This Classic Film Documents McLaren’s Pursuit of Perfection at Le Mans

Here’s your dose of vintage motorsport.

byCaleb Jacobs| UPDATED Apr 26, 2017 8:00 AM
This Classic Film Documents McLaren’s Pursuit of Perfection at Le Mans

For those of us without VHS players, YouTube has become the hottest source for vintage racing films. Some cover the greatness of series like Group B Rally and Formula 1 while othesr document the success of certain manufacturers, all reminding us of how we got to where we are today. Perhaps the most heroic of those two are encompassed here with this 1995 movie that tells the tale of McLaren battling for victory at the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With the F1 GTR at center stage, McLaren was at its best since the early days of Can-Am. The team had developed such a marvel that put everyone else in the industry on notice, and their win at Le Mans backed that statement up. It was the manufacturer's first attempt at the race, and it proved its worth in the inaugural outing with a heroic team of drivers an undoubtedly the best car in the field.

Drama was aplenty as there were 17 steady hours of rain throughout the event, creating a theatric setting for what was to come. The weather played out to the team's benefit as the car reportedly had a weak gearbox, allowing them to go easy on power. In addition to that, driver JJ Lehto was 30 seconds faster in some laps than his biggest rivals, putting McLaren lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

Through the day and night, consistency provided the edge for the crew of Lehto, Sekiya, and Dalmas. This sit-down film gives us insight on events leading up to the race as well as emotions throughout the 24 hours, showing the ethos behind the F1 GTR's sweeping victory. 

Watch as McLaren racers and the opposition talk about the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, leading onto the manufacturer's "Pursuit of Perfection".