Six overall winners from Porsche at Le Mans
For endurance racing fans, this weekend can't come quickly enough: at 14:30 on Saturday, the starting flag for the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be raised
Porsche has had close ties to the near-100-year-old event for more than six decades – a period that has seen a total of 19 overall victories, countless class wins and plenty of emotions.
Fifty years ago, on 14 June 1970, Porsche achieved its first overall win at Le Mans with the 580 PS Porsche 917 KH. It's a milestone that, still to this day, represents one of Porsche’s most important successes in motorsport. To mark the occasion, the Porsche Museum took the first victorious car and five other race winners back to the site of that famous win. Joining the 917 KH from 1970 were the 917 KH from 1971, the 936/81 Spyder from 1981, the 962 C from 1987, the 911 GT1 ´98 and the last overall winner, the 919 Hybrid from 2017. All drove down the famous Le Mans straights, as well as past famous landmarks like the Dunlop Bridge.
At the same time, two racing giants came together for the very first time: Hans Herrmann – who, along with Richard Attwood, was one half of the driver pairing in that first overall win – and his original car met Timo Bernhard. It was Bernhard who, in the 919 Hybrid, took the flag at the dramatic 85th 24 Hours of Le Mans three years ago, with his team mates Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley.
Both cars clearly show the progress that has taken place over the decades: the 917 KH running number 23, which was entered by the Porsche Salzburg team, weighs only 800 kilograms and is powered by a 4.5-litre 12-cylinder engine, driving just the rear wheels. In contrast, the 919 Hybrid features a two-litre V4 turbo petrol engine with 368 kW (almost 500 PS) for the rear wheels paired with an electric motor with 294 kW (over 400 PS) for the front axle – making the hybrid Porsche all-wheel drive.
This weekend, the two 911 RSR cars of the Porsche GT Team will compete in the hard-fought GTE Pro category at Le Mans, and will race in Red-White and Black-White liveries.