24 Hours of Le Mans – Outstanding cars of the LMP1 era (2/3)
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24 Hours of Le Mans – Outstanding cars of the LMP1 era (2/3)

The LMP1 class created in 2004 is on the cusp of its last race, the 8 Hours of Bahrain finale of the 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship season. The new Hypercar class will pick up the mantle next year. Meanwhile, here are a few remarkable examples of LMP1 cars that heated up the track over the last 16 years.

Epsilon Euskadi ee1 (2008)

This stunning LMP1 prototype called upon proven technical solutions (Judd engine, Ricardo gearbox, Michelin tyres and Brembo brakes) was created some 30 km from San Sebastian, Spain and became the first Spanish racing car to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driven by Spanish drivers Miguel Ángel de Castro, Ángel Burgueño and Adrián Vallés, the car was forced to retire with transmission troubles.

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Dome S102 (2008)

Dome competed in the LMP1 class from 2001 to 2007 via Jan Lammers' Racing For Holland team. In 2008, the Japanese constructor decided to make the move into the top class by officially fielding this closed prototype. Facing off against Peugeot, Audi, Lola (Charouz), Epsilon Euskadi, Pescarolo and ORECA was no small challenge. Powered by a Judd GV5.5 V10 engine and entrusted to Japanese drivers Daisuke Ito, Yuji Tachikawa and Tatsuya Kataoka, the car experienced several technical problems and crossed the finish line in 33rd place. 

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Peugeot 908 HDi (2009)

In 2007 (14 years after the historic hat trick for the 905s) Peugeot made its return to endurance racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Peugeot 908, a closed prototype with futuristic lines and powered by a turbo V12 diesel engine. Two years later, given the results of the two previous 24 Hours, Peugeot presented a 908 with newly designed aerodynamics. The engine had also been altered to benefit from lower fuel consumption while remaining as efficient. These changes allowed the French marque to score a one-two in 2009.

Winners with the Peugeot 908 HDi

  • Marc Gené, David Brabham and Alexander Wurz in 2009
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Audi R15 Plus TDi (2010)

After the disappointment of the R15, Audi overhauled its LMP1 project the following year by producing an evolution of the prototype. Though the chassis did not undergo any modifications, the aerodynamics were entirely reimagined: from the shape of the bonnet to that of the sides, the suspension, the positions of the radiators, everything was new. The German constructor fielded a car capable of snatching victory from Peugeot's 908 HDi. After a relentless battle and retirements for the three 908 HDis as well as the one entered by ORECA, Audi pulled off a hat trick. That year, winners Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller established a new distance record of 5,410.713 km, a feat madep possible by their turbo diesel engine, technology that earned its fifth win in a row.

Winners with the Audi R15 Plus TDi:

  • Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Mike Rockenfeller in 2010
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