1986 24 Hours of Le Mans: a major trio for Porsche

1986 24 Hours of Le Mans: a major trio for Porsche

As we await tickets going on sale for the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a look back 30 years ago to the 1986 24 Hours, with victory going to Porsche and a unique driver line-up.

After the 917, the 936, the 935 and the 956, the 962 C was the fifth Porsche to win at Le Mans. It was originally an adaptation of the 956 for the American endurance championship IMSA which began in 1984...before the German manufacturer and some of its clients decided to race it at the 24 Hours. It made history at Le Mans in 1985 thanks to Hans-Joachim Stück who clocked at its wheel the highest average ever for pole position (251.815 km/h). Along with British driver Derek Bell, three-time winner (1975-81-82) at that time, the German finished third.

In 1986, the duo was joined by American driver Al Holbert. They formed an experienced trio with a strong relationship with Porsche. The son of one of the greatest drivers between the two world wars, Stück sealed his fate with his 1985 pole position: until 1998 he drove Porsches 12 times at Le Mans. In 26 participations, Bell raced 14 at the wheel of prototypes 917, 936, 956, 962 C, Kremer K8 and even 924 Carrera GT. As for Holbert, himself the son of a driver, in seven starts he was not with Porsche only once (with a win in 1983), and even led Porsche's competition activities in the U.S. On June 1, 1986, they won at the 24 Hours and the following year became the first three-driver driver line-up to win two consecutive victories at the 24 Hours.

Tickets to the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans will be available for purchase on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 (for ACO members) and Friday, November 6, 2015 (for the general public).

Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO - Translation by Nikki Ehrhardt / ACO

Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SATURDAY MAY 31 & SUNDAY JUNE 1 1986. Derek Bell, Al Holbert and Hans-Joachim Stück won Porsche's 11th victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.