Group C was one of the greatest eras in racing history, producing the fastest cars to ever run the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The story of how it died was, sadly, one that it should have seen coming.
Nissan’s legacy in international sports car racing starts with the 1,000 horsepower R90CK that didn’t quite win Le Mans in 1990 and ends with the R390 GT1 that didn’t quite win Le Mans in 1998. But there was an intermediate car that, sadly, didn’t even make it to Le Mans.
The 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans was a landmark race, if for nothing else that it was the last year that the monstrous Mulsanne straight was unencumbered. After 1989, two chicanes were installed, slowing it down. But for this last glorious year, cars screamed at almost 250 miles an hour at Le Mans.
Few race cars have ever bent the rules so close to breaking as the Porsche 911 GT1, a homologation special that was homologated for the road after the car completed its first racing championship. Here’s how and why Porsche built the thing.
Truly today is a day of miracles: on Polish Wikipedia I have discovered a picture of a Panoz Esperante GTR-1 chasing down a Vector M12 GT2 race car. I am currently in a state of shock.
The 1990s GT1 category was dominated by greats. The Toyota TS020. The Mercedes CLK GTR. The Porsche 911 GT1. But the best cars were actually not these racers. They were the road cars borne out of them.
The Toyota GT-One never won Le Mans. It will not go down as a champion. It will, however, sit as a reminder of the glory and filth of endurance racing.
Students of history will remember how Porsche came to dominate the legendary Group C era: the Porsche 956/962 was totally reliable and Porsche built a gazillion of them, outlasting all of its faster, more fragile rivals for nearly a decade. The first such car was the turbo Ferrari-powered Lancia LC2, a car too fast to…
A good morning to us all, for today is the most sacred of holidays and traditions. Today is, of course, Group C-smas, the day when we celebrate all that is wonderful from the world of Group C and GT1 racing. First up is the simply perfect bellow emanating from this Sauber Mercedes C11.
Good morning friends, and welcome to a very lovely Saturday. Or, as it’s known in some parts of the world, Christmas Eve. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean we put our love for all-things-car on hold, so we’ll be going all weekend. Please join us.
One of the best things about Le Mans-style endurance racing of years past was the homologation requirement. Specifically, under the (lightly followed) rules, at least 25 road-going versions of your race car had to be made. And what made for great race cars often made for ridiculous – and beautiful – road cars.
This is what it was like to see the Group C giants face off, back in the day, when they were new.
The greatest glory of the Group C days at the 24 Hours of Le Mans must have been the unbelievable speeds the drivers achieved on the endless Mulsanne Straight. How much could they see at well over 200 miles per hour?
The Porsche 911 GT1 is very nearly the perfect race car. Gorgeous, fast, and it even had a production version. Though I say "very nearly," because it had a tendency to flip. Spectacularly, backwards.
The thing about race weekends is that you normally don't just get one race, you get a lot of little support races. One of those tends to be a "Legends" race, where heroes of years past take some laps around the track. It's supposed to be nice and congenial. Until the cars get destroyed.
Welcome, friends and family, to Group C-smas! What is Group C-smas, you ask? Why, it's a holiday of festive fun and cheer of course! Also, it's Christmas, so we're going to just bring you awesome videos of Group C and GT1 Le Mans racing all day. Yeah, this really is the Best Christmas Ever.