Le Mans 24 Hours reveals amputee and biomethane Garage 56 projects

The Garage 56 slot reserved for innovative machinery will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours over the next two years

Le Mans 24 Hours reveals amputee and biomethane Garage 56 projects

Race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest has announced two programmes that will take the entry place filled by Nissan's DeltaWing and ZEOD RC projects in 2012 and '14 respectively.

The incumbent of Garage 56 next year will be quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset (pictured), who is planning to drive a specially-adapted Morgan LMP2 chassis under the Sausset Racing Team 41 banner.

The year after, long-time Le Mans entrant Gerald Welter will field a prototype powered by cryogenically-frozen biomethane.

Sausset, who lost his limbs in 2012 to a bacterial infection, has started racing in the VdV endurance series this year at the wheel of a Ligier Group CN prototype as the first step on the road to competing at Le Mans.

"I needed an objective in my life and my passion is sportscars," Sausset told AUTOSPORT.

He has the support of Audi, which has supplied a near-standard Audi S3 turbo engine to power his CN Ligier JS53 EVO and will provide an endurance variant of its DTM four-litre V8 for the LMP2.

"When I went to see Vincent Beaumesnil [the ACO's sporting manager], he gave me as many contacts as he could and Dr [Wolfgang] Ullrich came back to me and asked how he could help.

"We are looking for a budget of €3million and we have the first two parts."

Sausset operates the accelerator and brake with special controls under his thighs, which are connected to the conventional pedals.

The 46-year-old steers with a prosthetic limb attached to his right arm.

Christophe Tinseau, an 11-time participant at Le Mans, is working with Sausset and will be one of his team-mates.

BIOMETHANE CAR FOR 2017

Gerard Welter, who was also the W of the WM Le Mans team of the 1980s before launching Welter Racing in the 1990s, is at an advanced stage of his project.

The first monocoque has already been completed and is due to be delivered to the team's Paris workshops next week, while the engine block is complete.

WR technical director Vincent Soulignac said: "We have agreed with the ACO that this should be a two-year programme.

"Today it became possible to achieve our goals because now we can start talking to partners."

WR is developing the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, which is hopes to attain 500bhp.

The biomethane-powered Garage 56 racer will be a conventional LMP design and be refuelled like any other car.

Its agreement with the ACO means it has to be displayed at next year's 24 Hours and should begin testing immediately afterwards.

shares
comments
New rules to significantly boost GTE and LMP2 pace at Le Mans
Previous article

New rules to significantly boost GTE and LMP2 pace at Le Mans

Next article

Porsche believes it can go even faster in Le Mans qualifying

Porsche believes it can go even faster in Le Mans qualifying
Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023 Plus

Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023

OPINION: There is plenty of excitement over the glut of manufacturers tackling the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship this season. The selection committee is set to face headaches over who it decides to admit and who gets turned away from the 2023 entry list, but history tells us that the smaller entrants have a place

WEC
Jan 9, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022
Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay? Plus

Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay?

OPINION: Fresh from hosting a controversial 2022 football World Cup, Qatar has added its name to the 2024 World Endurance Championship calendar. Although questions may be asked about its presence on the calendar, is it simply the price to pay for having a healthy racing championship?

WEC
Dec 21, 2022
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Plus

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022