No fewer than nine manufacturers turned out cars for the 64th running of the world’s most prestigious endurance event.
With a full 48 car grid, glorious sunshine and frisson of controversy the stage was set for a classic Le Mans year.
Qualifying showed Porsche’s new GT1 works machines were going to be formidable contenders for the overall win but Joest Racing’s cleverly packaged TWR-Porsche WSC95 not only had a handy turn of speed but were efficient on fuel and tyres too.
An exciting chase developed as the privateer Joest team took on the mighty Stuttgart factory and the dogfight kept the crowds enthralled through the night and into the final laps.
With 48 cars on the grid there was interest throughout the field.
Porsche’s switch to the GT1 class meant McLaren’s mighty F1s were hard put upon to repeat their sensational 1995 debut success but they were well in the hunt.
Marcos, Honda, Ferrari, Chrysler, Lister, Nissan and Toyota all fielded teams and there were machines supported by Courage, Debora, WR, Mazda and Oldsmobile making the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans one of the most varied and exciting for years.
Buckle up tight for one hell of a ride!