The ‘Silver Arrow’ Mercedes C9 Group C car that took five victories in the 1989 World Sportscar Championship in the hands of Jochen Mass and Jean-Louis Schlesser will head a field of over 30 cars for theGp C race at Le Mans on June 14.
The Group C cars of the 1980s have a successful race series, but the field has always lacked a Mercedes to rival the Porsches, Jaguars, Nissans and Spices. Now Australian racer Rob Sherrard has acquired chassis 05A from the 1989 season and plans to race it at Le Mans and then at Silverstone and Donington later in the year.
In the 40-minute single-driver race on Saturday morning at Le Mans Sherrard will go up against Mark Sumpter’s 2007 race-winning Porsche 962 and the Nissans of Andy Purdie and Peter Sowerby. “The race at Le Mans will be fantastic,” said Sumpter, who won both Group C races on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit last year.
The Mercedes was restored by Sauber in 1992 and then sold to Switzerland, where it remained until Sherrard bought it in March. “It’s an awesome racing car with an unrivalled pedigree and to be able to race it at Le Mans is fantastic,” said Sherrard, who has previously raced a Porsche 962C in the series.
Following a successful shakedown at Silverstone in mid-May, Sherrard was due to race the Mercedes at Spa in the opening Group C races of the season. In 1989, the Mercedes was recorded at a record-breaking 252mph on the pre-chicane Mulsanne straight at Le Mans.