Longtime Le Mans entrant and constructor Gerard Welter passed away on Wednesday at the age of 75.
Welter, who spent nearly 50 years at Peugeot in its design department, was most known for his success in endurance racing, having built and run the fastest-ever prototype to have raced at Le Mans.
The top speed record of 405 km/h (251 mph), set by Roger Dorchy in a WM P88 Peugeot at the 1988 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, still stands today and will likely go unbeaten.
Welter fielded prototypes, initially under the WM banner from 1976 to 1989, prior to its shift to Welter Racing (WR) in the 90s and 2000s.
WR’s planned biomethane Garage 56 entry, awarded to the French constructor for the 2017 race, was called off due to lack of funding.
“Gerard Welter was a driving force in the true sense of the word,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.
“It’s very sad news for us, for the ACO and for the motor car. In the name of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest I would like to send my warmest and most profound emotional thoughts to Gerard Welter’s family and loved ones.”