The Final Run in the Majors

image_pdfimage_print

1998 Le Mans 24 Hours

The Le Mans 24 Hours had been a happy hunting ground for the Porsche 956/962 dynasty, seven outright victories at La Sarthe, but even the greatest monarch’s reign must end. In 1998 three Kremer K8 cars were entered but only one made it through the Pre-Qualification weekend, the Rocky Agusta/Almo Coppelli/Xavier Pompidou, example.

1998 24 Hours of Le Mans

Come race week the young Frenchman qualified the K8 in 3:57.814, 29th on the grid and 14th in class, some 22 seconds off pole sitter Bernd Schneider’s AMG Mercedes. However the race would be a different matter.

1998 Le Mans 24 Hours

There was no point in trying to set lap records, the car was too slow for that, so the old virtues of reliability and slick pit work were the weapons that would be best employed by the Kremer squad. Incredibly the factory teams started to implode, AMG Mercedes and BMW gone before sunset on Saturday. When the factory Porsche LM P1 pair also retired by dawn on Sunday a good finish seemed a possibility.

1998 Le Mans 24 Hours

The other privateers prototypes joined in the lemming-like self destruct impulse, all of which propelled the Kremer up the leader board. The race went to plan, just tyres and two brake pad changes, it would another year before HITCO and BMW would go the race distance on one set of carbon pads. OK there were a couple of spins, particularly early morning Sunday morning, but I recall the conditions being especially foul and slippery, catching out the leading Porsche 911 GT1-98 for example.

1998 Le Mans 24 Hours

The upshot for Kremer was second place in LMP1 class and 12th overall, covering 314 laps or 4264.196 kilometres, a fitting way for the Porsche 956/962 family to bid farewell to Les Vingt-Quatre Heures du Mans

John Brooks, November 2013

 

4 thoughts on “The Final Run in the Majors

  1. achim stroth

    Hi, John,

    great, I love this story!

    This car is back in germany, owned and run by friends of mine, while I am taking care of it as the team manager. look at our web side!

    Best regards, ans see you somewhrere, Achim

    Reply
    1. John Brooks Post author

      Achim,

      great to hear from you. The team did a great job to keep the car running strongly while all around others with much greater resources failed. A proper Le Mans performance

      jb

      Reply
  2. Almo Coppelli

    Hi John,

    what a pleasure!!!
    I hope you are doing fine!

    Please @mail me your mob. and we can keep in touch!!!

    Many thanks to the images above, you will see soon on my profile all the images you gave me at the time!!!

    All the best dear John!
    Ciao.
    Almo.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.