- Sauber-Mercedes C 9 racing sports car: the first Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow since 1955
- On the podium in Le Mans in 1989: Mass/Reuter/Dickens and Baldi/Acheson/Brancatelli
- One of the highlights of 120 years of motorsport at Mercedes-Benz
The double victory of the Sauber-Mercedes C 9 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on 11 June 1989, marked the culmination of the return of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows to the race track. Jochen Mass, Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens won the race in the C 9 with the starting number 63, followed by Mauro Baldi, Kenny Acheson and Gianfranco Brancatelli (starting number 61). The triumph was completed by a fifth place for the third car racing for the Sauber-Mercedes team: the vehicle driven by Jean-Louis Schlesser, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Alain Cudini, with starting number 62, achieved the best time during qualifying and started the race from pole position. The magazine “Motor Sport” paid tribute in its issue of July 1989 to the outstanding performance of the “third-generation Silver Arrows.” In so doing, the British magazine clearly emphasised the role of the C 9 in the history of motorsport at Mercedes-Benz: the Group C racing sports car developed by the Sauber team and powered by the 530 kW (720 hp) Mercedes-Benz M 119 HL engine was a worthy successor to the legendary Silver Arrows of the periods 1934 to 1939 and 1954 to 1955.
During the 1989 season the C 9 became the rightful heir to the Silver Arrow name, joining the starting lineup with the classic silver paintwork of Mercedes-Benz racing cars. The C 9 deployed from 1987 until 1989 bore a variety of designs – and different names, according to the team’s sponsor. During the 1987 season it was known as the Kouros-Mercedes, then as the Sauber-Mercedes until 1989, and it finally started one race in 1990 as a Mercedes-Benz.