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  Pescarolo 01 LMP1 Judd

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Country of origin:France
Introduced in:2007
Internal name:01
Designed by:Andre de Cortanze
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 04, 2007
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Click here to download printer friendly versionSince 2000 the 24 Hours of Le Mans has pretty much been an all-Audi affair. There was the single Bentley win in 2003, but their Speed 8 shared many major components with Audi's R8. In those years (factory-backed) competition has come and gone. One of the very few that have stuck around is Pescarolo Sport, who have gradually worked their way up to become the most accomplished privateer team. A lot of this success can be attributed to the firm leadership of Le Mans legend Henri Pescarolo, who pulled off some surprising moves that have proven successful both from a racing and marketing perspective.

Formed in 1999, Henri Pescarolo's team first used a Courage chassis and Peugeot/Sodemo Turbo power. While continuing to use the Courage chassis as a base, the cars were further developed with the assistance of aerodynamics expert Andre de Cortanze. Things really took a change for the better when the fragile V6 engine was replaced by a Judd V10 and by 2005 they were among the favourites for the Le Mans win. Apart from racing at Le Mans, Pescarolo also took part in every season of the Le Mans (Endurance) Series. They were crowned champions in 2005 and 2006, and especially the latter season was a superb display with the team winning all five rounds.

At the end of the team's most successful season to date, the Pescarolo Courage C60s were left obsolete as the final step towards the LMP1/2 regulations was completed. This understandably left Henri Pescarolo in a tight spot as buying new car (s) would be a big strain on the tight budget and also meant getting to grips with a completely different car all over again. To fix the predicament he was in, the four-time Le Mans winner came up with his boldest move to date; he was going to build his own car. Not only that, but he was also going to build new cars for customers. Pescarolo Sport had moved up from an entrant to a manufacturer.

While many of the previously parts could be carried over to the new car, Pescarolo did require a completely new carbon fibre monocoque to be constructed to comply with the double roll-hoop regulations. By having more than just the two tubs constructed, need for the 'Works' team, a lot of the costs were covered. The first Pescarolo production included six tubs, three of which were intended for customer LMP1 and LMP2 cars. The LMP1 chassis were designed to take the latest evolution of Judd's V10, which now displaced 5.5 litres and offered more torque and better fuel economy than its predecessor.

Showcasing the manufacturer's dedication to his clients, the first Pescarolo to be completed was the Rollcentre example. At the Paul Ricard tests late in March of 2007, the Rollcentre car was joined by the first of the two Works cars. Other than the choice of tires there is little to distinguish the two and both cars were highly competitive recording the second and fourth times respectively. At the season's opening round at Monza the Kruse Motorsport LMP2 Pescarolo will make its debut, powered by 3.4 litre Judd V8 engine. The other chassis was delivered to Lister as a bare tub, but there has not been a word of in what form that car would be further completed.

Featured are the first two completed Pescarolos at the Paul Ricard track. The Michelin shot Works car still bears a temporary livery, but the Dunlop equipped Rollcentre cars already displays its true colours.

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  Article Image gallery (135) Specifications