24h Le Mans
Jochen Mass and the story of Sauber-Mercedes (+ video)
In this video clip, jochen mass answers questions from visitors to the mercedes museum, including a mention of his victory at the 24 hours of le mans 1989. commentary in german.
He speaks particularly of the car that he stands next to in the clip, which was the most important of his career. During his twelve visits to Le Mans he appeared as Porsche works driver in the 936, 956 and 962 C with the British driver Derek Bell, one Jacky Ickx's favourite team-mates. But it was driving the silver Sauber Mercedes that he mounted on the top step of the podium in La Sarthe.
Competing in the 2 litre prototype class (ancestor of the current LM P2 class) in 1977-78, the Swiss manufacturer Sauber reappeared in La Sarthe in 1982, with the advent of Group C, and became the partner of Mercedes in the mid 80s, with the goal of victory over Porsche and Jaguar. The mission was accomplished in 1989, with three cars in the top 5 of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his countryman Manuel Reuter and Swedish driver Stanley Dickens, Jochen Mass won ahead of his team-mates Kenny Acheson, Mauro Baldi and Gianfranco Brancatelli, while the French trio Alain Cudini, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Jean Louis Schlesser finished fifth.
Two years later, this time with Schlesser and Alain Ferte, Mass. dominated the race until Sunday at one o'clock, when the No. 1 Sauber Mercedes was forced to retire after a cooling problem. The Mazda of Bertrand Gachot, Volker Weidler and Johnny Herbert took the lead and scored the historic first victory (and still only so far) at Le Mans for a Japanese manufacturer. Note that this year, the Sauber Mercedes No. 31, a 22-year old German driver finished fifth and set the fastest lap time at 222.515 km / h average speed. His name? Michael Schumacher. He was driving with his countryman Fritz Kreutzpointer and Austrian Karl Wendlinger.