For the locally based Rondeau team, the 1981 race brought disappointment. Although the Jacky Haran/Jean-Louis Schlesser/Philippe Streiff car (top, left) salvaged second place, and Gordon Spice/Francois Migault (centre, right) were thord, Jean Rondeau and Jean-Louis Lafosse were unable to repeat their 1980 success and, worse still, Jean-Louis Lafosse sadly lost his life in one of these cars during the opening hours. Instead, Jacky Ickx (seen leading the grid away, above) shared a 2.65-litre Porsche 936 with Derek Bell to win by 120 miles, and so enter history as the Sarthe’s most frequent winner. Top right, the Emilio de Villota/Guy Edwards/Juan Fernandez Lola T600-DFL surprisingly lasted the distance, as did the splendid Pierre Dieudonne/Jean Xhenceval/Ferrari 512BB (bottom, right), which managed ninth. For the de Cadenets, it was another unrewarding year. The car of the French Martini brothers (below) suffered fuel pump failure. Likewise, the Dorset Racing car of Nick Faure/Martin Birrane/Vivian Candy, see (bottom, left) leading the Jan Lundgardh/Mike Wilds/Axel Plankenhorn Porsche 934 on the long Mulsanne straight.