A thrilling fight – A battle for seconds, between Porsche and Toyota in front of more than 260.000 visitors and nobody expected a happy end for Porsche until shortly before the end of the race.
From midnight the duel between Porsche and Toyota for the 24 hour Le Mans race win had intensified but no-one would have expected such an ending. Before the final lap, Toyota seemed to be coming out on top but then the prototype stopped on track. One lap later it was the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb that took the chequered flag first in front of more than 260,000 spectators that attended the event.
The second Porsche 919 Hybrid with car number 1, shared by reigning endurance world champions Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber, had a long stop for repairs at night, fought back and finished 13th overall. In the LMP1 class it came fifth. Porsche was rewarded in Le Mans for the manufacturers’ standings of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). For the Le Mans 24-Hours twice as many points are awarded as for the other eight six-hours races of the championship. Porsche leads the manufacturers’ standings ahead of Audi and Toyota. In the drivers’ standings, Dumas, Jani and Lieb now lead by points.
The success is the 18th overall victory for Porsche at the world’s hardest car race. One of the most eligible trophies on the globe will be homed for the second consecutive year at Porsche’s head quarters because the company came as record holder and title defender.
Quotes after the race
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: 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 which have supported us here.
Neel Jani: My double stint in the morning wasn’t really easy because of traffic and yellow zones. I think for the race strategists this battle for victory here is quite a challenge.