Closing words: Pascal Zurlinden sums up the 24 hours and the result achieved by Porsche.
This was the 2020 @24hoursoflemans. Pascal Zurlinden sums up the action and the result achieved by #Porsche. The race at a glance: https://t.co/3AEonXiAVd #LeMans24 @PorscheRaces pic.twitter.com/NXWc74Fzh1— Porsche Newsroom (@PorscheNewsroom) September 20, 2020
Dempsey Proton Racing's Matt Campbell, Christian Ried, and Riccardo Pera claimed second place in the GTE-Am class with their #77 Porsche 911 RSR.
#LeMans24 - P2 for #Porsche customer team @PatrickDempsey @ProtonRacing in GTE Am category @FIAWEC @24hoursoflemans with @mattcampbell22_ #ChristianRied and #RicardoPera. @matteo_cairoli @LarrytenVoorde @EgidioEgidioap finished 4th for @Project1_93. @Gulf_Racing on P5 pic.twitter.com/IKqhgQkApb— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 20, 2020
Chequered flag: fifth and sixth for the two Porsche 911 RSRs contesting the GTE-Pro category.
Tight race in the GTE-Am class.
Exclusive interview: we spoke to Porsche works driver Richard Lietz during the final hour of the race.
Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an
We caught up with Porsche works driver @richardlietz911 in the final hour of the race. Here’s what he says. More information about #LeMans24: newsroom.porsche.com #porsche #porschenews #porschenewsroom #911rsr #lemans #lemans24hour #fiawec #motorsport #racing #racingislife #behindthescenes #instacar #car #sportscar #racecar #racetrack #sport #sports #adrenaline #porscheraces #porschemotorsport #tyres #porschelife #porschepix #endurance
In the final part of Bernhard Demmer’s behind-the-scenes series, he introduces us to Adam Hardy, race engineer at Manthey Racing, who’s responsible for the 911 RSR #92.
The 911 RSR No. 99 is in the garage for repair work now after an accident.
The FIA WEC aerial camera caught the 911 RSR on track.
Just an hour and a half to go at Le Mans – how will our Porsche 911 RSR racers fare at the finish? The latest news and images from La Sarthe, via Instagram.
Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an
One and a half hours to go at #LeMans24. Who is watching the final stages of the race? More information about #LeMans24: newsroom.porsche.com #porsche #porschenews #porschenewsroom #911rsr #lemans #lemans24hour #fiawec #motorsport #racing #racingislife #behindthescenes #instacar #car #sportscar #racecar #racetrack #sport #sports #adrenaline #porscheraces #porschemotorsport #tyres #porschelife #porschepix #endurance
Next stop on our behind the scenes tour with Bernhard Demmer. He's now visiting the pit garage and refuelling rig.
Currently Porsche is placed sixth and seventh with the two Porsche 911 RSR that are contesting the GTE-Pro class.
#LeMans24 - @24hoursoflemans standings with 3:00 hours to go: No. 91 #Porsche #911RSR in P6, sister car No. 92 in P7. In GTE-Am class, the No. 77 from @PatrickDempsey @ProtonRacing ranks second, No. 56 @Project1_93 follows in P3 pic.twitter.com/kHPxNGWtUz— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 20, 2020
#57 911 RSR in the pits.
#LeMans24 – Sometimes it's easier to change the whole door than a side mirror. A matter of 10 seconds for the @Project1_93 pit crew of No.57 #Porsche #911RSR, executed with no time loss during routine stop @FIAWEC @24hoursoflemans pic.twitter.com/w2Jl7260gv— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 20, 2020
Current update for the GTE-Am category.
Hollywood star Michael Fassbender was the guest driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Le Mans race. We caught up with him to find out more about his personal road to Le Mans.
The Porsche customer team Dempsey-Proton Racing is on course for a GTE-Am podium result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After three-quarters of the race distance, works driver Matt Campbell from Australia, team owner Christian Ried from Germany and the Italian Riccardo Pera are currently running in second place with the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR. After numerous setbacks, the Porsche factory squad has no chance of success in the fiercely competitive GTE-Pro class.
Five hours into the race, a power steering defect cost the Porsche 911 RSR shared by the works drivers Michael Christensen from Denmark, Kévin Estre from France and Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor 10 laps. Then, the sister car suffered technical problems. At around 6am on Sunday morning, the No. 91 vehicle had to pit for around 20 minutes for repairs to the electrical system. Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and his teammates Richard Lietz from Austria and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki are in sixth place after a long pit stop, with the No. 92 running seventh.
In the GTE-Am class, Dempsey-Proton Racing is within striking distance of the leading vehicle thanks to a clean and consistent performance. The 2018-winning car driven by team owner Christian Ried, works driver Matt Campbell and Riccardo Pera is currently running in second place, approximately one lap behind the leader. With six hours remaining, the No. 56 RSR fielded by the Project 1 team is in fourth place and still has a realistic chance to finish on the podium.
You can find comments on the race in the press release.
Ranking of the GTE-Am class.
#LeMans24 - Let's have a look into the GTE Am class with 6 hours to go for the customer #Porsche #911RSR @24hoursoflemans:— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 20, 2020
🅿️2⃣ car #77 @PatrickDempsey @ProtonRacing
🅿️4⃣ car #56 @Project1_93
🅿️5⃣ car #86 @Gulf_Racing pic.twitter.com/sOydXNX4ky
The current ranking.
Pascal Zurlinden sums up the latest news from Le Mans.
GTE-Am class standings after 18 hours.
Ben Barker is driving the Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR at Le Mans. We caught up with him on Friday when he told us about how his racing career has progressed at Porsche.
Another unscheduled pit stop for the 911 RSR #91, this time due to an electrical problem.
Unscheduled pit stop for the 911 RSR #91 due to a power steering issue.
Pit stop for the Porsche 911 RSR #91.
Behind the Scenes: next, Bernhard Demmer takes us to see “Juan, the Damper Guy“. Juan Verpoorten is the Porsche expert at the track for all things concerning dampers – a key aspect in terms of performance.
Standings in GTE-Pro category after 12 hours.
#LeMans24 – @24hoursoflemans standings in GTE-Pro after 12 hours: #Porsche #911RSR No. 91 @GianmarinaBruni P5, No. 92 @kevinestre P8.— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 20, 2020
GTE-Am: car No. 56 of @Project1_93 on P4, No. 77 of @PatrickDempsey @ProtonRacing is 5th followed by @Gulf_Racing No. 86 on P6 @FIAWEC pic.twitter.com/Glkr15sGOs
Half of the race is done.
If you ever wanted to see a 911 RSR from the inside, here is your chance: ahead of the race, Kévin Estre talked us through the switches, knobs, screens and buttons of his Porsche 911 RSR.
GTE-Pro category standings after eight hours.
#LeMans24 - @24hoursoflemans GTE-Pro category standings after 8:00 hours: No. 91 #Porsche #911RSR in P7, sister car No. 92 in P8. In GTE-Am class, the No. 56 car of customer team @Project1_93 currently ranks 4th, No. 77 of @PatrickDempsey@ProtonRacing is 5th @FIAWEC pic.twitter.com/OItD449aBt— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 19, 2020
Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport, is live at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he reflects on the first hours of the race.
The Porsche GT Team has just one iron left in the fire in the intensive GTE-Pro-class fight at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After the first six hours of racing, the Porsche 911 RSR (No. 91) driven by works drivers Gianmaria Bruni from Italy, Richard Lietz from Austria and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki is running in sixth place. A defect in the power steering cost the No. 92 sister car shared by Michael Christensen from Denmark, Kévin Estre from France and Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor over half an hour.
Bruni had taken up the 88th edition of the famous French endurance classic from pole position in the number 91 car. After just a few laps, however, it became clear that the rivals had not fully shown the potential of their cars in the practice sessions and qualifying. The Porsche 911 RSR lacked top speed to match the pace of the competition on the long straights. Moreover, the heavy traffic often prevented the Porsche drivers from taking full advantage of the better speed in the fast corners. After around 40 minutes, the pole-setting car served a five-second penalty at its first pit stop. Unfazed, Lietz managed to remain within striking distance of the frontrunner during his stints. After six hours, the gap to the leading GTE-Pro car is around one lap.
Bad luck plagued the No. 92 sister car. An early puncture forced Estre to pit early. Christensen then underlined the strengths of the 911 RSR and stayed within reach of the leading group at all times. In the fifth hour of racing, his teammate reported a problem with the power steering. Two pit stops for repairs cost the crew 40 minutes and they lost contact to all other GTE-Pro cars.
The race in the GTE-Am category
In the GTE-Am category, the number 56 car fielded by the Project 1 customer squad set the pace over long stretches. The young Dutchman Larry ten Voorde put in a particularly spirited drive at the wheel of the 911 RSR, which runs in last year’s spec. The newly crowned champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, who had won the morning’s Porsche Carrera Cup race on the 13.6-kilometre racetrack, eked out a considerable gap, which was eventually lost due to two penalties. After the first quarter of the race, the best-placed 911 in the amateur class ranks sixth.
The Dempsey-Proton Racing crew, with Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining from Austria and his teammates Adrien de Leener from Belgium and Dominique Bastien from the USA, experienced bad luck. In the early phase of the race, the No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR spent about two hours standing at the side of the track after an incident and subsequently remained in the pits for lengthy repairs. Although the vehicle is running far behind, it is still in the public eye – by starting his first stint at the age of 74, the French-born Bastien is the oldest driver ever to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The No. 92 is back on track again with Kévin Estre.
The sun is setting, but the tension continues to rise.
Currently only the Porsche 911 RSR #91 is on the track, with a pit stop for the sister car.
The race track is a little busy now, but just a few days ago the drivers were exploring the circuit by bike. Michael Christensen takes us for a ride.
The race is now in full swing. Impressions from the racetrack:
Pit stop with the Porsche 911 RSR #91.
Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the tyre team at Le Mans, as Bernhard meets Andre and Max for another part of the Behind the Scenes series. The duo share details about their critical roles in the upcoming race – and why the pressure is literally down to them.
Onboard with the Porsche 911 RSR #92.
Right now Gianmaria Bruni is on track in #91. Before the action kicked off he gave us a tour of his "office".
Bad luck for the 911 RSR #88.
#LeMans24 - Very bad luck for the crew of No. 88 #Porsche #911RSR from customer team @PatrickDempsey @ProtonRacing. After an early incident in turn 2, the 2020 @24hoursoflemans is over after only 24 minutes pic.twitter.com/L1GYLloxiI— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 19, 2020
Green light! Le Mans 2020 has started.
A symbol for the last three overall victories
An exhibit from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen arrives in France: Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport at Porsche, handed over a 919 Hybrid mock-up to the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), Pierre Fillon. The presentation took place on the start and finishing straight before the official start of the 88th edition of the endurance classic.
Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an
An exhibit from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen arrives in France: today Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport at Porsche, handed over a 919 Hybrid mock-up to the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Pierre Fillon. More at newsroom.porsche.com // article: Porsche hands over 919 Hybrid mock-up to French automobile club #porsche #porschenews #porschenewsroom #lemans24 #lemans #lemans24hour #lm24 #919hybrid #fiawec #motorsport #racing #racingislife #behindthescenes #instacar #car #sportscar #racecar #racetrack #sport #sports #adrenaline #porscheraces #porschemotorsport #tyres #porschelife #porschefamily #porschepix #endurance
The team on the grid
Time for some team photos before the race.
Kèvin Estre will be today's starting driver for the 911 RSR No. 92, while Gianmaria Bruni will be the first on the track driving the No.91 sister car.
The countdown is running
Preparations are entering the final phases. Only one hour left until the start of the race.
As the start of the race is approaching, Mark Webber is reminiscing.
All things gearbox-related
For the next Behind the Scenes tour, Bernhard introduces Tobi Beller – the man in charge of all things gearbox-related.
The warm-up has started.
Behind the scenes
WEC team director Bernhard Demmer takes us where the cameras don't usually go. In the Behind the Scenes series he gives a glimpse of Porsche's preparations for Le Mans 2020.
It's race day. The most traditional endurance race in the world starts at 2:30 pm (CEST).
This is the programme:
Michael Christensen from Denmark qualified the No. 92 sister car in sixth. In the GTE-Am category, works pilot Matt Campbell was the fastest Porsche driver. The Australian claimed the second grid spot in his class with the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Dempsey-Proton Racing. He was only 0.056 seconds off the best time.
In the new 30-minute shootout for the best grid positions, the two Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the factory squad immediately attacked at the start. Bruni promptly turned in the fastest lap, although his time was cancelled due to him leaving the track at the Porsche Curves. The Italian, who had set a lap record for GTE vehicles in 2018, did not let the stewards’ decision deter him. In his second flying lap, Bruni immediately beat his previous time. Teammate Christensen, however, encountered traffic and was unable to improve on his time during his final attempt towards the end of the session.
In the GTE-Am class, the young factory driver Matt Campbell planted last year’s spec Porsche 911 RSR in second place with a time of 3:51.322 minutes. At the wheel of Dempsey-Proton Racing’s No. 77 car, the Australian was, impressively, faster in the Hyperpole session than half of the GTE-Pro field. Italy’s Matteo Cairoli claimed the third grid spot in the identical No. 56 car run by the Project 1 team. Benjamin Barker from Great Britain posted the sixth quickest time in the 911 RSR fielded by Gulf Racing (No. 86).
#LeMans24 - The #PorscheGTTeam will take up the @24hoursoflemans from pole in GTE-Pro class. In today’s Hyperpole, @GianmariaBruni turned the fastest lap at the wheel of No. 91 #Porsche #911RSR in 3:50.874 minutes— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 18, 2020
Further informations and free downloads⬇️https://t.co/xHzTYPQeH6
Comments on the Hyperpole
Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Motorsport): “That was a great qualifying. We’ve achieved pole position in the fiercely competitive GTE-Pro class – with a car that has never competed on this track before. Congratulations to our customer teams. Second and third on the grid in the GTE-Am category is a tremendous result. Thanks to the team’s great work, we’re now perfectly prepared for the race. The weather forecast predicts rain. I’m sure that it’ll be an exciting and spectacular competition over 24 hours.”
Alexander Stehlig (Head of Operations FIA WEC): “Pole position at Le Mans! What a fantastic debut for the Porsche 911 RSR-19 on this special racetrack. We learned a lot with every lap. Between the sessions and during the short night we analysed all the details and made precisely the right conclusions. I’d like to thank all of our drivers, engineers and mechanics. Everyone pulled together and made sure that our car is now very well sorted for the upcoming 24-hour race.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “After initial difficulties in the first practice, we completely changed the setup of our car – with success! Our 911 RSR is now significantly easier to drive. That became obvious in the qualifying and the Hyperpole. I didn’t make any mistakes in my flying lap and now I’m on pole with my teammates Richard and Fred. It’s a fantastic result for Porsche. Now we want to be just as successful in the race.”
Further comments to the hyperpole you can find in the press release.
1. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:50.874 minutes
2. Calado/Pier Guidi/Serra (GB/I/BR), Ferrari 488 GTE, 3:51.115 minutes
3. Sörensen/Thiim/Westbrook (DK/DK/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:51.241 minutes
4. Lynn/Martin/Tincknell (GB/B/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:51.324 minutes
5. Rigon/Molina/Bird (I/E/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE, 3:51.515 minutes
6. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:51.770 minutes
1. Ledogar/Negri Jr./Piovanetti (F/USA/E), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 3:51.266 minutes
2. Campbell/Ried/Pera (AUS/D/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:51.322 minutes
3. Perfetti/ten Voorde/Cairoli (N/NL/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:51.647 minutes
4. Gunn/Dalla Lana/Farfus (GB/CDN/BR), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:52.105 minutes
5. Yoluc/Eastwood/Adam (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:52.299 minutes
6. Wainwright/Barker/Watson (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:52.346 minutes
Full results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com
The Porsche GT Team has qualified for Hyperpole, the final qualifying session at Le Mans, with the two 911 RSR. The six fastest cars from each of the four classes take part in this decisive shootout for the best grid spots on Friday. In the 45-minute qualifying session, the Italian Gianmaria Bruni clocked the fifth-fastest lap time in the GTE-Pro class at the wheel of the No. 91 car. His works driver colleague Michael Christensen from Denmark turned in the sixth quickest lap in the identical No. 92 sister car. In the GTE-Am category, three Porsche 911 RSR made it into the new Hyperpole qualifying session.
With an air temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and a track surface reaching almost 50 degrees, Bruni and Christensen opted for an early attack. Clocking a time of 3:52.036 minutes, the experienced Italian, who had set a qualifying lap record for GTE vehicles at Le Mans in 2018, initially achieved third place. Christensen lost valuable time in heavy traffic – there were 57 cars on the 13.626-kilometre circuit – and slotted into fourth place, around a tenth of a second behind his teammate. When both Porsche 911 RSR launched a final attack shortly before the end of the session, neither Bruni nor Christensen managed to get a free run. Two rivals, however, improved their times and the two works cars from Weissach were relegated to fifth and sixth.
In the GTE-Am class, three Porsche 911 RSR in last year’s specification will join the Hyperpole field on Friday. Britain’s Benjamin Barker set the third quickest time with the No. 86 entry of Gulf Racing. Works driver Matt Campbell from Australia was fifth in the No. 77 car fielded by Dempsey-Proton Racing. The Italian Matteo Cairoli secured sixth in the No. 56 car of last year’s winning team Project 1.
The new Hyperpole at Le Mans, which determines the final grid allocation of the six fastest cars per class, is held on Friday, 18 September, at 11:30 am. Prior to this, a total of 59 cars will take part in another free practice from 10:00 until 11:00 am. The 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans gets underway on Saturday, 19 September, at 2:30 pm.
Alexander Stehlig (Head of Operations FIA WEC): “We had a lot of work to do today. The setup that we’d worked out in advance didn’t really work at first. We made many changes so that the drivers could get more comfortable with the handling of the car. Things went significantly better in the second practice session. We made it into the Hyperpole, but we have to do better because we don’t want to start from fifth and sixth, we have to move up at least one more grid row.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “I managed two clean laps. However, the vehicle balance was noticeably better at my first attempt that at the end of the session, so I didn’t manage to improve. This is our first time at Le Mans with the latest Porsche 911 RSR. Our setup is not yet optimal. We’ll look at the data and make improvements to the car for the upcoming sessions.”
Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “We’re in the Hyperpole – that was our aim. Unfortunately, the gap to the fastest in the qualifying is much larger than we expected. We urgently need to work on that. Still, I see a lot more potential in the car, which we now need to tap into. I’m confident we’ll manage this.”
1. Sörensen/Thiim/Westbrook (DK/DK/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:50.872 minutes
2. Lynn/Martin/Tincknell (GB/B/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.053 seconds
3. Calado/Pier Guidi/Serra (GB/I/BR), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 0.372 seconds
4. Rigon/Molina/Bird (I/E/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 1.116 seconds
5. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.164 seconds
6. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.270 seconds
7. MacNeil/Vilander/Segal (USA/FIN/USA), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 1.636 seconds
8. Pla/Bourdais/Gounon (F/F/F), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 1.877 seconds
1. Gunn/Dalla Lana/Farfus (GB/CDN/BR), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:52.778 minutes
2. Yoluc/Eastwood/Adam (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.183 seconds
3. Wainwright/Barker/Watson (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.192 seconds
5. Campbell/Ried/Pera (AUS/D/I), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.556 seconds
6. Perfetti/ten Voorde/Cairoli (N/NL/I), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.820 seconds
8. Inthraphuvasak/Legeret/Andlauer (T/F/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.892 seconds
9. Keating/Fraga/Bleekemolen (USA/BR/NL), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.060 seconds
11. Preining/Bastien/de Leener (A/USA/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.503 seconds
17. Felbermayr/Beretta/v. Splunteren (A/I/NL), Porsche 911 RSR, + 3.697 seconds
21. Brooks/Piguet/Laskaratos (F/F/GR), Porsche 911 RSR, + 7.913 seconds
On September 19th and 20th, Porsche will take on the challenge of the Le Mans endurance classic with vehicles finished in special liveries. The two 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team tackle the hotly contested GTE-Pro class featuring red-white and black-white liveries – to commemorate the first of 19 overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 50 years ago.
With crisp lines, the special colours of the foil wrap resemble the digital RSR that successfully contested the virtual Le Mans race on 13-14 June. The two factory cars will carry the lettering “1970” on the front bonnet and the roof. In that year, Britain’s Richard Attwood and Hans Herrmann from Germany clinched the first overall victory at Le Mans for the sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart at the wheel of the legendary Porsche 917. On that occasion, the vehicle fielded by Porsche KG Salzburg flew the national colours of Austria. The No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR will race with the very same red-and-white paintwork. On the No. 92 sister car, black replaces the red. Of the ten 911 racing cars to line up on the grid, eight 911 RSR are campaigned by customer teams in the GTE-Am class.
The special liveries of the 911 RSR in Le Mans
Every year, the race on the 13.626-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures is the highlight of the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Contrary to the original plan, the classic enduro, which was held for the first time in 1923, was deferred to September due to the coronavirus pandemic. The three-month postponement means different weather and light conditions. The latest generation 911 RSR runs for the first time at the world’s greatest long-distance race. The cancellation of the important pretest throws a special challenge at the Porsche GT Team, because testing is not possible on the Circuit des 24 Heures: most of the legendary racetrack to the south of the city (pop. 150,000) consists of public roads. When the race isn’t running, hundreds of trucks and cars drive over the famous Mulsanne straight on their way from Le Mans to Tours, leading to treacherous ruts and special challenges, especially in the rain.
The Porsche drivers
The regular WEC drivers Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and Austria’s Richard Lietz share the wheel of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR. Like last year, they will receive support from Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki. In 2018 and 2019, the experienced trio achieved second place in the GTE-Pro class. In the identical sister car sporting the starting number 92, the reigning World Endurance Champions Michael Christensen from Denmark and Kévin Estre from France are reinforced by Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor, the defending titleholder of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Two years ago, the three drivers brought home a commanding class victory at Le Mans with the 911 RSR decked out in the legendary Pink Pig design. At the 24-hour race in the northwest of France, the WEC awards double points for the individual categories. In the manufacturers’ classification, the Porsche GT Team ranks second after six of eight rounds. The reigning champions Estre/Christensen also sit second in the drivers’ category, with their team colleagues Bruni/Lietz currently in fifth place.
The Porsche customer teams
In the GTE-Am class, three experienced customer squads field a total of eight 2017-spec Porsche 911 RSR. In the cockpit of the No. 56 entry, last year’s Le Mans class-winning Project 1 team put their title defence in Egidio Perfetti from Norway, the newly crowned champion from Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Larry ten Voorde from the Netherlands and Italy’s Matteo Cairoli. The No. 57 sister car is shared by the American Ben Keating, Felipe Fraga from Brazil and Jeroen Bleekemolen from the Netherlands. The team from Lohne in Germany’s Lower Saxony will announce the driver line-up for the No. 89 car at a later date. In the No. 86 entry, Gulf Racing relies on the all-British crew of Benjamin Barker, Michael Wainwright and Andrew Watson.
Dempsey-Proton Racing fields four Porsche 911 RSR at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team owner Christian Ried (Germany) shares driving duties in the No. 77 vehicle with the Australian Porsche works driver Matt Campbell and Riccardo Pera from Italy. Manning the No. 88 sister car is the Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining from Austria, America’s Dominique Bastien and Adrien de Leener from Belgium. Proton Competition campaign the No. 78 car with drivers Horst Felbermayr Jnr. from Austria, Porsche Supercup rookie champion Max van Splunteren from the Netherlands and Michele Beretta from Italy. In the 99 entry, Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak from Thailand joins forces with the Belgian Lucas Légeret and Julien Piguet from France.
The schedule (all times CEST)
Thursday, 17 September
10:00 am – 01:00 pm: Free practice
02:00 pm – 05:00 pm: Free practice
05:15 pm – 06:00 pm: Qualifying
08:00 pm – midnight: Free practice
Friday, 18 September
10:00 am – 11:00 am: Free practice
11:30 am – 12:00 am: Hyperpole
Saturday, 19 September
10:30 am – 10:45 am: Warm-up
02:30 pm: Start of the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans
Sunday, 20 September
02:30 pm: Finish of the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans
Digital news and background reports on the real race action
The coronavirus situation has had a significant influence on this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 88th edition of the world’s most famous endurance race was postponed to 19/20 September and will be contested without fans at the racetrack. Journalists must also come to terms with drastically changed working conditions. Direct contact between members of the media and the Porsche GT Team as well as Porsche customer teams at the track is extremely limited.
In order to offer a direct and comprehensive flow of information as well as opportunities to speak with the works drivers of the 911 RSR and the team management under these conditions, Porsche has initiated a variety of communication channels at Le Mans. These mediums include virtual ‘Meet the Team’ events prior to the start and regular interview sessions during the race via the video conference platform Zoom. The planned meeting times are currently:
Wednesday, 16 Sept., 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Meet the Team (all drivers and management)
Thursday, 17 Sept., ca. 8:30 pm: Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport)
Friday, 18 Sept., 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Meet the Team (all drivers and management)
Sunday, 20 Sept., 5:00 pm: Alexander Stehlig (Head of Operations FIA WEC)
Further interview times with the drivers and Pascal Zurlinden can be scheduled during the race with advance notice of between 30 and 60 minutes. To be included in the invitation distribution list, simply send an email to email@example.com.
A new addition is the Motorsport Media Microsite. This microsite offers news and background reports about the Porsche GT Team as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans – including the latest press releases, drivers’ background stories, a review of the 50-year anniversary of Porsche’s very first outright win at Le Mans, as well as the virtual edition of the long-distance race in June. The microsite will be regularly updated and supplemented with new content. In addition to download functions for images and videos, this site also offers recordings of the individual Zoom conferences and interviews.
The Twitter account @PorscheRaces an also be accessed via the Motorsport Media Microsite. This account provides information almost in real-time on the racetrack with facts, photos and short videos. Whether it is about a driver change, tyre choice or reasons for delays: @PorscheRaces is the fastest and most reliable source for journalists and fans. Quotes and press releases are also posted here. Moreover, the channel shares tweets from the Porsche GT works drivers.
Porsche Newsroom offers the latest news as well as background reports, and covers the entire Porsche multimedia world. From here, journalists, bloggers and the online community can download press releases, photos and videos – without logging in. The associated Instagram account porsche_newsroom supplements the service with exclusive photos.
Video content from Porsche can be found on Vimeo. Porsche Newsroom also updates its own Vimeo channel (named Porsche AG), providing the latest video news from the racetracks: the direct link: www.vimeo.com/porschenewsroom. An image and film archive as well as press information can be found on the Porsche Press database. Journalists and bloggers can register to receive press releases automatically on: press.porsche.com. Press releases, photos and videos can also be accessed without logging in.
From Formula E to GT factory and customer racing as well as Porsche’s own one-make cup series such as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, through to the virtual Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup: an overview of the sports car manufacturer’s range of racing activities is available on the Porsche Motorsport Hub. This is easy to access via motorsports.porsche.com. This content can also be accessed easily on http://www.porsche.com, http://www.facebook.com/porsche and http://www.youtube.com/user/Porsche.
TV broadcasts and live-streaming of the event
Although spectators are not permitted to travel to the 88th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, fans can watch the long-distance classic on numerous channels. Eurosport broadcasts the entire event on the Circuit des 24 Heures across almost all of Europe. In Germany, the station airs the first two free practice sessions as well as the qualifying session on Eurosport 2. All other sessions and the entire race can be seen on Eurosport 1. The organiser ACO and the WEC offer live streams from the 24-hour race via their official apps. The free TV channel Sport 1 televises the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, which is run as a support race to the event, live on Saturday, 19 September, from 9:15 am.
#LeMans24 - The postponement of @24hoursoflemans also has wide-reaching consequences for #Porsche. This includes changes to the schedule, cancellation of the test day, different weather conditions and much more.— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 9, 2020
Further information and free downloads ⬇️https://t.co/grZcUEWZLA
Comments before the race
Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Motorsport): “I’m delighted that the 24 Hours of Le Mans can be held during the coronavirus pandemic – despite the very challenging conditions. I would like to thank the ACO and WEC management who worked alongside the authorities, manufacturers and teams to make this happen. In June, we gave our fans a great show with the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now the real race has arrived. I’m positive that we’ll provide our loyal fans with another exciting event – and I hope that the thousands of spectators can return to the racetrack next year.”
Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “Le Mans will be completely different this year because of the lack of spectators and the heavily modified schedule. Still, I’m expecting a fantastic highlight for the fans. This year’s event is hugely significant for Porsche. Fifty years ago, Porsche’s winning streak began with the first outright victory for the 917. We commemorate that triumph with spectacular vehicle designs. Our sporting aim is clear: After our win at the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, we now set our sights on claiming Porsche’s 109th class victory with the real 911 RSR.”
Alexander Stehlig (Head of Operations FIA WEC): “We’re competing under completely different circumstances. The climatic conditions in September are different compared to June. There are still some unknowns in terms of weather, temperatures, performance and tyres. We’ll use the existing data from our WEC and IMSA campaigns as well as the insights gained from testing so that we can hopefully be well sorted for the first free practice session. We’re competing for the first time with the Porsche 911 RSR-19 here. It’s not only new for us, but also for the ACO, which handles the BoP. We have complete confidence in the expertise and experience of the specialists. Remaining unchanged, however, are the two driver trios in the cockpits. This will be their third year of working together at Le Mans. That’s a strength we will build on.”
Further comments before the race you can find in the press release.
#LeMans24 - New lap record and a dominant victory of @MrDerekBell and Jacky Ickx back in 1981. After 24 hours, the winning #Porsche 936 had a gap of more than 180 kilometres to P2. It was Porsche's sixth overall victory at la Sarthe #PorscheMuseum pic.twitter.com/E5rOWQ2M9d— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) September 14, 2020
Porsche’s outright Le Mans victories
1970 – Herrmann (D) / Attwood (GB) – Porsche 917 KH
1971 – Marko (A) / Van Lennep (NL) – Porsche 917 KH
1976 – Ickx (B) / Van Lennep (NL) – Porsche 936
1977 – Ickx (B) / Haywood (USA) / Barth (D) – Porsche 936/77
1979 – Ludwig (D) / Whittington (USA) / Whittington (USA) – Porsche 935 K3
1981 – Ickx (B) / Bell (GB) – Porsche 936
1982 – Ickx (B) / Bell (GB) – Porsche 956
1983 – Schuppan (AUS) / Haywood (USA) / Holbert (USA) – Porsche 956
1984 – Pescarolo (F) / Ludwig (D) – Porsche 956
1985 – Barilla (I) / Ludwig (D) / Krages (D) – Porsche 956
1986 – Bell (GB) / Stuck (D) / Holbert (USA) – Porsche 962C
1987 – Bell (GB) / Stuck (D) / Holbert (USA) – Porsche 962C
1994 – Dalmas (F) / Haywood (USA) / Baldi (I) – Dauer Porsche 962 LM
1996 – Wurz (A) / Reuter (D) / Jones (USA) – TWR Porsche WSC-95
1997 – Kristensen (DK) / Alboreto (I) / Johansson (S) – TWR Porsche WSC-95
1998 – Aiello (F) / McNish (GB) / Ortelli (F) – Porsche 911 GT1
2015 – Bamber (NZ) / Tandy (GB) / Hülkenberg (D) – Porsche 919 Hybrid
2016 – Jani (CH) / Lieb (D) / Dumas (F) – Porsche 919 Hybrid
2017 – Bernhard (D) / Hartley (NZ) / Bamber (NZ) – Porsche 919 Hybrid