The 1992 Sportscar World Championship season was the 40th and final season of FIA World Sportscar Championship motor racing. It featured the 1992 FIA Sportscar World Championship, which was contested over a six race series which ran from 26 April to 18 October 1992. The championship was open to Group C Sportscars.
The Drivers Championship was won jointly by Yannick Dalmas and Derek Warwick and the Teams Championship by Peugeot Talbot Sport. The FIA Cup for Drivers was awarded to Ferdinand de Lesseps and the FIA Cup for Teams to Chamberlain Engineering.
|1992 World Sportscar Championship|
From the start, the 1992 season was in doubt. The FIA planned to cancel the season due to a lack of entrants, but pressure from Peugeot, who had poured a large sum of money into the sport and did not wish to see that money wasted after only a year of competition, convinced the FIA that there would be enough entries to make the season worthwhile. With this, the FIA allowed the season to move forward.
The FIA's vision of a single unified formula for the Sportscar World Championship that would truly equal that of Formula One was finally into place following the development of 3500 cc sportscars in the previous seasons. This formula of engine equalisation took over the series, eliminating any previous engine that did not fit into the 3.5 L category. Thus every car had similar engines, and new subclasses were born: C1 for works supported teams with engines of 10 or 12 cylinders and usually backed by factory teams, and FIA Cup for privateer teams, usually running the Ford Cosworth DFR V8.
With the elimination of the previous C2 class, it required manufacturers such as Mazda and Porsche to build entirely new engines, and due to the large change in engine dimensions compared to what they had used in 1991, all new chassis as well. Porsche already had an F1 engine in their 3512 unit used by Footwork, but the engine design was found to be lacking. Porsche, suffering financially at the time, decided that it was no longer worth not only improving the 3512, but also replacing the 962 chassis, and decided not to return.
Mazda, having accomplished their goal of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 with their famed rotary engine, were left without the ability to use their rotary engine anymore in 1992. Since Mazda entered sportscar racing mostly to push their rotary designs, Mazda decided to continue on into 1992 for advancement of the overall brand, but with a less ambitious development programme. Mazdaspeed bought customer versions of the Jaguar XJR-14 and slightly modified them into the Mazda MXR-01 while the engines were customer Judd GV V10s. This effort saved large amounts of money for the company while keeping their name involved in the sport.
Of the teams that already had compliant 3.5 L cars racing in 1991, their continuation into 1992 varied.
Mercedes-Benz, alongside partner Sauber, pushed ahead with plans for a car in 1992. Development of the C292 was underway, as was construction of a new set of Flat-12s. However, after various faults in the construction of the engines in 1991, further problems led to large monetary losses for the company, forcing them not to return for 1992.
Jaguar, who had been in sportscar racing with the XJR project since 1984, and were not completely happy with the performance of the XJR-14 during the 1991 season, had already announced their departure from the series. Customer XJR-14s were promised for 1992 from newcomers RMR racing as well as Gee Pee Cars.
Of the smaller privateer teams, Brun Motorsport's development of the lacking C91 chassis cost them a great deal, and with the loss of cheap customer cars like the Porsche 962, they decided not to return. Other teams which had previously used the 962 also failed to return, including Kremer Racing and Team Salamin Primagaz. Courage Compétition was unable to find the money to continue development of their own chassis, and decided to instead concentrate solely on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Konrad Motorsport, whose KM-011 chassis was also lackluster in 1991, claimed they were attempting to push on with Lamborghini backing into 1992. Euro Racing found enough cash to replace their ageing Spice chassis with the new Lola T92/10s with Judd powerplants, and promised to be on the grid immediately for 1992. Chamberlain Engineering also planned to continue as the factory backed Spice Engineering squad.
Peugeot and Toyota, who had campaigned their 905 and TS010s respectively, remained in the sport mostly unchanged. Both cars underwent evolutionary changes in preparation for 1992, while the basic chassis and engines remained the same.
A revival of the BRM name was also announced for 1992, using their own newly built P351 chassis and V12 engine. Unfortunately, even with the apparent addition of BRM, the grid in comparison between 1991 and 1992 was looking bleak, with the loss of a large number of privateer teams, as well as the loss of two major manufacturers (with a third being downgraded to privateer status) with only one possible new replacement.
When the 1992 season was provisionally approved in December 1991, the FIA published a ten race calendar for the season, composed of 1000 km and 500 km races, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
|1||500 km of Autopolis||Autopolis||5 April|
|2||1000 km of Monza||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||26 April|
|3||500 km of Silverstone||Silverstone Circuit||10 May|
|4||500 km of Jarama||Circuito Permanente Del Jarama||26 May|
|5||24 Hours of Le Mans||Circuit de la Sarthe||20 June|
|6||1000 km of Donington||Donington Park||19 July|
|7||1000 km of Nürburgring||Nürburgring||2 August|
|8||1000 km of Suzuka||Suzuka Circuit||30 August|
|9||1000 km of Mexico City||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez||13 September|
|10||1000 km of Jerez||Circuito Permanente de Jerez||4 October|
By January 1992, the FIA shortened the calendar to eight events, with the Monza and Donington events being cut down to 500 km. Magny-Cours was also brought in to replace some fly-away events.
The Jerez round remained on the final calendar, but was cancelled during the middle of the season when track officials failed to update the track to the FIA's standards.
|1||Trofeo F. Caracciolo (500 km)||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||26 April|
|2||BRDC Empire Trophy (500 km)||Silverstone Circuit||10 May|
|3||24 Hours of Le Mans||Circuit de la Sarthe||20 June|
|4||Triton Showers Trophy (500 km)||Donington Park||19 July|
|5||Suzuka 1000km||Suzuka Circuit||30 August|
|6||Championnat du Monde de Voitures de Sport (500 km)||Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours||18 October|
Prior to the 500 km of Silverstone, race organisers attempted to convince teams to shorten the race distance to approximately 250 km in order to boost ticket sales. However, Toyota vetoed the decision and the race remained at its original distance.
|Peugeot Talbot Sport||Peugeot 905 Evo 1 Bis||Peugeot SA35-A2 3.5 L V10||M||1||Derek Warwick||All|
|Eric van de Poele||3|
|Euro Racing||Lola T92/10||Judd GV10 3.5 L V10||M||3||Cor Euser||1–4|
|Mazdaspeed||Mazda MXR-01||Mazda MV10 3.5 L V10||M||5||Maurizio Sandro Sala||All|
|Volker Weidler||1, 3|
|Maurizio Sandro Sala||3|
|Toyota Team Tom's||Toyota TS010||Toyota RV10 3.5 L V10||G||7||Geoff Lees||All|
|BRM||BRM P351||BRM 3.5 L V10||G||9||Wayne Taylor||2–3|
|Bernard de Dryver with Action Formula||Spice SE90C||Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 L V8||G||21||Luigi Taverna||1–4|
|Bernard de Dryver||3|
|Chamberlain Engineering||Spice SE89C||Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5 L V8||G||22||Ferdinand de Lesseps||All|
|Will Hoy||2, 4|
|Jun Harada||3, 6|
|Tomiko Yoshikawa||3, 6|
|GeePee Argo Racing||Argo JM19C||Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 L V8||G||23||David Coyne||1|
|GSR||Gebhardt C91||Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 L V8||G||25||Almo Coppelli||1–2|
|Team SCI||Spice SE90C||Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5 L V8||G||29||Ranieri Randaccio||1–4, 6|
|Stefano Sebastiani||1–4, 6|
|TDR Limited||Spice SE90C||Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5 L V8||M||30||Chris Hodgetts||3|
Points were awarded to the top 10 finishers, in the order of 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1, with some exceptions:
FIA Cup class cars were included in the overall championship standings, while they were scored separately for their own class championship.
|Rnd||Circuit||C1 Winning Team||FIA Cup Winning Team||Results|
|C1 Winning Drivers||FIA Cup Winning Drivers|
|1||Monza||Toyota Team Tom's||Chamberlain Engineering||Results|
| Geoff Lees
| Bernard Thuner|
Ferdinand de Lesseps
|2||Silverstone||Peugeot Talbot Sport||Chamberlain Engineering||Results|
| Derek Warwick
| Ferdinand de Lesseps|
|3||La Sarthe||Peugeot Talbot Sport||Chamberlain Engineering||Results|
| Derek Warwick
| Ferdinand de Lesseps|
|4||Donington||Peugeot Talbot Sport||Chamberlain Engineering||Results|
| Mauro Baldi
| Ferdinand de Lesseps|
|5||Suzuka||Peugeot Talbot Sport||Chamberlain Engineering||Results|
| Derek Warwick
| Ferdinand de Lesseps|
|6||Magny-Cours||Peugeot Talbot Sport||Chamberlain Engineering||Results|
| Mauro Baldi
| Ferdinand de Lesseps|
FIA Cup for Teams
† - Chamberlain Engineering scored no team points in Round 5 due to having no other competition in its class.
|1||Ferdinand de Lesseps||Chamberlain Engineering||1||1||1||1||1||100|
|2||Ranieri Randaccio||Team S.C.I.||2||2||2||45|
|3=||Will Hoy||Chamberlain Engineering||1||1||40|
|3=||Nick Adams||Chamberlain Engineering||1||1||40|
|5||Stefano Sebastiani||Team S.C.I.||2||2||30|
|6=||Bernard Thuner||Chamberlain Engineering||1||20|
|6=||Olindo Iacobelli||Chamberlain Engineering||1||20|
|6=||Richard Piper||Chamberlain Engineering||1||20|
|9=||Frank Kraemer||G.S.R. GmbH||2||15|
|9=||Almo Coppelli||G.S.R. GmbH||2||15|
Although in preparation for the 1992 season there showed some potential of allowing the championship to survive through to future seasons, especially with promises from Peugeot, as the season went on it became apparent that some of this potential was merely false hope. The customer Jaguars never showed, even though they continued to be promised even as the season went on. Konrad's Lamborghini powered sportscar was also never raced after promises of continued development. BRM's effort only resulted in them racing once, at Le Mans, where they finished last after completing only 20 laps. After Le Mans, they simply stopped showing up. The season thus became simply a showing of Peugeot dominance due to the large amount of money they had poured into the 905 project.
Thus hope for 1993 was slim. Resting on the promises of Peugeot as well as Nissan who claimed they were returning to the series with their P35, the FIA tentatively announced that the 1993 season would occur. However, following Nissan's decision to cancel the P35 due to economic difficulties, and with a lack of entries announcing their participation, the FIA cancelled the 1993 season. This marked the end of 40 continuous years of the World Sportscar Championship, albeit in different guises.
Sportscar racing was left without a single unified championship in which to complete, leading to a large number of smaller breakaway series across the world. The All Japan Sports Prototype Championship series in Japan was also unable to continue after 1992 as well, although Group C cars continued to participate as guests in other series. IMSA's championships in North America continued on but also suffering from dwindling fields until it was replaced by the American Le Mans Series in 1999. The FIA took over the European Sports Racing World Cup in 1999 to create the FIA Sportscar Championship in a fashion similar to the World Sportscar Championship, but it failed by 2003.
Following many rough years, by 2004 sportscar racing had become stable with the ACO's two main sportscar series, the European Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series, with the Japan Le Mans Challenge to follow in 2006. However, the Japan Le Mans Challenge was dissolved the same year. Then, in 2009 the ACO formed the Asian Le Mans Series. Finally, in 2010 ACO formed the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup a global championship, which was renamed FIA World Endurance Championship for 2012.
The Summer Endurance Race is an annual endurance race currently held for ten hours but at times has been a 500km, 700km, or 1000km endurance race, for sports cars held at the Suzuka Circuit. The race, as a 1000km race, was previously part of the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, the forerunner to Super GT, and later hosted a round of the 1992 World Sportscar Championship before these series were cancelled. After that the race became part of many different series, including the BPR Global GT Series from 1994 to 1996, the FIA GT Championship from 1997 to 1998, and the Super Taikyu endurance series. In 2006, the race was added to the Super GT calendar for the first time. Previously, the race was open to JGTC/Super GT cars, but only a handful of competitors from the Super GT championship took part. For 2018, the race moves to the Intercontinental GT Challenge race in for GT3 (including Super GT-X cars, which is the domestic nomenclature in that series for GT3) and selected Super GT300 cars.
The race length has varied over the years; the 2009 Super GT race was shortened to 700 km due to increasing costs and CO2 emissions regulations, as well as the economic crisis. The 700 km distance was retained in 2010, but as a result of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and Super GT energy conservation regulations in force that year, the race was cut to 500 km. From 2012, the race returned to being a 1000 kilometer event. In 2018, the race will become a 10-hour event, matching the distance of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race Petit Le Mans held in Braselton, Georgia (United States).Kunimitsu Takahashi holds the all-time record with four victories at this event (1973, 1984, 1985, 1989). In terms of active Super GT drivers, Daisuke Ito is the most successful driver with three victories.
Former 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Henri Pescarolo (1981), Vern Schuppan (1983), Stanley Dickens (1988–89), Derek Warwick (1992), Yannick Dalmas (1992), Masanori Sekiya (1987, 1995), JJ Lehto (1996), Benoît Tréluyer (2006), Andre Lotterer (2007), and Loïc Duval (2011) have also won the 1000 km Suzuka in years past, as well as thirty-time Le Mans entrant Bob Wollek, five-time 24 Hours Nürburgring winner Marcel Tiemann, 1989 Japanese Grand Prix winner Alessandro Nannini, and 2015 World Endurance Drivers' Champion Mark Webber.BRM P351
The BRM P351 was originally a Group C sports-prototype built for the 1992 World Sportscar Championship season in an attempt to resurrect the British Racing Motors marque. The car later reappeared in a heavily modified form in 1997 as a Le Mans Prototype known as the BRM P301 before retiring completely in 1998. Only one chassis was ever built.
The project was also connected to the failed BRM P401 sports car which would have shared some elements of the P351 race car.David Brabham
David Brabham (born 5 September 1965) is an Australian professional racing driver and one of the most successful and experienced specialists in sports car racing. He has won three international Sports Car series and is one of four Australians to have won the Le Mans 24 Hour sports car race, winning the event in 2009. Brabham won the American Le Mans Series in 2009 and 2010. He also competed in Formula One, racing for the Brabham and Simtek teams in 1990 and 1994 respectively. Brabham is the youngest son of three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham, brother to Geoff Brabham and Gary Brabham. He is also brother-in-law to Mike Thackwell, father to Sam Brabham and uncle to Matthew Brabham.Derek Warwick
Derek Stanley Arthur Warwick (born 27 August 1954) is a British former racing driver from England, who lives in Jersey. He raced for many years in Formula One, collecting four podiums but never winning a Grand Prix. He did, however, win the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans and 1992 World Sportscar Championship.
In 2005 and 2006 he raced in the inaugural season of the Grand Prix Masters formula for retired Formula One drivers. He has served as the fourth steward for three Grands Prix in 2010 and 2011. He is president of the British Racing Drivers Club, succeeding Damon Hill.Konrad KM-011
The Konrad KM-011 was a sports prototype built for Group C racing in the 1991 World Sportscar Championship season. The car was part of a brief partnership between Konrad Motorsport and Lamborghini.List of 1992 motorsport champions
This list of 1992 motorsport champions is a list of national or international auto racing series with a Championship decided by the points or positions earned by a driver from multiple races.Lola T92/10
The Lola T92/10 (also briefly known as the Lola 981) was a Group C sports car developed by Lola Cars as a customer chassis for the 1992 World Sportscar Championship season. It would be the final sports car built by Lola until their return in 1998.Mazda MXR-01
The Mazda MXR-01 is a Group C sports prototype that was used by Mazda's factory team Mazdaspeed in the 1992 World Sportscar Championship season. It would be the final Mazda entry in sports car racing since the inception of its Le Mans project in 1983.McLaren MP4/8
The McLaren MP4/8 was a Formula One racing car which competed in the 1993 season. It raced in all sixteen Grands Prix, scoring five wins. The engine was a Ford HBD7 3.5 V8. Thanks to a watershed use of electronics technology that cars used in the 1993 season, the car was designed by Neil Oatley around advanced electronics technology, including a semi-automatic transmission, active suspension and traction control systems that was developed in conjunction with McLaren shareholder Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG).The car was driven by triple World Champion Ayrton Senna in his 6th season with McLaren, and by American CART driver Michael Andretti (son of 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti), who was entering into his first (and ultimately only) season in Formula One. Andretti was replaced after the Italian Grand Prix by the team's test driver Mika Häkkinen.Mercedes-Benz C292
The Mercedes-Benz C292 was a stillborn Group C prototype race car intended for the 1992 World Sportscar Championship season as an evolution of the Mercedes-Benz C291, but never raced due to Mercedes-Benz withdrawing from sportscar racing after a dismal 1991 season.
Built by Sauber for Mercedes-Benz, the C292 featured the same Mercedes-Benz M291 3.5L Flat-12 which had initially disappointed in 1991, but during the offseason continued development and testing and was finally able to produce power similar to Jaguar, Peugeot, and Toyota.
However, given the large amount of money Mercedes-Benz had invested in sportscar racing since their return, while receiving very little returns even after winning two championships and a 24 Hours of Le Mans, the decision was made to cancel the project after only a few C292s had been produced by Sauber. The exact number of C292s that were built is unknown, however one remaining copy is on display in the Sauber museum.
With the cancellation, the C292 was never tested, and therefore its potential in comparison to its competitors was never able to be seen. It is unknown if Mercedes even got to the point of installing the M291 engine in the C292.
This would be the last Mercedes-Benz sportscar until the launch of the CLK-GTR in 1997.Nissan R90C
The Nissan R90C was either of two Group C racing cars built in 1990 for Nissan Motors for competition in World Sportscar Championship (WSC) based in Europe and the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship (JSPC). The cars based on the basic R90C platform would compete until 1993 before Nissan chose to withdraw from sports car racing, not returning until 1997. It won three JSPC championships as well as several significant endurance races during its career.Peugeot 905
The Peugeot 905 is a Sports-prototype racing car introduced for Sportscar racing.
The car was initially unveiled in February 1990 and was developed throughout 1990 before making its race debut in the final two races of the 1990 World Sportscar Championship season (Montréal and Mexico).
The car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 1992 with the team of Derek Warwick, Yannick Dalmas, and Mark Blundell. This win was followed in 1993 by the team of Geoff Brabham, Christophe Bouchut, and Éric Hélary, in the 905B. In addition to that, the car won both a drivers´ and teams´ title at the World Sportscar Championship in 1992.
The Peugeot 905 participated in 17 races in its career, winning 9 of them.Tim Wright (engineer)
Tim Wright is a former Formula One engineer.
Wright has a remarkable racing pedigree, dating back to the late 1970s when he worked at Bruce McLaren Motor Racing. His career then took him to Fittipaldi Automotive as a senior design draughtsman and then to the Spirit F1 team. In 1983 he returned to McLaren where he spent the next six seasons working with Alain Prost, including Alain's two title-winning seasons in 1985 and 1986.
When Prost left McLaren to join Ferrari, Wright went to Peugeot Talbot Sport and engineered Derek Warwick to the 1992 World Sportscar Championship. He also oversaw Warwick, Yannick Dalmas and Mark Blundell to victory for Peugeot in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
In April 1993 he was hired by Jordan to work with Thierry Boutsen, but he left the team at the end of the year and joined his old Peugeot boss André de Cortanze at Sauber.
For the 1995 Formula One season he joined Benetton where he engineered Johnny Herbert to his first GP win at the British Grand Prix. When Benetton was taken over by Renault, Wright continued to run the test team and then looked after the reliability of test and race cars. Wright left Renault early in 2009 and is now a race engineer with the revitalised Formula 2 run by Jonathan Palmer.Tom Walkinshaw Racing
Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) was a motor racing team and engineering firm founded in 1976, in Kidlington, near Oxford, England by touring car racer Tom Walkinshaw.
The company initially handled privateer work before entering works touring car racers for manufacturers such as Mazda and Rover. However, TWR became most closely associated with Jaguar, a relationship which started in 1982 with the successful entry of the Jaguar XJS into the European Touring Car Championship, chalking up a number of wins that year. The relationship continued and by 1988, TWR-Jaguar had taken its first Le Mans victory in a V12-powered XJR-9. Further success followed with a Le Mans win in 1990.
TWR and Jaguar formed JaguarSport initially to build tuned versions of Jaguar road-cars, culminating in the production of the XJ220 and XJR-15 supercars at a new facility at Bloxham. With Jaguar falling under Ford's control in 1989, the TWR relationship declined and by 1994, JaguarSport had been liquidated, with the Bloxham factory being turned over to production of Aston Martins (also under Ford control).
TWR nonetheless continued to achieve racing success with other manufacturers, notably winning Le Mans again in 1996 and 1997 in a Porsche-powered WSC-95. However, it was the costs resulting from the purchase of the Formula 1 team Arrows in 1996 that led to the demise of TWR in 2002.
The UK assets and facility were bought by Menard Competition Technologies. The facilities were used as Arrows Grand Prix International, Super Aguri and Caterham F1 teams headquarters. The Australian part of the business was sold to Holden.Triton Showers
Triton Showers is a British shower manufacturer based in Warwickshire and is the UK's leading electric shower manufacturer.
World Sportscar Championship seasons