24 hours that mean the world - Part 4

Le Mans is a myth. It’s where Porsche has celebrated legendary victories. A history lesson with 24 facts about the craziest and most merciless 24 hours in the world.

Fact 19

Seven in a row: In 1981, only prototypes of the 944 were supposed to be tested. But the management board required an overall win. That’s why the 936 was dusted off and – thanks to new rules – equipped with a 2.65-liter twin-turbo taken from the Indy car. Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell win with a lead of 14 laps. It’s the start of a series with seven wins in a row. Unparalleled until the present day, not by any other manufacturer. 

Prototype Porsche 944 in Le Mans, 1981 (Foto: Studio Orel)

Fact 20

Nobody’s perfect. That’s what it said on the winning poster of 1983. Nine Porsche 956s managed to be among the top ten finishers in the overall ranking. Just one disrupted the image. A BMW Sauber took 9th place. 

Porsche 956, 1983 (Foto: Studio Orel)

Fact 21

3:14.80 minutes. Only one driver has ever managed to go this fast in Le Mans. Hans-Joachim Stuck still holds the lap record with the fastest lap ever driven in 1985. He pushed his Porsche 962 at an average speed of 157 mph around the track. 

Fact 22

Since 1951, a Porsche has been part of it every year, 63 and counting: 753 Porsches + 10 in the year 2014. Unrivalled record. 

Fact 23

Only one car maker has its own curve at Le Mans: Porsche. In 1972 it was used to avoid the fast and dangerous Maison Blanche section. 

Fact 24

In the present time, Porsche is innovative again: The 919 Hybrid is the first Porsche with two energy recuperation systems. It first recuperates from braking energy and a second system generates energy from excess charging pressure. This makes the 2014 LMP1 prototype the first Porsche to produce energy while accelerating as well. 


First published in "rampclassics", issue 4

photos: Studio Orel

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