1992 World Sportscar Champion
1992 and 1993 Le Mans winner
8 Group C World Sportscar Victories
Unlike most of the other great Group C cars, Peugeot’s 905 was not an instant success. It did, however, end up as one of the very fastest sports-prototypes of all time.
Launched at the end of 1990, the French machine was built for the new 3.5-litre sportscar regulations. It lucked in to victory at the 1991 season opener at Suzuka, but in truth lagged well behind Jaguar’s new XJR-14 and didn’t always beat the ageing and ballasted Mercedes C11.
Its Le Mans debut also resulted in two retirements, though the 905s did at least get to run at the front in the early stages, helped by the rules allowing the 3.5-litre machines to start ahead of the older turbo cars and the quicker XJR-14 non-starting.
What Jean Todt’s team did have, however, was a serious budget and Michelin tyres. A sizeable break in the 1991 schedule allowed Peugeot to prepare the substantially different 905B, complete with rudimentary looking but effective front wing and Jaguar-style rear wing.
Peugeot went from being seconds off the pace to pushing the Jaguars at the Nürburgring, and Keke Rosberg/Yannick Dalmas then won two of the last three championship races. That wasn’t enough to stop Jaguar taking both the drivers’ and teams’ titles, but it demonstrated Peugeot would be a force in 1992.
With the withdrawal of Mercedes and Jaguar, grids dwindled, but Peugeot still had a works Toyota team to contend with. The further developed 905 usually had the edge over the TS010, the white cars sweeping to five wins from six rounds, and Dalmas/Derek Warwick winning the final World Sportscar drivers’ crown as the category finally died.