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  Article Image gallery (17) C30-010 Specifications  
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Country of origin:France
Produced in:1993
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 19, 2022
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Click here to download printer friendly versionSeeking to emulate fellow Le Mans resident and 1980 Le Mans winner Jean Rondeau, Yves Courage created Courage Comp├ętition in 1982. Based near the circuit the team produced a succession of sports racers that were initially raced as Cougars. Although, Courage did not manage to win the race out right, his Cougars were quite successful. For the 1993 season, a brand new machine was introduced, which was now known as a Courage instead of a Cougar due to objections raised by the Ford Motor Company.

Dubbed the C30 LM, it was one of the very last Group C cars built. It was built around an aluminium honeycomb monocoque chassis. Just like all Cougars from 1985 onwards, the C30 LM was powered by a Porsche flat-six turbo engine. This rear-end was also supplied by Porsche and featured a five-speed gearbox and 962C style suspension with rocker operated springs and dampers. The new Courage racer was clothed in a lightweight carbon-fibre composite bodywork with a relatively long tail and a separate wing mounted behind the rear deck.

With the World Sports Car Championship cancelled, Courage Competition could focus on the 24 Hours of Le Mans only. Three C30 LMs were ready in time for the Le Mans Test in May where one served as a spare. For the race proper, all three were entered with one driven by amongst others Derek Bell. This C30 LM finished 10th overall, one place ahead of its sister car. For 1994, the cars were subtly upgraded with a longer engine cover and re-named the C32 LM. All three were entered once again with one starting on pole. In the race only one example made it to the end, placing 7th overall.

After 1994, the Group C category disappeared with GT cars coming to the fore. At Le Mans, there was still a proper sports car class; LMP1 for open prototypes. Courage developed the brand-new, all-carbon-fibre composite C41 but also chopped the roof off the C32 LMs to create the C34. One example was entered at Le Mans, where it set the fastest time in pre-qualifying with Bob Wollek and Lionel Robert at the wheel. In the race, it finished second overall and first in the LMP1 class.

For Le Mans 1996, all three cars were updated to the latest C36 specification with the fastest car finishing seventh. The C3X was pressed into service once more in 1997 when another seventh was recorded. The third of the three cars was entrusted to the La Filiere team for the 1998 season, which was the sixth for the same basic design. Still in C36 configuration and powered by the tried and trusted Porsche flat-six engine, it was driven to 16th at Le Mans. Its final contemporary outing came at the Kyalami race of the 1998 International Sports Racing Series where Jean-Michel Martin and Henri Pescarolo finished 10th.

After a career that ran six season, the cars that started as the C30 LM were finally retired. Courage replaced the cars with a brand-new generation of carbon-fibre cars, which would evolve in some of the company's most successful and iconic machines. The C30 and its successors served Courage well during sports car racing's evolution from Group C to Le Mans Prototypes.

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  Article Image gallery (17) C30-010 Specifications