Live and Exclusive Updates from the Porsche pits at Le Mans
It's the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend and, because of COVID-19, it's being run behind closed doors. But the Porsche tribe scribes are there ...
For all sports car racing fans, the biggest weekend of the year is finally here. The 2020 Le Mans 24 Hour race will be starting tomorrow afternoon, at 14:30 French time, and while it may be a few months late, and taking place behind closed doors, it is happening! And we'll be there for you, every step of the way.
Your intrepid tribescribes are there: tested, quarantined, masked and washing their hands like Lady Macbeth on a bad day. They have got access to the pit garage and the paddock, to the bosses, the drivers, the mechanics, the truckies and the tyre guys. They'll even be talking to Porsche's own weatherman because it sounds like it may well rain this weekend
Your faithful scribes will be bring you exclusive behind the scenes goodness all weekend - don't forget to ask any questions in the comments below and they'll try to get you some answers.
Sunday, 15:45 And the final word from Pascal
Sunday, 15:30 hrs Berno's sixth and final behind the scenes tour
While we wait for the internet here, which has ground to a halt despite the smaller numbers of people at Le Mans this year, here's one last behind the scenes tours for your delectation. This one is with Adam Hardy, Car Number 92's race engineer, and is notable for many things, not least his not being nearly as grumpy as his reputation implies, as well as his use of the phrase "prat perch" to describe the desks on the pit wall that he and his fellow engineers inhabit.
Sunday, 14:30 Chequered flag!
Sunday, 14:25 Five minutes to go
After 23 hours and 55 minutes of racing, the Number 77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR is in second place in GTE-Am with works driver Matt Campbell at the wheel - and the Number 83 Ferrari just two seconds behind. This place really does produce the most amazing races ...
Sunday, 13:50 hrs 40 minutes to go and we've caught up with driver Richard Lietz
Sunday, 13:25 hours Here's the second half of our Michael Fassbender interview
Sunday, 13:00 hrs. An hour and a half to go
Push, push, push to the chequered flag
Sunday, 12:30 hrs Two hours to go
Sunday, 11:30 hrs Three Hours to go
With *just three hours to go, the GTE-Pro cars are running P6 and P7. Meanwhile, in GTE-Am, the battle is on, with Porsche 911 RSR in P2, P3, P5 and P6. *That's still twice as long as a Formula One® race.
Sunday, 11:15 hrs From X Men to Le Mans
We've been hanging with Hollywood royalty as Michael Fassbender dropped by the pits after racing in the Carrera Cup Le Mans. While he was watching his team-mates battle it out for GTE-Am glory, we asked him about how he has gone from Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations to battling it out at Le Mans in a GT3 Cup car. He was so good on camera (who would have guessed?), we had to make it a two-part series.
Sunday, 10:15 hrs The latest update from the boss
It'd be fair to say that it has been a challenging night in GTE-Pro but, with four Porsche 911 RSR racers in the GTE-Am top six, there still plenty to fight for in the last four hours of the race.
Sunday, 07:30 hrs Dawn
Sunday, 06:30 hrs
Ben Barker is one of the drivers of the Gulf Racing 911 RSR, currently running P5 in GTE-Am. We caught up with him on Friday in his pit garage, where he told us about how he worked his way up the motorsport ladder via the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and the Porsche Supercup.
Sunday, 06:00 hrs
At a normal June Le Mans race, the sun would have well and truly risen and, if the wind is in the right direction, the drivers can genuinely smell the bacon being prepared on the many camp sites round this hugs track. Not this time - it's still pitch black and, other than the wail of Stuttgart's finest flat sixes, eerily quiet out there. The Number 91 car is in P4 and the Number 92 in P7. Back in GTE-Am, the Proton Dempsey Number 77 car is in P3 with Matt Campbell at the wheel and the Team Project 1 Mentos-liveried car is in a minty-fresh P4.
Sunday, 04:30 hrs Our Estre's Manoeuvres in the Dark
And we don't care that it's not just Kévin driving in this film. That headline is worth a bit of artistic licence.
Sunday, 03:00 hrs Berno's Behind the Scenes Tour Part Four
The guys in the pit garages are all still working really hard. In the fourth part of our behind the scenes series, we met Juan, our Belgian damper-whisperer. We tried not to let his dislike of being filmed, er, put a damper on proceedings.
Sunday, 01:20 hrs Pics from the pits
Sunday, 01:00 hrs Video News Bulletin
Sunday, 00:01 hrs Midnight Run
As Saturday turns into Sunday, the Porsche team keeps battling on through the night, with the Number 91 car in P6 with Richard Lietz making way for Fred Makowiecki at the wheel. After its travails earlier, the Number 92 car is some way back but running really strongly in the dense night air. In GTE-Am, the leading 911 RSR is the Team Project 1 car, in fourth place and being driven at the moment by Larry Ten Voorde.
Saturday, 23:30 hrs Taycan the Scenic Route
When the team needed to get the Porsche Taycan Turbo (combined power consumption 28.0 kWh/100 km, combined CO₂ emissions 0 g/km; as at 08/2020) safety car for the Carrera Cup Le Mans race across to the Sarthe, they decided to take a route that took in the vineyards of Champagne, the iconic old circuit of Reims-Gueux and Paris. Of course they did ...
Saturday, 23:00 hrs Berno's Behind the Scenes Tour Part Three
We meet Porsche's none too shy and re-tyre-ing masters of the Michelins ...
Saturday, 21:30 hrs An update from the boss after seven hours
Director of Factory Motorsport Pascal Zurlinden tells us how it is ...
Saturday, 20:00 hrs Sunset on the Sarthe
Saturday, 18:30 hrs
Four hours of solid racing done, and we're still only a sixth of the way through the race. The Number 92 car is in P5, followed by the Number 91 car in P7. Both cars have done four pit stops.
Saturday, 17:20 hrs
With the Number 92 car currently running P5 in GTE-Pro and the Number 91 car P8, and the Mentos-liveried 911 RSR of Team Project 1 leading GTE-Am, the first photos of the opening laps have reached us in the pits. So we thought we'd share a few of them with you.
Saturday, 16:00 hrs A new addition to the Le Mans Museum
While the latest Porsche 911 RSR racers are battling it out on track, a 2016 Porsche 919 was given to the Le Mans Museum this morning by Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport at Porsche. Little known fact - it's actually the second racing car donated to the museum by Porsche. The first was a 917 LH back in 1972.
Saturday, 15:00 hrs Every button, screen and knob in the 911 RSR explained
Kévin Estre is out on track in the Number 92 car right now but found time this morning to explain what all the cool stuff in the cockpit of his Porsche 911 RSR does. This is about as in-depth as it gets - prepare to geek out, race fans.
Saturday, 14:31 The race has started! In the Porsche pit garage, all is calm ...
Saturday, 14:10 hrs Twenty minutes to race start
We miss the fans. A lot. We're looking forward to there being more people in the grandstands than on the grid again.
Saturday, 14:00 hrs Half an hour to race start
The cars are now out on the grid and this is the view from our side of the wall. It's all getting a bit real ...
Saturday, 12:30 hrs Berno's Behind the Scenes Tour Part Two
In our second installment behind the scenes, Berno takes us to meet Tobi, in whose secret lair, all things gearbox are fettled. Tobi is also described as a friend of Chuck Norris. No, we don't understand either ...
Saturday, 10:15 hrs
It's been raining here at Le Mans but we've been nice and dry in the pit garage, filming Kévin Estre explaining what all the switches, knobs, buttons and screens do in his "office". We should have it uploaded soon - prepare to geek out ...
Saturday, 09:24 hrs The pink pig says "Good Morning from Le Mans".
Friday, 20:30 hrs Gimmi Bruni talks to us about taking class pole today
Friday, 19:30 hrs Berno's Behind the Scenes Tour Part One
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in a Le Mans racing team? Well, wonder no more ... We've had a tour of all the secret squirrel bits of the Porsche works GT team set up at Le Mans this week, and met some of the characters that make this team quite so special.
Friday, 18:10 hrs
If this was a normal Le Mans, the campsites would be filling, the barbecues would be lit and there is a chance that some beer might be getting consumed out there. We know it's very far from the same but would you like to see a lovely film of how the new Porsche 911 RSR took class pole position at its first attempt? Of course you would ...
Friday, 13:30 hrs
As Porsche's Director of Factory Motorsport, Pascal Zurlinden, was about to leave the pit garage and head to a well-deserved spot of lunch after a very successful hyperpole, we asked for a quick chat. As he is one of the nicest men in motor racing (he really is), he agreed to walk and talk.
Friday, 13:10 hrs Gimmi, Gimmi, Gimmi (A Man After Midnight)
Pole position for Gimmi Bruni! In the just-finished hyperpole session, Italian Gianmaria (Gimmi to his friends) Bruni has secured the Number 91 car pole position for tomorrow's race. He managed a blistering 3.50.874 (that's really quick, promise), using every horsepower, every molecule of grip and most certainly every millimetre of track to beat the serried ranks of Aston Martins and Ferraris - and the Number 92 car, which starts in sixth.