Porsche has achieved its 18th overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s toughest endurance race. After a close duel between Porsche and Toyota, drivers Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (GER) brought home the ground-breaking Porsche 919 Hybrid in first place, the same trio that achieved the maiden win for the 662 kW (900 PS) prototype in Brazil 2014.
The battle between Porsche and Toyota intensified shortly after midnight, but no-one expected such a finish. Before the final lap, Toyota were leading the field but their prototype suffered a power failure and stopped on track with 3 minutes still on the clock. One lap later it was the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid that took the chequered flag in front of the 263,000 spectators that attended the event.
In their sister car, team mates Timo Bernhard (GER), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS) finished 14th overall after a long stop for repairs in the night.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1 spoke after the race; “First of all I would like to express my respect for the sensational performance which Toyota gave in this race. It was a great fight with them. Shortly before the finish we had settled for second place until we suddenly claimed our second Le Mans victory in a row. I would like to thank our great team in Weissach, our team here in Le Mans and all Porsche employees and fans who have supported us here.”
With six races still to go, Porsche lead the manufacturers’ standings with 127 points ahead of Audi (95) and Toyota (79) and in the drivers’ standings, Dumas, Jani and Lieb now have 94 points in total, leading by 39 points.