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Porsche wins Le Mans with 919 Hybrid in 1-2 sweep

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Two LMP1-class Porsche 919 Hybrids were faster and outlasted the competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the race with a 1-2 sweep and clinching the automaker's 17th overall win. The #19 car driven by Earl Bamber, Nico Hülkenberg, and Nick Tandy finished first, followed by #17 driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, and Mark Webber.

Today's overall win was the first since 1998, when Porsche made a 1-2 sweep with the 911 GT1. It also ended Audi's five-year winning streak.

With more than 15 hours left in the race and Nico Hülkenberg at the wheel, #19 took the lead and never gave it up. During his stint, he made a pit stop during a caution for a full service, which included rear bodywork, rear wing, tires, and a driver change. When the car went back out, it maintained the lead.

"It made sense to get the car in for a full service, including a driver change," Hülkenberg said. "It was another good period of the race. The car is still really good and I felt very comfortable.”

The #17 919 led the race early on, but Brendon Hartley received a one-minute stop-and-go penalty after passing under yellow. The penalty dropped #17 to fourth position, though the drivers eventually closed the gap from fourth to second position, helped in part by a long pit stop for the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 car.

 "I had no problems," Mark Webber said, "the car ran very well with quadruple stints. There are still a few hours to go. I want to compliment car #19. The crew is doing an excellent job."

The third 919 Hybrid, #18, driven by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Marc Lieb, finished fifth behind two Audi R18s.

Head below for links around the web about the race (updates to come). Head to the bottom for two Porsche press releases, one with three hours left, and another from after the finish.

Porsche's Le Mans Special Car Wins The 24 Hours Of Le MansBlack Flag via Jalopnik

Porsche wins the 2015 24 Hours of Le MansAutoblog

LM24: Racing from dusk to dawn - Photo GalleryRoad & Track

The fantastic story behind Porsche’s Le Mans winners —

Nick Tandy rises from the farm to taste sweetest victory at Le Mans — The Telegraph

Hulkenberg reflects on “amazing experience” in Le Mans — NBC Sports

Patrick Dempsey scores second place at Le Mans with Porsche —

What Does 8.469 Miles In 3 Minutes And 17 Seconds Look Like, Anyway? — Jalopnik

Source: Porsche


Porsche Press Releases

Porsche clinches 17th outright victory at Le Mans

Stuttgart. Porsche has scored its 17th overall victory at the 83rd edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours. No other manufacturer has achieved such impressive results at the world’s toughest endurance race. With the innovative Porsche 919 Hybrid, Earl Bamber (NZ), Nico Hülkenberg (D) and Nick Tandy (GB) won the coveted title exactly 45 years to the day after Porsche’s very first overall victory at the Sarthe. Their team mates Timo Bernhard (D), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS) finished second and completed the 1-2 for Porsche. The US race driver and actor Patrick Dempsey celebrated the biggest success of his racing career by coming in second with a Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class .

Detailed reports to follow.


One-two for the Porsche 919 Hybrids with three hours to go

Stuttgart. Three hours before the end of the 24-hour race Porsche has a one-two in Le Mans. In the morning the Porsche 919 Hybrids continued to do quadruple stints and the team also gained time over the competition by doing perfect pit stops. Car number 19 (Earl Bamber/Nico Hülkenberg/Nick Tandy) stayed in the lead. Car number 17 (Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber) improved strongly to take second place, while car number 18 (Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb) improved to fifth.

Car number 17 has been in the hands of Mark Webber since 05:47 hrs (end of lap 240). The Australian handed over his red prototype to Timo Bernhard after lap 294 at 09:12 hrs. Thanks to strong efforts by the drivers and a long pit stop for the number 7 Audi, the Porsche improved from fourth to second position.

The number 18 car held position in sixth and shortly before noon moved up to fifth. Romain Dumas started his quadruple stint at 04:23 hrs in the morning (after lap 214) and got out for Neel Jani after 266 laps at 07:25 hrs. When the car had completed 323 laps at 10:51 hrs, Marc Lieb took over again. He handed the car back to Romain Dumas after the car had completed 333 laps at 11:38 hrs.

The number 19 Porsche, which took the lead before midnight, kept in front of the pack. At 06:15 hrs and after 249 laps Earl Bamber handed over the leading car to Nico Hülkenberg. At the end of lap 276 the team made use of a long safety car period by taking the car inside the garage for a comprehensive service, including rear bodywork, a rear wing, tyres and a driver change in between two of the three safety cars that were guiding the field. At 08:05 hrs Nick Tandy re-joined the race in the leading car. At 11:11 hrs after 329 race laps were completed, Earl Bamber took over again.

Brendon Hartley (car number 17): “We did four stints on one set of Michelin tyres. I had no dramas at all. We were chasing down the Audi after the penalty had put us back a bit. We will keep attacking and want to get a podium.”

Mark Webber (car number 17): “I had no problems, the car ran very well with quadruple stints. There are still a few hours to go. I want to compliment car no 19. The crew is doing an excellent job.”

Romain Dumas (car number 18): “In my quadruple stint everything was fine. It is just unfortunate that we are not really involved in the battle for the lead. We will drive around, do our best – and wait.” 

Neel Jani (car number 18): “Our crew of number 18 have overall had a rather difficult race, with two offs and some issues at night when it was cooler. But that’s racing, and we definitely want to finish and take away some World Championship points. Anyway, for our Porsche Team it looks great with a one-two and we want to bring that result home.”

Earl Bamber (car number 19): “My stint in which I led from darkness to daylight was really good. The car is running nicely. However, at nine this morning I realised that there was still the distance of a normal WEC 6-Hour race ahead of us. Not a single lap or corner is easy out there and the Audis are mega, mega fast.”

Nico Hülkenberg (car number 19): “In the morning I didn’t have that many laps in a row because all of a sudden, as things develop in endurance racing, it made sense to get the car in for a full service, including a driver change. It was another good period of the race. The car is still really good and I felt very comfortable.”

Nick Tandy (car number 19): “So far it has been fantastic. I especially enjoyed my night stint. Normally I don’t particularly enjoy night driving, because the visibility isn’t that good. But I got into a very nice rhythm and I think for the first time since I have been part of this project I really felt I was at one with the car and this special kind of control was an amazing feeling.” 

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