A history of the irregular Le Mans entry
While LM PH2G, or the technology within, is hoped to be on the main Le Mans grid in 2024, the recent addition of Garage 56 has been celebrating technological advancements for six years.
Not six races, it should be noted. The DeltaWing, designed and devised by Ben Bowlby and Panoz and with Nissan power – before an acrimonious and very public lawsuit cut that partnership – was the first to make use of it.
It was as innovative as it comes; low-drag bodywork, super light and fuel efficient with 2CV-sized front tyres. It crashed out, assisted by a Toyota, but the cast was set for Garage 56. The following year GreenGT entered its H2 prototype, but the car was withdrawn.
In 2014, the DeltaWing reappeared as a Nissan – and then ended up in court. But it did complete the first ever, and so far only, all-electric lap of Le Mans, and surpassed 300kph. The ACO felt no car was up to standard for the 2015 race.
It returned in 2016, for quadruple amputee Frédeŕic Sausset (below) and his modified LMP2 chassis. La Sarthe had rarely witnessed a moment as moving as when the car finished. Last year, the WR (Welter Racing) name – still holder of the record for the fastest speed clocked at the track, at 252mph with its 1988 Peugeot P88 – was revived for a bio-methane-fuelled, active-aero car. It withdrew with budget problems.
There wasn’t a Garage 56 in ’18.