2008 Pescarolo 01 Pilots: C. F. Cheng, M. Lahaye, P. Rague Team: Saulnier Racing Race: 18th overall (3rd in LMP2 class) at Le Mans in 2008 Spark - S1475 (resin)
Up until 2006, Pescarolo Sport had a partnership with Courage, using Pescarolo-modified C60s in LMP1 racing. By the end of 2006 ACO made a significant rule change, and most LMP1 cars became ineligible for 2007. That was the push Henri Pescarolo needed to build his own cars, custom made to the new rules. Based on the C60, the Pescarolo 01 was their first model. However, the 01 project was aimed not only at themselves but also as a car for other teams as well. And to maximize their investment, with minimal adaptations, the 01 chassis could be either a LMP1 or LMP2 car.
The chassis was a carbon fiber monocoque with double wishbone suspension front and rear. While the engine sat longitudinally at midships, teams had a wide range of engines to choose from. The customer could choose between Mazda, Nissan and Judd, from a 2.0 inline-4 all the way to a big 5.5 V8. However, of course, race class determined the engine size.
In 2007 French Saulnier Racing bought two chassis from Pescarolo, one for LMP1 and one for LMP2. The LMP1 car (chassis #05) was 01 #4, while the LMP2 (chassis #06) was 01 #35. Powering the LMP2 was Judd’s XV675, a 3397 cm³ V8 with 32 valves. While the LMP1 was the faster car, the 01 #35 came in front. The #4 had a lot of issues during the race, but the smaller 01 #35 had an uneventful race and finished ahead. In fact, it was even a podium finisher, coming in third in its class. So in other words, never take anything for granted at Le Mans.
I have too few of Pescarolo’s cars in my collection. So far, I only had the 01 Evo. But since Henri Pescarolo is one of the greatest pilots of Le Mans, when this 01 #35 showed up I couldn’t say no. Besides, the price was great, so here it is. As always, however, I feel that older open-top Sparks don’t shine as bright as their current offerings. In my opinion the gap between older and newer coupes is smaller. Nonetheless, a fine model, but I guess a niche one.