If you'd predicted at the start of the 1980s that Sauber would win the Le Mans 24 Hours by the end of the decade, you'd have been laughed right out of the tiny town of Hinwil where the team, now racing as Alfa Romeo in Formula 1, is based to this day.
An operation run out of a British Leyland dealership had yet to make its mark on the international sportscar scene, but it was set on course for victory in the French enduro as much by luck as by judgement.
Team founder Peter Sauber was looking for a windtunnel in which to hone the aerodynamics of the latest in a line of prototypes dating back to the one-litre, Cosworth-engined C1 of 1970. Sauber approached Stuttgart University, only to be told that its links with Porsche precluded it from offering any help on the machine being built for the new Group C formula coming on stream in 1982. Instead, a friendly professor nudged him in the direction of Mercedes.