Bugatti’s illustrious motoring heritage is deeply embedded in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Over the years – 10 decades in fact – the prestigious Molsheim brand has accomplished unforgettable milestones at the motorsport event. And just in time to celebrate 100 years of the Le Mans 24 Hours, Bugatti this weekend delivered another incredible moment for the onlookers.
On the sacred tarmac on which so much history has been made, the Bugatti Bolide1 took the lead at the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit on Saturday afternoon. As it continued, the excitement – which brought genuine surprise and excitement to the absolute respect – brought the crowd as the audience was treated to not one but two important moments: the Bolide was presented in its full glory to the public for the first time by Andy Wallace. , the 1988 Le Mans winner, leading the wheel of a track-only sports car on the show circuit.
One of the world’s best endurance racers, Andy, who has been Bugatti’s Pilote Officer since 2011, is part of a select group of people to win the Triple Crown of Le Mans 24 Hours, Daytona 24 Hours and 12 Hours. Sebring. Such an unrivaled track record is the perfect fit to manage the Bolide’s first public outing. Speaking shortly after driving the Bolide, Andy said: “Taking the wheel of the Bolide at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours was a very special moment; the energy from the crowd and how connected they were to the car is something that will stay with me for life.
“The Bolide looks and feels – in every way – like a real racing car with real high-performance potential. The fact that it produces almost twice its weight in low power at high speeds, gives the car a level of Very high grip and stability in high speed corners is very impressive.
Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles, added: “There can be no better way than to celebrate 100 years of Le Mans by launching a Bugatti tour that is completely different from anything we have ever done before. Bugatti and the 24 Hours of Le Mans have a relationship deep and long – we were there at the first race 100 years ago. I speak for Bugatti when I say so we are proud to present another historic and unique moment at Le Mans, a moment that will be cherished forever.
At the heart of the Bolide is Bugatti’s quad turbo 8.0-liter W16, cleverly buried inside an aerodynamically optimized carbon body. To achieve the high performance of a Bolide track, the brakes are an important part. Inspired by F1 technology, the experts of Brembo SpA, the Italian world leader in the field of automotive brake technology, have developed a high-quality and tailored braking system for the Bolide with 390 mm brake discs and unique calipers (piston 8 front axle and 6 pistons on the rear axle), ensuring that the stopping power of the car can afford its excellent driving ability.
Making the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans event even more special this weekend is the presence of two amazing Bugatti cars as well as a public display of the Bolide. Rounding out the circuit on Saturday, following Andy’s driving in the Bolide, was the Bugatti EB110S “Le Mans”, which took part in the highly acclaimed Parade of the Grande Du Centenaire Exhibition. This legendary car took part in the world famous race in 1994, exactly 55 years after Bugatti’s last victory at Le Mans. The accident – following technical problems – unfortunately ended the race too early for the blue Bugatti, but it left a lasting impression in the hearts of motorcycle fans around the world. Seeing the EB110S LM take to the venerable tarmac has captured another historic Bugatti event for onlookers enthralled by the event.
The iconic Bugatti Type 50S was displayed as part of a special 100th anniversary exhibition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum. In the early 1930s, several examples of the Type 50s took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and in the 1931 race there were three examples competing. As part of a protest against racing officials, Ettore Bugatti ordered three cars to start the year in black instead of the usual French Racing Blue. Among others, famous racing drivers Louis Chiron and Albert Divo started with Bugatti. Throughout the race, the three 50S cars battled for the lead for long stretches, but the tires struggled to match the power, speed and performance of the 50S. Following a fatal crash involving one of the 50S racers, Ettore decided to withdraw the remaining two cars from the race. On display at this year’s event, the Type 50S is decorated with the starting number 5, which was driven back in 1931 by Albert Divo and Guy Bouriat, exciting fans who want to experience the history of motorcycling in the present day.
The EB110S LM, Type 50S and the first public ride on the Bolide made an already special historic motorsport weekend even more extraordinary, adding to the sense of timelessness that only a brand like Bugatti can produce.