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24 de janeiro de 2021

Peugeot at Le Mans: Part 1

by

Antonio Eiras

Peugeot Sport was founded in 1981, with Jean Todt as its director.


The initial involvement in the brand was concentrated in Rallies, with enormous success ensured by the 205 Turbo 16 of Group B, having won the Constructors' World Championships in 1985 and 1986.


With the Group B ban, Peugeot Sport turned to Africa and won the Paris-Dakar four times in a row, in 1987 and 88 with the 205 and in 1989 and 90 with the 405.


In 1988 Peugeot started the project of the 905 of Group C Sport-Prototype’s cars, to participate in the 1991 World Championship.


The 905 was presented in February 1990. Designed under the guidance of André de Cortanze, it had a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and was powered by a 3.499cc V10 at 800, which delivered 650hp at 12,500rpm. The power was transmitted by a 6-speed sequential gearbox, the disc brakes were made of carbon and the tires were supplied by Michelin.


The car was developed throughout the year and participated in the last 2 races of the World Championship of Sport-Prototypes (WSC), where it proved to be uncompetitive.


In 1991 started the new technical regulations, for which the 905 was designed. In preparation for the new season and with the experience accumulated in the races in which he participated, the reliability problems and the competitiveness of the 905 were corrected. However, despite being heavily penalized by regulations, the Jaguar XJR-14, designed by Ross Brawn to the Tom Walkinshaw team, remained extremely competitive. In the middle of the season Peugeot reacted and presented an evolution, with the deeply revised aerodynamics, which made the 905B more competitive, having ended the season with two victories and second in the Championship.


In 1992 Peugeot only had the debutant Toyota, which participated with the TS010, as the only works team competitor. The 905B, equipped with a new V10 engine, which delivered about 715hp, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Drivers and Constructors World Championships.


The Championship came to an end in 1993 and Peugeot suspended the development of the 905 Evolution 2, which it had prepared for this year. The brand presented itself at Le Mans with a 905B little different from the model of the previous year and secured the first three places of an historic victory in the 24 Hours race.


At the end of the year, and after the departure of its director, Jean Todt, for Ferrari, Peugeot suspended its involvement in Sport-Prototypes.


The 905 participated in 17 races, having won 9 of them, at the hands of great drivers, such as Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Keke Rosberg, Teo Fabi, Derek Warwick or Yannick Dalmas, among others.

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8 de maio de 2021

1969: Matra MS80 - Cosworth

by

Antonio Eiras

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