Peugeot 905 race car
|Production||1990 to 1992|
|Designer||André de Cortanze|
|Body and chassis|
|Engine and Powertrain|
|Engine Type||Peugeot 3.5L V10 at 80 °|
|Engine size||3,499 cc|
|Engine spec||limited to 11,500 rpm 650hp|
|Engine power||478-493 kW (660 hp)|
|Weights and Dimensions|
|Length||4 800 mm|
|Width||1 960 mm|
|Height||1 040 mm|
|Curb weight||780 kg|
The Peugeot 905 is a sports car prototype that Peugeot developed to participate in the sports car world championship , which won in 1992. In addition, the French car brand won in 1992 and 1993 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the so-called "Sports 3.5 L" generation. With several aerodynamic and mechanical evolutions, the Peugeot 905 participated in 17 races between September 1990 and June 1993 and won 9 victories.
In early 1991 , the 905 "Evolution 1" still has some performance and reliability problems, but still gets a happy victory at Suzuka in Japan . For the 24 Hours of Le Mans , both cars are swift, but drop the first 18 h 30 for a failure of ignition , the second at 21 h 45 for a problem gearbox . The 905 are adapted to the short races of the championship, said "Sprint" race of 430 km , but not yet for the only real endurance raceof the year that constitutes Le Mans. Jean Todt had also announced that he came to run "the 6 hours of Le Mans".
In front of the outrageous domination of the Jaguar XJR-14 , André de Cortanze and Robert Choulet significantly modify their 905 during the 1991 championship. The 905 "Evolution 1 bis" is essentially different from its first version in terms of aerodynamics with the adoption a large biplane rear wing borrowed from the XJR-14, an adjustable front wing, air duct tunnels around the cockpit to power two side radiators, and a motor both more powerful and lighter. These changes will quickly bear fruit. If the race at the Nürburgring results in two retirements, the Rosberg - Dalmas duo wins two consecutive victories inMagny-Cours and Mexico City in front of the crew Alliot - Baldi . With these two doubles, Peugeot finishes second of the championship.
But behind the scenes things get complicated. The evolution of the regulation wanted by the FIA decimates the small private competitors who can not afford to develop the new 3.5 L engines . The TV rights and the financial participation of the circuits are not sufficiently redistributed so that the small competitors garnish the plateau. Jean Todt is fighting alongside Toyota to save the 1992 championship as Jaguar and Mercedes have pulled out for various reasons.
The Peugeot 905 "Evolution 2", also called "Supercopter", will never compete. It will still serve as a laboratory car for the development of the Peugeot V10 F1 engine . It will remain a mystery in terms of its performance. Indeed, the championship disappearing, Peugeot did not push the development of this car that was rather made for the Sprint. This is also why Jean Todt decides to engage the version Evo1 Bis at Le Mans in 1993.
After Peugeot Talbot Sport had been very successful in the previous years under the direction of Jean Todt in the World Rally Championship , the team looked for the cancellation category vehicle group B for a new field of activity. On November 23, 1988, Jean Boillot, chairman of the car brand Peugeot, and Jean Todt told the press to participate in the sports car world championship. 15 months later a model of the 905 in original size was presented.
For the prototype 905 Peugeot developed in collaboration with the air carrier Dassault a chassis made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic , which was equipped with a 3.5 liter naturally aspirated engine, which was very close to the former Formula 1 engines. The Peugeot SA35-A1 called V-engine had 10 cylinders, whose banks were arranged at an angle of 80 ° and produced at 12,500 / min, a power of 480 kW (660 hp). Under the direction of André de Cortanze gave Gérard Welter the 905 a very characteristic front end, which strongly reminded of that production vehicles. A special feature of the vehicle were the rearview mirrors installed in the cockpit.
After revealing that the Peugeot 905 was too slow and unreliable, Peugeot completely overhauled the aerodynamics of the 905, leaving only the cockpit still reminiscent of the original 905. In addition, with the Peugeot SA35-A2 a new stage of the engine was used. In 1992, the development team was reinforced by Enrique Scalabroni , who was mainly responsible for improving the mechanical grip of the vehicle and relieving Project Manager de Cortanze. For the season 1993, the stage was Evo1 up supplemented with some improvements. Among other things, the vehicle received the newly developed transmission of the Evo2.
Even before the Evo 1 until its debut, the Peugeot engineers began with the development of the successor, called Evo2, which was sent in late 1992 for the first time on the track. Especially through the rugged front end, he stood out from his predecessor, also provided a narrower cockpit for less drag and weight. Due to its futuristic-looking exterior, the vehicle soon received the nickname Supercopter . In addition to many changes in detail was another important innovation, the semi-automatic 6-speed transmission , which simplified the drivers switching.
On June 20, the prototype was first tested at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry . A week later, Jean-Pierre Jabouille completed the 500 km distance on the test track of tire supplier Michelin. He also takes over the first public appearance of the Peugeot 905, on 4 July 1990 on the track of Magny-Cours . After a few more tests on French soil, two cars were flown to Montréal for the eighth round of the 1990 World Sportscar Championship . At the race debut on September 23, former test driver Jabouille and former Formula One World Champion Keke Rosberg took turns behind the wheel of the Peugeot 905. However, the car fell out after a third of the race distance. In the last race of the season in Mexico, the driver duo finished their first race, despite problems with the starter, in 13th place.
After a surprising victory at the start in Suzuka the next races were characterized by failures and back seats. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans but the trio Jabouille, Philippe Alliot and Mauro Baldi put his Peugeot 905 on the Pole, Rosberg, Yannick Dalmas and Pierre-Henri Raphanel completed the first row in the second 905th After a furious start both cars met technical Defects and so was no Peugeot after four hours in the race.
After these sobering results Peugeot brought at the fifth round of the sports car world championship at the Nürburgring a completely reworked vehicle at the start, the Peugeot Evo1 bis. From now on, Peugeot was the team to beat. Two double victories in Magny-Cours and on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez proved this impressively. At the end of the first season in 1991 , Philippe Alliot and Mauro Baldi runner-up in the driver's championship, while Peugeot Talbot Sport was outscored in team standings only by the Jaguar factory team.
After the departure of Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz from the sports car World Cup threatened to become a farce in 1992, but was still carried out at the urging Peugeots. Except for Peugeot only Toyota and Mazda were factory-active, but did not represent serious competition. Peugeot won a superior five of the six championship races and secured both the driver and the constructors championship of the sports car world championship.
The season's highlight was the 24 Hours of Le Mans , where the team started with three cars. While the trio Wendlinger / van de Poele / Ferté was eliminated by an engine failure, Warwick / Dalmas / Blundell won the race ahead of a Toyota and the third Peugeot with the cast Baldi / Alliot / Jabouille .
In training for the last race of the season in Magny-Cours Peugeot sat for the first time the 905 Evo2, but used in the race on the proven Evo1 to back. By the end of the sports car World Cup, the Evo2 remained without a race.