Shaun Lynn took his Sauber C11 to an emphatic victory in the Group C race at Le Mans today, over a minute and a half clear of the Aston Martin AMR-1 of Tom Kimber-Smith. The pole position Nissan R90CK of Joaquin Fulch and Katsu Kubota fell down the order early on, but Kubota snatched third from the Porsche 962 of Christophe D'Amsenbourg on the final lap.
At the start it looked a Sauber win all the way, but it was the C11 of Bob Berridge that starred, Berridge taking the lead into the Dunlop Curve and then setting off at a scalding pace to be well clear at the end of the first lap. Behind, Kimber-Smith, the only driver to also be doing the 24-Hour race later in the day, had slotted the Aston Martin into second, while Lynn made a more circumspect start and was working his way up the order.
Running on pretty much LMP2 race pace, Berridge tore on, only to dramatically slow and cruise his Sauber back to the pits, Lynn taking over at the front of the pack in his C11. Kimber-Smith was a late stopper so led towards the end of the pit top window, finally pitting which briefly put one of the 956s ahead, the last car to stop.
Lynn had a healthy lead which he controlled to take the win, Kimber-Smith in turn a secure second place in the AMR-1. It was the battle for third that was the centre of attention, Kubota working his way past Richard Eyre's Jaguar then the Jagermeister Porsche of D'Ansembourg to take the final podium slot on the very last lap.
The FAT Porsche 962 of Derek Bell and Mark Sumpter did not start due to a water pump failure. Mike Donovan was the class of the C2 field, hassling C1 cars in his Spice.
Group C, Le Mans, Race Results:
1 Shaun Lynn Sauber C11 (1990) 10 laps in 42m11.470s
2 Tom Kimber-Smith Aston Martin AMR-1 (1989) +32.758s
3 Joaquin Folch / Katsu Kubota Nissan R90CK (1990)
4 Christophe D’Amsenbourg Porsche 962 (1990)
5 Richard Eyre Jaguar XJR16 (1991)
6 Henrik Lindbourg Porsche 962 (1989)
7 Mike Donovan Spice SE88 (1988)
8 Russell Kempnich Porsche 956 (1984)
9 Frank Lyons / Mike Lyons Gebhardt C91 (1991)
10 Tommy Dreelan Porsche 962 (1988)
11 Eric Rickenbacher Cheetah (1990) 9 laps
12 Aaron Scott Spice SE86 (1986)
13 Peter Garrod Jaguar XJR12 D (1991)
14 Peter Harbourg Porsche 962 (1988)
15 Kriton Lendoudis Porsche 956 (1982)
16 Manuel Monteiro Porsche 962 (1990) 8 laps
17 Bob Berridge Sauber C11 (1989) 2 laps
18 Max Werner / Moritz Werner Mazda 767B (1989) 0 laps