06/15/2015

The day after Le Mans

The one-two finish for Porsche in Le Mans is still causing a stir – and not just among the victorious teams. The media is quite impressed as well.

The crossing of the finish line by the two 919 Hybrid race cars at the Circuit des 24 Heures yesterday, Sunday, June 14, marked an historic moment for Porsche. After an absence of 16 years, Porsche returned to Le Mans in 2014 – and just one year later, the brand triumphed with a first and second-place finish.

“This one-two finish in Le Mans 2015 is such a fabulous result we wouldn’t have dreamed of”, said Porsche AG Chairman Matthias Müller after the race. “The entire team has done a great job over the recent three or four years and well deserve this success.”, Wolfgang Hatz, Executive Board Member for Research and Development, said he viewed the double victory as “a reward for the courage our development engineers displayed with their 919 Hybrid concept, and for the tremendous effort made by the 230 employees involved in the project”. They have all evolved into a fantastic team over the last few years, according to Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1: “I have to thank this brilliant team. I know that a lot of people have virtually lived for this dream to come true and have pursued it with the greatest commitment.” Enzinger also said it would take a couple of days for the victory to truly sink in.

The drivers of the winning car have a similar feeling, as no one had really expected the rookie driving crew to capture first place – ...

... Including the media:

"This was a fantastic performance from the marque who returned to the race last year and have, regardless of the accepted wisdom that it takes three years to win at Le Mans, outperformed even their own expectation of just making the podium… The winning Porsche ultimately had both pace and was trouble-free, running flawlessly from third on the grid to the finish, with the early tyre advantage Audi held – able to quadruple-stint their tyres – negated when darkness fell and the cooler temperatures allowed their rivals to match them." Theguardian.com

"On his first Le Mans appearance, Hulkenberg delivered an almost faultless drive as the Porsche proved the surprise package of the iconic race, running the most reliably as all eight Porsche, Audi and Toyota LMP1 cars finished." Eurosport.com

"The Porsche’s showed big speed in the days leading up to the race and qualified one, two, three. The question surrounding the 919s once the race started concerned durability and Audi’s experience in the paddocks and on the track. But it was Audi that suffered most from mechanical problems and driver mistakes." Racintoday.com

"It was a terrific race for the German manufacturer, who also claimed second place, with former F1 driver Mark Webber steering home the number 17 car alongside Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard." Sydney Morning Herald Online

“It came following a fast and rather surprisingly reliable run for the second-year LMP1 factory squad, with its third entry, featuring two Le Mans rookies, holding control from the ninth hour. An impressive overnight stint by Tandy, who increased the gap to the Nos. 7 and 9 Audi R18 e-tron quattros, helped solidify their lead prior to both of the diesel-powered cars hitting trouble at daybreak.” Foxsports.com

“With the #19 Porsche proving both fast and bulletproof, it would steadily capitalise to ease out into a lead that would take it all the way to the chequered flag almost entirely flat-out 395 laps.” Crash.net

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