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Le Mans legends: Watch how BMW won as Mercedes flew in 1999

Every day, Motorsport.com invites you to rediscover a milestone edition of the greatest endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours. Today, it’s the turn of the jaw-dropping 1999 event.

Five major manufacturers – Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan and Toyota – battled out the 67th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

For Mercedes, the race weekend becomes a nightmare. Mark Webber flips twice, during qualifying and the warm-up, at the wheel of CLR #4. In the race, Peter Dumbreck also takes off as he battled for the lead in CLR #5. Amazingly, neither driver suffers a major injury, but Mercedes is forced to withdraw to avoid further calamity.

Out front, the battle rages between Toyota and BMW. The Toyotas are faster, but suffer multiple puncture misfortune. Then BMW loses its leading car when JJ Lehto crashes out less than four hours from the finish due to a jammed throttle.

The sister car – driven by Joachim Winkelhock, Pierluigi Martini and Yannick Dalmas – takes control of the race, but is under pressure from the last surviving Toyota in the hands of Ukyo Katayama. He then suffers a puncture, which paves the way for BMW glory. Audi finishes third on its debut, which is a signal of things to come…

From the editor, also read:

The complete version of this race, and all the archives of the 24 Hours of Le Mans – including official films and Allan McNish's personal selections – are available on Motorsport.tv.

Subscribe now to Motorsport.tv (free trial, then €3.50 per month or €33.99 per year): https://www.motorsport.tv/join.

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About this article

Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Author Ayrton Lemaire
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