice or something like that...?

#26 Geoff E

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 17:29

Originally posted by mhferrari


No. The fastest I think an F1 car went was at the old Hockenheim course, and I think it was 218 mi/h (351 km/h). I think that speed was by David Coulthard in the McLaren-Mercedes.


Actually, Coulthard has since beat that, doing 361kph. http://www.atlasf1.c...p/id/2734/.html

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 20:20

Originally posted by cheesy poofs
Wasn't the Sauber's speed achieved in the race while Dorchy's was in unofficial practice or something like that...?


I don't know about the Mercedes' effort, but the quotes above clearly state that the WMs did it "three hours into the race".

The year I was there it happened about the same time...

#28 Mohican

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 07:59

As for the danger of speed differentials at Le Mans, look no further than Jo Bonnier's fatal accident in 1982 - which admittedly took part at the "Indianapolis" rather than on the Mulsanne straight, but still.

As for the dangers of speed differentials and tailgating, any German autobahn will do as well...

#29 Mohican

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 07:59

Sorry, that should of course read 1972...

#30 bill moffat

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 08:05

Originally posted by dretceterini

Personally, I think racing was a lot more intersting when there were 750cc cars with top speeds of maybe 90 mph and cars capable of 175-180 mph on the track at the same time. Dangerous, yes, but it required more sense and skills to win than the case now..


Great. We could also reintroduce the cross-track running start (no time to put your seat belts on during the first stint) , knock down the protective pit wall and perhaps add a riding mechanic to the car.

Seriously though, the chicanes were needed. Le Mans was getting too quick and would probably not have survived another big tragedy. I have stood on the side of the Mulsanne, the Armco is not the best in the world.

As a spectator the spectacle is not lessened and the drivers are safer..you cannot argue with that. The 2 chicanes add to the challenge for the driver and put an additional mechanical burden on the car, and that is surely what Le Mans is about.

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 08:18

Originally posted by bill moffat
..... I have stood on the side of the Mulsanne, the Armco is not the best in the world.....


In what way?

Agreed, it wasn't as high as the highest flight level achieved by flying cars, but it's as good as anywhere else... check my photo.

#32 bill moffat

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 08:54

Originally posted by Ray Bell


In what way?

Agreed, it wasn't as high as the highest flight level achieved by flying cars, but it's as good as anywhere else... check my photo.



Ray..an observation based on 26 annual visits to Le Mans. Believe me I have seen better Armco although I agree that it is inherently intact and secure.

The Mulsanne became too dangerous and claimed lives. It was more luck than judgement that allowed drivers such as Win Percy and John Sheldon to escape from what were basically aircraft accidents. We need to protect our sport from the adverse comment that it so often attracts. 2 chicanes at Le Mans have not detracted from the race and have unequivocally made the place somewhat safer.

#33 Henri Greuter

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:08

The picture of the WM Peugeot earlier in the thread is not the car which set the record but an early '80s version of the car. The record setter looked much more like a whale as did the 917LH's
From what I remember, the Saubers scored a tad over 400 but didn't break the WM record. But the WM was built for that speed, the Saubers achieved it while being out there, almost casually.


A fairly good description about the WM car and the entire project can be found in Ian Bamsey's book about Sportscars and prototypes, released in the early '90's. I forgot the title but it had the titles in Silk Cut Jaguar purple and a drawing of the Jag on the cover. For sports car fans of the 80's period a recommanded reading, like Bamsey's F1 related writings,

Henri Greuter

#34 petefenelon

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:21

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
The picture of the WM Peugeot earlier in the thread is not the car which set the record but an early '80s version of the car. The record setter looked much more like a whale as did the 917LH's
From what I remember, the Saubers scored a tad over 400 but didn't break the WM record. But the WM was built for that speed, the Saubers achieved it while being out there, almost casually.


A fairly good description about the WM car and the entire project can be found in Ian Bamsey's book about Sportscars and prototypes, released in the early '90's. I forgot the title but it had the titles in Silk Cut Jaguar purple and a drawing of the Jag on the cover. For sports car fans of the 80's period a recommanded reading, like Bamsey's F1 related writings,

Henri Greuter


I think this is the "Projet 400" version?

Posted Image

(Larger version of the same pic here...

I notice "Norma" mentioned on the headlights -- any relationship to the hopeless sportscar constructor of the same name?

pete

#35 petefenelon

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:34

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
The picture of the WM Peugeot earlier in the thread is not the car which set the record but an early '80s version of the car. The record setter looked much more like a whale as did the 917LH's
From what I remember, the Saubers scored a tad over 400 but didn't break the WM record. But the WM was built for that speed, the Saubers achieved it while being out there, almost casually.


A fairly good description about the WM car and the entire project can be found in Ian Bamsey's book about Sportscars and prototypes, released in the early '90's. I forgot the title but it had the titles in Silk Cut Jaguar purple and a drawing of the Jag on the cover. For sports car fans of the 80's period a recommanded reading, like Bamsey's F1 related writings,

Henri Greuter


I think that was "Anatomy and Development of the Sports Prototype Racing Car" or something similar - I don't have a copy myself :(


Two other classics on the Group C era are Ian Briggs' "Endurance Racing 1982-91" - good technical coverage of most of the cars (it misses a few very obscure C2s), race reports on all the WSPC rounds and IMSA summaries; and the Bamsey et al "Super Sports: The 220mph Le Mans Cars" which despite a potboiler title is a nicely-produced book that looks at a selection of large-capacity roofed prototypes of both the 60s and 80s - most cars get a two-page photo spread and some descriptive text, but there are longer technical essays on some significant or interesting vehicles.

Ian Bamsey used to write some very good techie books in the late 80s/early 90s - I love the International Race Engine Directory (which is crying out for a second edition...), "The 1000bhp Grand Prix Cars" and his little "Technical Appraisal" books - what happened to him? Those Automobile Sport annuals were good too!

pete

#36 Henri Greuter

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:05

This looks like the Pete. But I'm not sure if this is the '87 version that narrowly failed or the improved version which did the job one year later. But it looks verey much as the car that set the record.


"Anatomy and Development of the Sports Prototype Racing Car" or something similar sounds like the title I remember.


Henri Greuter

#37 bill moffat

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:24

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
This looks like the Pete. But I'm not sure if this is the '87 version that narrowly failed or the improved version which did the job one year later. But it looks verey much as the car that set the record.


Henri Greuter


Dorchy ran in car 51 in 1988, so this is either his car in '87 (when he did run as 52) or the sister car of Haldi/Raulet/Pessiot in 1988..I'll check when I get home.

#38 Marco94

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:00

My recollection is that the speed of the WM-Peugeot was achieved during the race. I also remember some article were somebody from Mercedes-Benz claimed to have reached 420 kmh in qualyfing. IRC, they used the engine revs to obtain this number. Very unofficial I'd say, because the did not allow for tire slip, did not know the exact tire radius etc.

#39 Peter Morley

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:07

Originally posted by petefenelon


I notice "Norma" mentioned on the headlights -- any relationship to the hopeless sportscar constructor of the same name?

pete


More likely to be the hoseclip company (Johnny Foreigner's version of Jubilee).

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#40 bill moffat

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:43

..and let us not forget that the spirit of the WM lives on in Gerard Welter's WR concern. The WR's have been an intermittent fixture since 1992 at Le Mans and the ACO seem to have granted them an honorary entry.

Their history at Le Mans has been dramatic. They have experimented with LPG-powered cars as well as a Ssangyong engine. They were quickest in Practice in '95 , Patrick Gonin showing only slightly reduced pace when travelling down the Mulsanne upside down (I met him last year and he seems none the worse for the experience..nice bloke).

On the darker side William David had a massive accident in '96 when his WR lost its one piece-bodywork and put him into the trees, somehow he escaped. Sebastian Enjolras had a similar accident the following year, albeit with fatal results and triggering a forest fire.

The ACO always get a lot of criticism for their quirky entry criteria..but perhaps there should always be a place for a French underdog..

#41 jloehs777

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 12:01

Originally posted by Geoff E


Actually, Coulthard has since beat that, doing 361kph. http://www.atlasf1.c...p/id/2734/.html


and alesi's beaten that :p , in 2001 at monza he hit 363km/h..not sure if someone's since beaten that record though.

#42 petefenelon

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 12:02

Originally posted by bill moffat
..and let us not forget that the spirit of the WM lives on in Gerard Welter's WR concern. The WR's have been an intermittent fixture since 1992 at Le Mans and the ACO seem to have granted them an honorary entry.

Their history at Le Mans has been dramatic. They have experimented with LPG-powered cars as well as a Ssangyong engine. They were quickest in Practice in '95 , Patrick Gonin showing only slightly reduced pace when travelling down the Mulsanne upside down (I met him last year and he seems none the worse for the experience..nice bloke).

On the darker side William David had a massive accident in '96 when his WR lost its one piece-bodywork and put him into the trees, somehow he escaped. Sebastian Enjolras had a similar accident the following year, albeit with fatal results and triggering a forest fire.

The ACO always get a lot of criticism for their quirky entry criteria..but perhaps there should always be a place for a French underdog..


I remember my first couple of sightings of WR on my first trip to Le Mans 3 years ago. They were in one of the two extra garages that were built at the end of the pit lane. Every so often the car went out for another few laps. The entire WR crew were sitting on the roof of the garage seemingly enjoying a succession of fairly large meals...;)

They also seemed to believe in big one-piece bodywork:

Posted Image



Don't forget that the WR has also been Mazda-powered - albeit badged as the Autoexe. Jim Downing's selling that particular piece of... history?... for a very reasonable $150k.

#43 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 12:57

The Ian Briggs book was mentioned, and from that source, the engine designation was
Peugeot ZNS4-WM built by Denis Mathiot Competition. 910 HP @ 8200 rpm with 2.8 bar boost.

Posted Image

#44 dretceterini

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 13:43

I believe that Welter from the current WR was also involved in the WM company's efforts. I think they started circa 1977...

#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 13:53

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
The picture of the WM Peugeot earlier in the thread is not the car which set the record but an early '80s version of the car. The record setter looked much more like a whale as did the 917LH's
.....


It was the 1981 car, the photo taken as I stood alongside John Harvey talking about how dangerous it was to be there... it was about two hours into the race.

#46 Yves

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 14:42

Originally posted by Peter Morley


More likely to be the hoseclip company (Johnny Foreigner's version of Jubilee).


Norma is the trademark of car light bulbs largely distributed at least in France.

Could be a philips trade mark (not shure at all in fact ?).

Y.

#47 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 07:10

My sofar one and only trip to Le Mans was in 1988, memory may fail me but..

I recall it as Project beat 400 kph twice during the race.

First time some hours into the race, so the 3 hours stated above sounds correct. But then I seem to recall them doing it once more either very late at night, or very early in the morning depending on how you see these things. I would say 04:00AM.

They may not have "beaten" their own record the second time though, and from then I think the car was finally wheeled back not to reappear that race.

Somewhere at the bottom of a box in my attick I have pictures from that trip, I think I have a picture of the Project 400 car as well, eventhoug the Porche's and Jaguar's were of prime interest to me. I will be witou the spousal unit for a couple of weeks in June, that will give me time to rummage, without incessant quering and complaining, will then see if I can find it. The 51, 52 cars looks what I recall, but the actual race number I do not recall.

:cool:

#48 bill moffat

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 10:52

OK, have done my research. Roger Dorchy in the 51 car realised "l'objectif 400" at 20.45 hours. The car used was the previous year's chassis P87 albeit in short nose/long tail configuration. The car retired shortly before 2 am whilst Raulet was at the wheel (he was switched from the sister 52 car which retired very early in the race).

The 52 car was a 1988 chassis and was in high downforce trim. It qualified over 20 seconds faster than "the boat"..so proving that outright speed at Le Mans is not necessarily everything !

There was another Mulsanne special entered in 1988. The TJ-ROC 01 failed scrutineering and has to be one of the most ugly cars ever entered at La Sarthe. If I can sort my scanner out I will post a picture.

#49 Mark A

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 20:19

Found a painting of the WM using google. This shows a speed of 405kph.

Posted Image

#50 Dolph

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 16:29

Can anybody set this straight with official sources or smth similar? Where could I read more about this?

I've been searching the internet to find by whom the top speed has been set and what it was. Various sources who reference nobody talk about the 1988 Le Mans race where two WM Secateva cars took part and one of them did the record. The talk is that these cars were entered only for the reason of achieving the record and no other. They also claim that the cars' air inlets were covered with tape in order to minimize drag and this resulted in engine failures later on in the race from overheating. These people also claim that Roger Dorchy (car #51) set the record of 405 km/h. Other sources claim the #52 car set the record.


First entry:
#51 WM P87 with drivers Roger Dorchy, Claude Haldi, Jean-Daniel Raulet

Posted Image


Second entry:
#52 WM P88 with drivers Pascal Pessiot, Jean-Daniel Raulet

Posted Image



From wikipedia (with no sources) (Wiki)

Speed record

In 1988, Team WM Peugeot knew they had no chance of winning the 24 hour endurance race, but they also knew that their Welter Racing designed car had very good aerodynamics. Thus they nicknamed their 1988 entry "Project 400" (aiming to be the first car to achieve a speed of 400 km/h on the famous straight), although the official team entry was named WM Secateva. Roger Dorchy, Claude Haldi and Jean-Daniel Raulet would be the three drivers that year.

The Peugeot 2.8L V6 turbo charged PRV engine had its air intakes taped over to improve aerodynamics, and they also equipped the car with special narrow Michelin tires. The plan worked: on June 11, 1988, with Roger Dorchy behind the wheel, the WM P87 achieved the speed of 405 km/h (251.7 mph).

Taping over the air intakes obviously impedes engine cooling and the Peugeot retired after 59 laps with an overheating engine (though it outlasted two other Group C1 entrants).


http://www.elsolitar...s-speed-record/

Just before the ban, a small team, WM Secateva, with a tiny budget, knew they had no chance of winning but had a history of building very low-drag cars, which were often the quickest on the Mulsanne straight. So they decided to go for the publicity of being the first car to do 400kph in the race. Thus was born the “Project 400″.
In 1987 they managed it in pre-race testing on an airfield runway, but fell some way short at the track.
They built a new car for 1988, with even lower drag, and went for it about 3 hours into the race with cooling intakes taped over for further drag reduction and Roger Dorchy, achieved a speed of 407kph (251mph!). The engine blew up right afterword and the car was wheeled away at the end of the lap by a celebrating team.


Edited by Dolph, 16 June 2012 - 16:41.