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Yves Courage

27th April 1948 (Age 72)
Le Mans, Pays de la Loire
Most recent race (in database):

Courage Compétition and the Cougar marque added local colour to the most famous endurance race in the world for a generation or more. Team patron Yves Courage started the Le Mans 24 Hours on 10 occasions as a driver and enjoyed one day (and night) of glory when finishing third on his last appearance in 1987.

Upbringing and early career

Born and bred in Le Mans, Courage competed in national hillclimbs from 1972. He made his debut in his local race five years later and won the 2000cc Group Six class in 1981 with Jean-Philippe Grand’s Lola T298-BMW.

The Cougar marque was born a year later but initial success was limited for Courage himself – retiring from the race for the next three years. The concern replaced its Ford Cosworth DFL-power with Porsche engines for 1985 and the new C12 at least made it to the finish for the next two seasons, albeit off the pace.

Success at Le Mans

Courage introduced the new Cougar C20-Porsche for 1987 and was joined by Hervé Regout and comingman Pierre-Henri Raphanel as co-drivers. They finished 23 laps behind the winning works Porsche 962 but were in third position nonetheless. That was Courage’s final season as a driver but he continued to manage his company’s racing activities and remained with the concern despite selling to ORECA in 2007.