The Porsche works drivers Michael Christensen from Denmark and Kévin Estre (France) are the new world champions of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The 2018 Le Mans winners claimed the title after finishing the 87th running of the world’s toughest endurance race on position 10. Christensen and Estre shared the cockpit of the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR with the Belgian Laurens Vanthoor.
“Congratulations to Michael and Kévin on winning the drivers’ world championship,” says Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “We can look back on a perfect year, in which we secured all GTE-Pro titles in the FIA WEC. The entire team and all of the Porsche works drivers have performed at the highest level during the 2018/2019 Super Season. The Porsche 911 RSR was the benchmark. Ideally for the coming season, we aim to build on these achievements with the new car.”
In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche customer team Project 1 won the championship with works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Egidio Perfetti (Norway) and American Patrick Lindsey.
The final driver change for Porsche 911 RSR No. 91. Kevin Estre finishes the race in No. 92.
#LeMans24 - That's the final driver change for #Porsche #911RSR No. 91 at the @24hoursoflemans: @FredMako1 out, @GianmariaBruni in. @kevinestre finishes the race in No. 92 @FIAWEC pic.twitter.com/eZaV49GUo6— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) June 16, 2019
The last hour of the race has begun. With the Porsche 911 RSR in second and third place (91/93) as well as nine and ten (94/92).
1:06 pmThe last two hours of the race have now begun. The Porsche 911 RSR No. 91 is in second place.
Behind the scenes: Michael Christensen (92) giving an interview.
Kévin Estre (92) talks about the race after 21 hours.
The last three hours of the race have started.
The Porsche 911 RSR No. 93, currently in third place, was imposed a 10 seconds time penalty.
Scenes from GTE Pro
10 Seconds penalty for Porsche 911 RSR No. 91.
With less than six hours left, we're facing the final phase.
Behind the scenes: An interview with Kévin Estre (92) and Sport1.
Hour 17: Porsche GT Team (93) is on the third place behind AF Corse (51) and Corvette Racing (63).
Waking up at Le Mans! It is going on.
Porsche maintains a steady course for the podium at the world’s toughest endurance race after two thirds of the race distance. After flawless stints during the night, the Porsche 911 RSR (#91) driven by Gianmaria Bruni (Italy), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) at times even held the lead. The ca. 510 hp No. 93 Porsche 911 manned by Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) are also within striking distance of the frontrunners. The youngest Porsche crew, Sven Müller (Germany) and the two Porsche Young Professionals Mathieu Jaminet (France) and Dennis Olsen (Norway), are running two laps behind in the No. 94 car.
Bad luck struck the Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92. Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) were running at the front of the GTE-Pro field for a long period of time. However, an exhaust manifold defect and the subsequent 20-minute repair work threw the leaders of the drivers’ classification in the FIA World Endurance Championship far down the field at the final round of the 2018/2019 Super Season.
The best customer team to make it through the Le Mans night was the Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Project 1 with drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Lindsey (USA) and Egidio Perfetti (Norway). The No. 56 vehicle, which leads the GTE-Am class in the FIA WEC, is running in second place after 16 hours of racing at the 24-hour marathon in France. Dempsey Proton Racing with the Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) was in the lead over a long stretch, but lost more than two laps due to technical problems. The No. 78 nine-eleven campaigned by Proton Competition is still in the top ten.
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “We led the GTE-Pro class for most of the night until we detected a noise in the engine. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a defect in the exhaust and the repairs cost us five laps. But we still have two irons in the fire with our number 91 and 93 cars and we’ll continue to fight to the flag. The No. 56 contender is currently running second in the GTE-Am category and has a good chance to win the world championship title.”
More comments can be found in the press release.
Porsche GT Team with the number 91 leads in first place ahead of Corvette Racing (63) and the Porsche GT Team (93).
Michael Wainright from the customer team Gulf Racing slides into the gravel with his 911 RSR.
Good morning Le Mans!
Pit stop of the 911 RSR No. 77 of the customer team Dempsey-Proton-Racing with the drivers Christian Ried, Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer.
5:48 amAfter losing time due to a longer repair, Kevin Estre reviews the progress of the race.
On-board in the race to catch up: Richard Lietz is second in the 911 RSR No. 91.
After 14 hours of racing Patrick Pilet, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy are second in the GTE-Pro class with the 911 RSR No. 93. The 911 RSR No. 92 is now in twelfth place.
In the GTE Am class the Porsche customer team Project 1 is in fourth place after almost 14 hours of racing.
#LeMans24 Hour 14: Egidio is now taking over from Jörg. We are still on P4️⃣🙌🏽🙈looking forward to the next hour⏱— Project 1 Motorsport (@Project1_93) June 16, 2019
⠀⠀#teamproject1 #Mobil1RLM #FragLeMans #WEC #Superfinale #secondskindesign #911rsr #nomoreblackcars pic.twitter.com/Bpa7zwHSp5
Kévin Estre is back on track with his 911 RSR - but had to give up his leading position.
Kévin Estre has to come to the garage with his 911 RSR No. 92 to repair it.
Motor sound at night.
Kévin Estre on the half-time standings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Pit stop at halftime for the Porsche customer team Gulf Racing: Thomas Preining out, Ben Barker in.
Lights in the night.
After eleven hours of racing Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor continue to lead the GTE Pro class in the 911 RSR with starting number 92.
The Porsche 911 RSR makes its laps in the night of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Driver changes in the four Porsche 911 RSR of the Porsche GT Team.
LeMans24 – Pit stop #Porsche #911RSR No. 91, No. 93, No. 94 and No. 92. Fuel, tyres and driver change. @RichardLietz, @PatrickPilet, @Sven_Mueller14 and @ChristensenMK out, @FredMako1, @earlbamber, @Olsen_Dennis and @VanthoorLaurens in. pic.twitter.com/1kkZxriVoL— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) June 15, 2019
Flight into the night: Impressions of the first race hours in the video.
After more than nine hours the 911 RSR No. 92 by Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor is still at the top of the GTE-Pro class.
The pit lane in Le Mans at night.
The standings in the GTE Am class after eight hours of racing.
As night is nearing in Le Mans, the teams are preparing for a race through the dark.
Seven hours are done. The 911 RSR No. 92 stays ahead of the class in first place.
Patrick Dempsey takes part in the action at Le Mans, too. Not as racing driver but as copartner of Dempsey Proton Racing.
After six hours of racing, here's a summary of what's happened so far.
The race is on again with the second start of the day in Le Mans.
The safety car is on the track – a 911 Turbo.
Porsche 911 RSR No. 92 is in the lead.
The GTE-pro class is tighter than ever before. Among the four leading vehicles are the 911 RSR No. 92 and 93.
Four and a half hours into the race, we have place 3, 4, 9 and 10 for the Porsche GT Team's four Porsche 911 RSR.
The 911 RSR No. 93 is in second place after four hours. Dempsey Proton Racing is still leading the GTE-Am class.
The leading cars on the Circuit des 24 Heures fight for every second. The 911 RSR No. 93 is in third place again.
Strong start for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: The four Porsche 911 RSR contesting the GTE-Pro class have made up several positions in the initial phase of the Le Mans 24-hour race. After the first 90 minutes of the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in France, the No. 93 Porsche 911 RSR lies in second place with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) at the wheel. The identical car with the starting number 92 driven by the world championship favourites Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) has moved up into third place during the starting phase.
Gianmaria Bruni has made up even more ground in the No. 91 sister car. Coming from 13th, the Italian is currently running in fourth place. Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet, who contests his first 24 Hours of Le Mans, has made up one position in the No. 94 Porsche.
In the GTE-Am class, last year’s winners Matt Campbell (Australia), Julien Andlauer (France) and Christian Ried (Germany) are on second place after the first two stints in the Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Dempsey-Proton Racing. The 911 run by Gulf Racing (No. 86) follows in third place. After 90 minutes of racing, the Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister ranks sixth in the Art Car campaigned by Project 1 (No. 56). The identical customer cars with the starting numbers 78 and 88 are currently catching up after incidents and unscheduled pit stops.
Comments on the start of the race in the press release (downloads).
Onboard with Richard Lietz in the 911 RSR No. 91.
After two hours, there's a close battle for the lead.
First impressions from the racetrack.
These are the current top 3 in the GTE-Am class.
We have the first intermediate results. After one hour, the Porsche 911 RSR No. 92 is in second place.
The race is underway and the Porsche GT team is doing fine.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 have begun.
#LeMans24 – Go, go, go! The 87th edition of @24hoursoflemans is underway. 24 hours of racing on the iconic 13.626-kilometre circuit. A total of nine #Porsche #911RSR are competing in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am categories. Keep your fingers crossed! pic.twitter.com/9pfkhhsjRl— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) June 15, 2019
A last view of the grid before the start of the race.
Delivery of the French national flag
Only a few minutes remain until the start of the 24 Heures.
With 30 minutes to go until the race, the Porsche GT Team is all about getting ready.
Jacky Ickx remembers
The motorsports legend likes coming back to Le Mans.
Best wishes from Timo Bernhard
Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard wishes the team good luck for the race.
Porsche GT Team is getting ready
In the pits, the technicians prepare the 911 RSR for the race.
Patrick Dempsey keeps his fingers crossed
Two hours ahead of the race, Patrick Dempsey, co-owner of Dempsey Racing, feels the special atmosphere at Le Mans.
Tony Parker visits Proton Racing
NBA superstar Tony Parker checked out Team 77's 911 RSR.
#LeMans24 - Famous guest for @PatrickDempsey and @ProtonRacing. @NBA superstar @tonyparker checked the #Porsche #911RSR No. 77 from @JAndlauer, @mattcampbell22_ and #ChristianRied pic.twitter.com/3fe95oZlhb— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) June 15, 2019
The drivers took part in the traditional parade in the Le Mans city centre.
Mark Webber at Le Mans
Mark Webber has landed in Le Mans and has his fingers crossed for the Porsche GT Team.
Porsche will head into the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the fourth grid spot. In the final two qualifying sessions prior to the last round of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC season in France, Nick Tandy clocked the fastest lap time of all Porsche drivers with 3:48.907 minutes. With this result, the British driver planted the 911 RSR with the starting number 93, which he shares with Patrick Pilet and Earl Bamber, on the second grid row.
In sunny conditions and temperatures of 21 degrees Celsius for the second qualifying session, only small improvements in times were possible. Only at the beginning of the third qualifying session in the evening, when the 13.626-kilometre racetrack offered more grip, could lap times be slashed. At this point, Tandy managed to leap ahead, while his colleagues in the sister cars were plagued by bad luck. Multiple caution phases, interruptions to the session and a dirty track surface in the second half of the final run hampered them from turning faster laps.
The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR, shared by the drivers’ championship leaders Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) with Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor, takes up the race from position seven. Their factory driver colleagues, Gianmaria Bruni from Italy, Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France), will tackle the world’s toughest endurance race from 13th on the grid in the No. 91 car. Works driver Sven Müller (Germany) and the Porsche Young Professionals Mathieu Jaminet from France and Dennis Olsen from Norway head into the race from position 15.
Pole position for No. 88 fielded by Dempsey Proton Racing
In the GTE-Am class, Porsche’s customer teams underlined their strong performance in the first qualifying with five 911 RSR cars in the top six. The No. 88 vehicle fielded by Dempsey Proton Racing takes up the Le Mans 24-hour race from pole position. Posting a time of 3:51.439 minutes, Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) sliced around a second off his top time from the previous day. Cairoli is joined in the cockpit of the 911 campaigned by the German customer squad by his compatriot Giorgio Roda and Satoshi Hoshino from Japan. Just 0.206 seconds behind, Matt Campbell (Australia) planted last year’s winning car with the starting number 77 on the second grid spot.
Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining (Austria) and Michael Wainwright and Ben Barker from Britain head into the FIA WEC season finale from P3 with Gulf Racing’s No. 86 car. Vincent Abril (France) and the Italian father/son duo Philippe and Louis Prette take up the race in the identical vehicle with the No. 78 from fifth. The Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Project 1 achieved position six. Works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) shares driving duties at the wheel of the No. 56 Art Car with Egidio Perfetti (Norway) and the American Patrick Lindsey. The No. 99 Porsche 911 campaigned by Dempsey Proton Racing will not contest this year’s 24-hour race after an accident in free practice on Wednesday.
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “In the GTE-Am class, we have three 911 RSR on the first three grid spots and five cars in the top six. Everything ran perfectly. We had less luck with our factory cars. We were constantly hampered by incidents and heavy traffic. Our cars are well prepared for the race. We’ll do better over the distance than in qualifying.”
Quotes of the drivers can be found in the press release.
1. Thiim/Sörensen/Turner (DK/DK/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:48.000 minutes
2. Priaulx/Tincknell/Bomarito (GB/GB/USA), Ford GT, + 0.112 seconds
3. Magnussen/Garcia/Rockenfeller (DK/E/D), Corvette C7.R, + 0.830 seconds
4. Pilet/Bamber/Tandy (F/NZ/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.907 seconds
7. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.196 seconds
13. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.921 seconds
15. Müller/Jaminet/Olsen (D/F/N), Porsche 911 RSR, + 2.278 seconds
1. Hoshino/Roda/Cairoli (J/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:51.439 minutes
2. Campbell/Ried/Andlauer (AUS/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.206 seconds
3. Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.505 seconds
5. Prette/Prette/Abril (I/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.995 seconds
6. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.311 seconds
Full results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com
GTE Qualifying 1
At the first qualifying for the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC in Le Mans (France), the Porsche GT Team has left a strong impression. In the GTE-Pro class, all four Porsche 911 RSR claimed a spot in the top six.
At the wheel of the 911, Nick Tandy achieved the second quickest lap time with 3:49.558 minutes in the two-hour qualifying session on the storied 13.626-kilometre racetrack. The British driver shares the No. 93 car with Patrick Pilet (France) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand).
The sister car driven by Porsche works drivers Gianmaria Bruni (Italy), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) wrapped up the night session on fourth place. Sven Müller (Germany) and the Porsche Young Professionals Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) clocked the fifth quickest time in their No. 94 911 RSR. The fourth Porsche works vehicle with the starting number 92, which is shared by last year’s winners Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), ended the first major showdown at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on sixth.
In temperatures of around 13 degrees Celsius, the Porsche customer teams delivered impressive performances. The Italian Matteo Cairoli was the fastest in the GTE-Am class at the wheel of Dempsey Proton Racing’s No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR. Second place was occupied by the crew of the championship leader, Project 1. The No. 77 car fielded by Dempsey Proton Racing rounded off this outstanding achievement with third place.
Comments on the 1st qualifying
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “We witnessed a great first qualifying. In the GTE-Pro class, our four cars were amongst the top six. In the GTE-Am class, the three Porsche 911 RSR locked out the first three positions after the first qualifying session. It was a very good first day, but tomorrow the lap times could even fall a bit more if it stays dry.”
Comments of the drivers can be found in the press release.
Result Qualifying 1
1. Priaulx/Tincknell/Bomarito (GB/GB/USA), Ford GT, 3:49.530 minutes
2. Pilet/Bamber/Tandy (F/NZ/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.028 seconds
3. Martin/Lynn/Adam (B/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage AMR, + 0.507 seconds
4. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.569 seconds
5. Müller/Jaminet/Olsen (D/F/N), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.748 seconds
6. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.938 seconds
1. Hoshino/Roda/Cairoli (J/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:52.454 minutes
2. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.296 seconds
3. Campbell/Ried/Andlauer (AUS/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.954 seconds
7. Prette/Prette/Abril (I/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.870 seconds
10. Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, + 2.579 seconds
Full results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is considered the most venerable long-distance event in the world. The first running of the race was in 1923 to showcase automotive innovation, durability and performance. The only years the classic was not contested in the city in north-western France was in 1936 (general strike in France) and between 1940 and 1948 (WWII and reconstruction). This year marks the 87th running of the Le Mans 24-hour race. On the afternoon of 15 June, 62 vehicles will head off into the race in four classes – the represents a record starting field on the 13.626-kilometre racetrack. The course is a combination of permanent racetrack (Circuit Bugatti) and public roads that are closed to traffic during the event. The famous Mulsanne straight – also known as Hunaudières – usually serves as the main route between Le Mans and Tours. The fast Porsche curves are famous and notorious. High speeds and narrow run-off zones guarantee extra thrills and spectacular racing.
The Porsche GT Team drivers
The 2018 winners, Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), join forces again in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR. The No. 91 sister car is driven by Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria) as well as Frédéric Makowiecki (France), who supported them at last year’s Le Mans endurance race. The two 911 from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be decked out in the livery of the highly successful North American team, Brumos Racing. Sharing the cockpit of the No. 93 car are Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Patrick Pilet (France). The youngest Porsche crew, Sven Müller (Germany) and the two Porsche Young Professionals Mathieu Jaminet (France) and Dennis Olsen (Norway), share the No. 94 cockpit. The Porsche GT Team from the U.S. endurance series recently won the three races at Sebring, Long Beach and Mid-Ohio.
With support from the American actor Patrick Dempsey, the Porsche customer team Proton Racing faces its largest undertaking by now at the Le Mans 24-hour race. The squad from the Swabian town of Ummendorf fields four Porsche 911 RSR. Sharing the wheel of the No. 77 car is team owner Christian Ried (Germany), Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia) and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer from France. In the No. 88 sister car, Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) joins forces with Satoshi Hoshino from Japan and the Italian Giorgio Roda. Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) shares the No. 99 cockpit with his compatriot Tracy Krohn and Niclas Jönsson (Sweden). Representing Proton Competition, the Italian father-son duo Louis and Philippe Prette as well Vincent Abril (France) compete in the No. 78 Porsche 911 RSR.
The Project 1 team fights for the title in the GTE-Am class with works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) as well as Patrick Lindsey (USA) and Egidio Perfetti (Norway). In their maiden season in the FIA WEC, the customer squad from Lohne in Germany heads to the final round at Le Mans leading the team and drivers’ classifications. Project 1 lines up on the grid with the No. 56 Porsche 911 RSR painted as an Art Car. The American pop art artist Richard Phillips created the distinctive design that was unveiled at the Le Mans pre-tests on 2 June. Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining (Austria) shares driving duties in Gulf Racing’s vehicle (No. 86) with the two British drivers Benjamin Barker and Michael Wainwright.
Porsche’s successes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Porsche is by far the most successful marque in the almost 100-year history of the long-distance race in France. The sports car manufacturer has notched up 19 overall victories and 107 class wins. Porsche drivers have set many records on the storied racetrack. Hans Herrmann (Germany) and Richard Attwood (Great Britain) achieved the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans at the wheel of a 917K. A year later, Helmut Marko (Austria) and Gijs van Lennep (Netherlands) set a distance record (5.335.31 kilometres) in an identical car that remained unbroken for 39 years. Prior to this, Britain’s Jackie Oliver posted a lap time of 3:13.600 minutes in the Porsche 917LH – an achievement that has yet to be matched in an official session. In 2018, Gianmaria Bruni set a new record for GT cars at Le Mans with a qualifying lap time of 3:47.504 minutes.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The latest Porsche 911 RSR celebrated its debut in the WEC Sports Car World Championship at Silverstone in 2017. In the current 2018/2019 Super Season, the racer from Weissach has clinched first and second in the GTE-Pro class at Le Mans as well as the GTE-Am category class win. The water-cooled four-litre boxer engine is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and produces around 510 hp depending on the restrictor. The works vehicles tackle the 2019 Le Man race decked out in special liveries. The two Porsche 911 RSR from the FIA WEC bear the world champion logo on the roof, with gold stripes to symbolise the title victory. The sister cars from North America will race in the same Brumos finish that was used at the first two races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season on the storied Daytona and Sebring racetracks.
The race on TV and in the Internet
The sports channel Eurosport broadcasts the free practice, qualifying sessions and the entire race live on its Eurosport 1 channel and as a live stream in Eurosport Player. The pay-TV streaming service Motorsport.TV also offers live footage of all sessions for a fee, as does the FIA WEC app. The German free-to-air station SPORT1 televises extensive highlights on Monday, June 17, from 8.30pm as well as in the Porsche GT Magazine on Wednesday, June 19, from 11pm. The pay-TV channel SPORT1+ will show a roundup of the race action on Monday, June 17, from 7.15pm.