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1985 Le Mans 24 Hours

24 heures du Mans

Saturday, June 15, 1985
Fastest Lap:
Mass, 3m25.10
1985 season:

Works Porsches trounced

THROUGHOUT the life of the Group C World Endurance Championship, which started in 1982, the works Rothmans-Porsche team has been boringly successful. One knew, before leaving home, that Ickx, Mass, Bell and Bellof would appear on the winner's podium and it was virtually possible to write race reports in advance, leaving a blank for the winner's name.

All that has changed in 1985, as a result of the more restrictive fuel consumption rules. Le Mans, the showcase of the Stuttgart team, saw the works cars absolutely trounced by customer versions and even shown the way, for hours, by the splendid British EMKA-Aston Martin team. It took only a very minor problem on the Richard Lloyd Racing / Canon Porsche 956B driven by Jonathan Palmer and James Weaver to let the Joest Porsche 956 of Klaus Ludwig / Paolo Barilla / "John Winter" get clear away, leading for all but 26 of the 373 laps covered. The Lloyd Porsche was three laps behind, but still beat the record distance established in 1983, and the Rothmans-Porsche of Derek Bell and Hans Stuck was third and seven laps down, narrowly ahead of the Fitzpatrick Racing 956 of David Hobbs / Jo Gartner / Guy Edwards.