Photo: European Space Agency

A brief history of the prestigious Pescarolo name at Le Mans

The founder of the original team was Henri Pescarolo, a former four-time overall winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a podium finisher in Formula One with Matra.


He created the team in 2000, after his first retirement from racing in 1999, which would also be his 33rd and final 24 Hours of Le Mans.


In his final years of racing at Le Mans, Pescarolo had been racing with Courage Competition, a French racing team and chassis manufacturer, but in 1999, Pescarolo decided he wanted to run his own team.

The team and himself would remain connected to the Courage team for the 1999 race and would use the Courage C50 with a Porsche Type 935 WSC, Boxer 6-cyl, 4-stroke petrol engine. But the team would race under Pescarolo Promotion Racing Team and would achieve a modest 9th-place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


As previously mentioned, the year after this he would go on to found Pescarolo Sport with French Publisher Francois Granet and the team would be based on the grounds of Circuit de la Sarthe.

For the 2000 Le Mans race, they would run a single Courage C52, which used a Peugeot 3.2l V6 Twin Turbocharged engine.


The team had an unbelievable debut at Le Mans, with them taking fourth overall in the race. This is a mammoth result considering it was the three factory Audi’s that finished ahead of them, which were entering an era where they dominated the 24-hours scene.

Moving forward, the best year that Pescarolo Sport ever experienced was in 2005 when they had a David vs Goliath battle with the mighty Audi.

They triumphed in the 2005 Le Man endurance series, taking the championship by two points from Zyket Motorsport, with Pescarolo Sport taking wins at Monza and Istanbul in the five-round series.

That year’s Le Mans was also looking good for Pescarolo Sport with them taking pole position for the race, with an all-French driver lineup.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for Pescarolo Sport with fears of overheating ruining their chances. They finished second, two laps down from the #3 Audi, but it did take the fastest lap of the race with the car in hands of Jean-Christophe Boullion.


Pescarolo Sport was also the team that represented the best racing drivers France had to offer with names like Sebastian Bourdais, Romain Dumas, and Simon Pagenaud to name a few.


The most famous name to race for the French team was by far though nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb who took part in the 2005 and 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans.


In 2005, it was a DNF for Loeb when in the 19th hour Loeb’s teammate Soheil Ayari suffered a puncture which caused the car to spin into the tires at the first of the Le Mans Chicanes, the car did make it back to the pits, but the team was unable to repair the damage.


2006 was much more fruitful with Loeb taking 2nd place overall in the race, with the car being four laps down from the winning #8 Audi R10.


The later years of Pescarolo Sport were very dark with financial issues, which caused the team to be liquidated in 2013.


The former Pescarolo Sport Driver Jocelyn Pedrono acquired the team in 2016, which brings us to the present with Pescarolo Sport announcing they are running a Peugeot 9X8 in 2024.

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