Le Mans Classic - Japan for 2005!

The 3rd Le Mans Classic will be held on 7-8-9 July 2006 on the full 24-hour circuit, which will be closed from Friday afternoon onwards. And now the concept is heading for Japan; The Le Mans Classic Japan will take place on the Mine circuit on 28-29-30 October 2005

The Japanese passion for historic cars, plus the aura surrounding the Le Mans label in the Land of the Rising Sun, are the main reasons why the Japanese company, Cox Inc., has decided to put on this Japanese interpretation of the Le Mans 24 Hours Retrospective which, in 2002, was elected ‘The Motor Car event of the Year’ by the media.


The idea behind Le Mans Classic Japan is to organise a biennial meeting in alternate years to Le Mans Classic.The Japanese event will be on a slightly smaller scale, and will enable Japanese collectors to become acquainted with the French version. The winner of each grid will be automatically selected for the 2006 edition of Le Mans Classic.

Japan and Historic Racing

The Japanese love historic racing. The number of collectors is constantly on the increase and they have a wide selection of cars (Abarth, Alpine, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari etc). In addition, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the greatest endurance race in the world, exercises a tremendous fascination on the Japanese. Taking all this into account the Cox Inc. and SAVH directors came up with the idea of combining their know-how to organise Le Mans Classic in Japan in order to provide the country’s collectors with the opportunity to race their cars in an exceptional meeting, and then think about coming to compete in Europe.

The Cox Inc. Company

The name Cox comes from Coxswain (the man at the helm) and the company’s aim is "to materialise people’s dreams through the enterprise of others." Cox Inc. was created in 1978 and specialises in the preparation of cars (Audis, VWs). In 1982, it diversified into motor sport and obtained excellent results in all the Japanese Championships. In addition to its tuning business Cox Inc. plays a considerable role in Japanese motor sport as car designer and spare parts seller. It also is heavily involved in rule making for home events and organises single make races (Porsche Carrera Cup, the VW Cup Japan).

Le Mans Classic Japan: summary

Although the Mine circuit is much smaller than the one in the Sarthe Le Mans Classic Japan will reproduce all the activities and the spirit of Le Mans Classic which will be placed under the French banner (entertainment, restaurants).

Date: 28-29-30 October 2005
Place: The Mine circuit on the point of the Honshu island facing the Kyu Shu Island.
Length of the circuit: 3,331 kms run clockwise.
The regulations and running of Le Mans Classic Japan are based on those of Le Mans Classic:

Eligible cars are those that have raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1923 and 1979. Priority will be given to cars that actually took part in the event.
Cars will be divided up into three or four grids.
A club section with organisation of Concours.
Automobilia area.

Le Mans Classic 2006 7-8-9 July - What’s new in 2006?

The eligibility period has been extended to 1979. This will allow the following cars to take part:

BMW M1s as this vehicle was entered for Le Mans for the first time in 1979 and it symbolised BMW’s return to endurance racing.

The legendary roar of the Ferrari 512 BBs will be heard again on Les Hunaudières. These cars raced at Le Mans for the first time in 1978 and really began to make an impact the following year in the Sarthe and Daytona 24-Hour events. In 1980, the 512 BB was lightened, improved aerodynamically, found a few extra horsepower and scored some good results in the Le Mans 24 Hours with 10th place overall plus an IMSA Category victory. The 512 BB’s best performance in the Sarthe came in 1981 when one finished 5th overall.

1979 was also the year when Porsche scored its first win since the legendary 917’s success in 1971 thanks to the famous 935 coupe.

The event will now be a real 3-day affair, as the circuit will be closed from Friday afternoon onwards. This will give the different grids more practice time.

For further information please visit www.lemansclassic.com.

Photos: Classic Driver
Text: Le Mans Classic

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