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Country of origin:France
Produced in:1991
Numbers built:4
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 06, 2018
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter French racer Yves Courage won his class at Le Mans in 1981, he established Courage Competition to build and race his own cars in the French endurance racing classic. In doing so, he followed in the successful footsteps of his friend Jean Rondeau. Throughout the 1980s, Courage Competition's Cougars gradually evolved, first using Cosworth V8s and later a variety of Porsche engines.

For the 1991 season, Courage Competition debuted the latest evolution. Dubbed the Cougar C26S, it was still a development of the original design. One of the four examples entered at Le Mans that year actually used the chassis of the second ever Cougar, originally built back in 1983. In addition to this car, one was an evolution of the 1990 C24, while the other two were brand new chassis built specifically as C26S Cougars.

A wholly conventional design, the C26S featured an aluminium monocoque with honeycomb and Kevlar reinforcements. Suspension was through double wishbones at the front, while at the rear-end featured lower wishbones and top rockers. The springs and dampers at the rear were mounted high up, well out of the way of the ground-effect tunnels. Like the earlier Cougars, the C26S was powered by the ubiquitous flat-six Porsche twin-turbo engine.

Ahead of the four-car Le Mans effort, Courage Competition fielded two cars in the opening rounds of the World Championship. The best result at both the Monza and Silverstone rounds was ninth. At Le Mans only one car made the finish, in a delayed 11th overall. In the remainder of the season, the Cougars were raced both in the World Championship and the Interserie, finishing sixth at the Nürburgring and fifth at the Zeltweg Interserie race.

For 1992, the cars evolved into the Cougar C28 and continued to be campaigned at Le Mans. Courage Competition carried on racing for many more years with the cars dubbed Courages from 1993 onwards. The company was finally absorbed by Oreca in 2007, who continue to build sports prototypes.

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  Article Image gallery (25) C02-02 Specifications