Travel: We Just Watched Group C Cars Roar Again At The Le Mans Classic

We Just Watched Group C Cars Roar Again At The Le Mans Classic

By Petrolicious Productions
July 12, 2016

Photography by Tim Scott

In the world of sports car racing, and specifically “prototype” cars, everything revolves around the 24 Hours of Le Mans. From 1982-1993, Group C was, basically, a class of wickedly quick prototypes that quickly became legendary machines. This is 2016, however, and owning (let alone driving) one of these beasts in anger isn’t quite the same…unless you’re at the Le Mans Classic.

Why else own a Group C car unless you’re planning on maxing it out down the Mulsanne Straight, a stretch of French public road that’s seen its fair share of both glory and incident. Behind the wheel of a quick Group C car, even today, and an excess of 200 mph is seen each lap. In period, they were touching 248 mph.

Though not over a full 24 hours, the average speed by eventual Group C class winner, #145 Julien Piguet, in a Spice SE89C was 206.7 km/h (128 mph), which is roughly equal to the average speed of a c.2000 Le Mans-winning Audi R8 race car. So, they’re pretty quick, still.

Being able to top 200 mph lap after lap is positive attribute in a used racing car, no? Photographer Tim Scott was on hand to capture the action of Group C at speed, a sight that’s surely reason enough to put the Le Mans Classic in your travel plans for next year.

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Nope Nope
Nope Nope
4 years ago

I wish group C races were back. Group C cars are best looking racing machines in my opinion

5 years ago

Group C, like IMSA’s GTP in North America, was a case of Beauty and the Beast being one and the same. Along with CanAm, these series were the peak of sports car racing.

Douglas Anderson
Douglas Anderson(@dandydoug)
5 years ago

IMHO these were the best looking prototype cars ever.
I doubt I will ever see Le Mans again but if the opportunity arose to see the classic or the 24. I’d take the classic any day.
Hopefully it will appear on TV sometime this winter.

Robert Lidstroem
Robert Lidstroem(@robertlidstroem)
5 years ago

Yes Le Mans Classic is every second year, But rumours has been around for an annual Classic!

5 years ago

Le Mans classic is every 2 years.
Not sure to see Group C again in 2018, they were not there in 2014. It was an “extra” in 2016 😉 But maybe I’m wrong (I hope !)

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay(@christophergay)
5 years ago

So many memories. Takes me back. Love this era. Wish I could give one of these a shakedown.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay(@christophergay)
5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.