In contrast to its predecessor, the GT1 Evo, which was heavily revised, impressed, among other things, with a sequential six-speed gearbox and innovations on the front, the underbody and the aerodynamics. It was still powered by the proven six-cylinder biturbo engine. With this package, the Porsche team had two contenders for overall victory in its stable.
As in the previous year, the GT1 with starting number 25 was driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck, Thierry Boutsen and Bob Wollek. The well-rehearsed trio achieved second place overall in 1996 and was able to win the GT1-class. Expectations were correspondingly high for the favorites, who initially did justice to their role. The GT1 cars drove faster than the LMP cars and so the three experienced drivers managed to reliably drive the 911 GT1 into first place until the early hours of the morning. But then Bob Wollek lost control of the vehicle due to a mistake on the now wet track in the Arnage and an accident occurred. The damage was so severe that it was not possible to continue driving.
Teammates Emmanuel Collard, Ralf Kelleners and Yannick Dalmas in the sister car with starting number 26 were then able to secure the lead. Despite Wollek's retirement, it looked like a dominant overall victory for Porsche. But another setback followed and the end of the second factory GT1. Just two hours before the end of the race, while Ralf Kelleners was gripping the steering wheel, the oil pipe broke and the rear of the car caught fire. Jumping out of the burning vehicle saved Kellener's life, but at the same time the dream of a Porsche one-two victory was gone.
The two “unlucky birds” from the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997 are available as scale 1:18 models from WERK83 in the usual high quality and, with their unusual shapes and designs, are reminiscent of the heyday of the Porsche 911 GT1 Evo.
Porsche 911 GT1 #25 24h LeMans 1997 Stuck, Boutsen, Wollek 1:18 WERK83, RRP €79,95 , item-no.: W18012001
Porsche 911 GT1 #26 24h LeMans 1997 Collard, Kelleners, Dalmas 1:18 WERK83, RRP €79,95, item-no.: W18012002
|Porsche 911 GT1 #25 24h LeMans 1997 Stuck, Boutsen, Wollek 1:18 WERK83||71,96 €|
|Porsche 911 GT1 #26 24h LeMans 1997 Collard, Kelleners, Dalmas 1:18 WERK83||71,96 €|