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The WM P87 was a Group C sports car developed by Welter Racing and was used from 1987 until 1988.
Background and Project 400
1986 was a disappointing year for Welter Racing, not only was there the failure of the P86 but and the outdated P83B to secure any championship points at Le Mans for the team. The cars were driven by Claude Haldi, Roger Dorchy and Pascal Pessiot. The winning team composed of Hans-Joachim Stuck, Derek Bell and Al Holbert in the works Porsche 962C. Welter decided to start a new development project with the limited resources they had.
The aim now was to develop a car that could surpass 400 km/h on the fastest section of the racetrack, during the next two years. A tire manufacturer had to be found, who supplied the necessary tyres. The French tire manufacturer Michelin supplied tires with a special blend and guaranteed to a speed of 410 km/h.
The drivers were Philippe Gache, Roger Dorchy and Dominique Delestre who had experience and extra training in driving such a fast car at Le Mans.
Development and Technology
Basis of the project and the key long-term cooperation between welter and Peugeot was the PRV engine . Many observers saw in the 1980s after the World Cup race cars also use a hidden Peugeot works. Welter had a Peugeot designer excellent contacts to the Peugeot board, however, a work team was the team never Welter. The PRV engine was a collaboration between Peugeot, Renault and Volvo and intended for the series. Its derivatives found their way into motorsport. Welter in 1987 might go back to the previously most powerful example of this engine type. The 2.8-liter V6 engine had twin turbochargers and made 890 hp.
Five months was allowed Welter every Sunday the Peugeot wind tunnel in Sochaux use. Almost all World Cup prototypes had concealed rear wheel arches; when this component P87 were particularly attention to some. Every little Windverwirbelung on the side flanks wanted to avoid the welter aerodynamics. The team also found a special solution for the supply of air to the intercoolers. The air was sucked under the car through special pipes under the suspension. To the ground To make optimal use of the P87 was compared with its predecessors a longer wheelbase. First attempts were abandoned without rear wing, as the car in the curves had almost no balance.
In the Le Mans test day in May 1987, the team was rarely drive. Roger Dorchy barely managed two laps in a row because there was continual problems with the engine management. The fastest time measured on the Ligne Droite the Mulsanne was 356 km / h A high speed, but not record-breaking. In the welter workshop the issue was resolved with the engine management and tested the car on a new and not yet opened section of highway again. The study conducted by Welter measurement showed 416 km / h: Roger Dorchy driving again. Whether measurement of Welter was really accurate remains open to this day.
The race at Le Mans was short. In training, the team reached only 21 Starting place, which surprised no one, the curves in the car lost a lot of time. In the race - Roger Dorchy drove the first stint - went 13 rounds Turbocharger defective and the team had to give up. The ACO was the highest speed 387 km / h in.
1988 Welter came back to Le Mans. The P88 differed from P87 by a more powerful motor. Roger Dorchy broke it with 405 km / h officially the 400-km / h barrier. Also, the P87 was again used. Pessiot Pascal and Jean-Daniel Raulet stopped after 22 laps a defective transmission.