The race is over. Porsche has achieved its 19th overall Le Mans victory at the 85th running of the 24-hour race. Drivers Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) brought home the Porsche 919 Hybrid in first place after a race full of drama. No other brand has managed to win the world’s toughest endurance race so many times and is connected that closely to the myth of Le Mans as Porsche.
Find the final race report with quotes here.
For over ten hours the Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani (CH), André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB) led the Le Mans 24-Hours. Then this year’s race saw another of its many victims: Shortly after 11am, Lotterer stopped on track in the high noon heat with a lead of 13 laps. At the same time the drivers of the sister Porsche, Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) continue to make up places. After a long stop for repairs early on Saturday evening, they have recovered from last to second position.
How the race goes for car number 1 since 6 hrs:
At 5.53am (end of lap 233), Neel Jani takes over the leading 919 Hybrid. After 248 and 261 laps he refuels. Nick Tandy gets behind the wheel of the leading car on fresh tyres after 275 laps at 8:38am. He refuels after 287 and again after 300 laps. At 10:51am (lap 313 completed), André Lotterer is back in the car. At 11:09am he radios “low oil pressure” to the pit crew. He is told to switch off the combustion engine. However, the current charging level of the battery doesn’t allow him to limp home electrically.
How the race goes for car number 2 since 6 hrs:
At 5:13am (after 206 laps, race lap 223) Timo Bernhard takes over the 919 that runs in 10th position overall. After 221 and 234 laps (race laps 238 and 251) Bernhard stops for fuel. At the end of lap 247 (race lap 264) he hands over to Earl Bamber, who continues at 8:00am on fresh tyres with the car still 10th overall and second in the LMP1 class. Bamber refuels after 260 and 273 laps (race laps 277 and 290). After 286 laps (race lap 303) at 10:16am, it is Brendon Hartley’s turn again, running 7th overall. He refuels after 299 laps and after 312 laps. Meanwhile he is driving in second position overall. After 325 laps Hartley hands over to Bernhard.
Quotes in the press release (downloads).
The Porsche 919 Hybrid #1 cannot continue the race. The second 919 Hybrid races to catch up the leading LMP2 car.
At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the performance of the new Porsche 911 RSR racers has improved throughout the night thanks to a perfect pit strategy, fast pit stops and faultless stints. In the early hours of the morning, Richard Lietz (Austria) even took the lead for a short time with the #91 Porsche 911 RSR. He shares driving duties with Frenchmen Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet. The 510 hp race car from Weissach is currently running in third place within striking distance of the frontrunners. Misfortune struck the second 911 RSR (#92) fielded by the Porsche GT Team. After 179 laps, Michael Christensen (Denmark) lost the vehicle while hopping over the kerbs in the Ford chicane and hit the rear of his car hard. The extent of the damage was so severe that Christensen and his teammates Kévin Estre (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) had to throw in the towel.
In the GTE-Am class, the Dempsey Proton Racing squad with Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) is currently on sixth place. The 911 RSR (model year 2015) is fielded in this class.
Quotes in the press release (downloads).
Following a period full of drama for Toyota having lost two cars after midnight, the car number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid took the Le Mans race lead at 00:45 hrs. At six this morning as the sun rose over the circuit, the trio of Neel Jani (CH), André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB) led by 11 laps in the overall classification. The car number 2 sister Porsche of Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) has recovered to 10th in the overall classification after its one hour repair stop early on Saturday evening. In the LMP1 class it ranks second, 17 laps behind its leading teammates. With both 919 Hybrids, Porsche has managed smooth quadruple stints during the night.
How the race goes for car number 1 since midnight:
After Neel Jani’s last refuelling at the end of lap 143, he has a spin on cold tyres during a safety car period and comes in early for his next pit stop after 152 laps. Jani hands over the car to Nick Tandy. When the number 7 Toyota stops on track after the safety car period, Tandy takes the lead of the Le Mans 24-Hours at 00:45 hrs. After lap 167 at 01:48 hrs Tandy comes in for fuel and continues – now with a 29 lap lead ahead of the sole remaining Toyota (car number 8). After 180 laps at 02:35 hrs, Tandy pits for fuel again. After 193 laps, André Lotterer jumps into the 919 Hybrid and continues the race on fresh tyres. He refuels after 206 laps at 04:09 hrs and then again after 219 laps at 04:57 hrs. Since 5.53am (end of lap 233), Neel Jani is at the wheel of the leading Porsche 919 Hybrid.
How the race goes for car number 2 since midnight:
Since the end of the car’s lap 124 (race lap 143) Earl Bamber is at the wheel. After lap 138 (race lap 156) he serves a drive through penalty. Timo Bernhard was accused of having released his seat belts too early at an earlier stop. One lap later Bamber comes in for refuelling. In the LMP1 class he is now second to the leading sister car, because after car number 7’s demise, Toyota’s car number 9 has stopped on track. In the overall classification, the number 2 Porsche runs now in 17th position, despite his one-hour repair stop early on Saturday evening. Bamber refuels after the car’s lap 153 (race lap 172). After lap 167 (race lap 185) at 03:00 hrs Bamber hands over to Brendon Hartley who continuous on fresh tyres in 16th overall position. He has his first pit stop for fuel after 180 laps (race lap 198) and refuels again after 193 laps (race lap 210). At 04:27 hrs the car is placed 14th overall. At 05:13 (after 206 laps, race lap 223) Hartley hands over to Bernhard who continues on fresh tyres in 13th position overall.
Quotes in the press release (downloads).
Patrick Dempsey is watching the race as co-owner of Dempsey Racing.
Toyota Hybrid #7 is out. Porsche Hybrid #1 with Nick Tandy on the wheel on P1.
Toyota Hybrid #9 is also out.
Driving at night
Le Mans is extreme, so is driving at night. Who better to explain what that means than Mark Webber.
At midnight in Le Mans the car number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid is still on the heels of the leading number 7 Toyota. However, both manufacturers have paid the price of the hot conditions. At 18:30, the number 2 Porsche spent an hour in the pit box for repairs. It rejoined running 19 laps behind to fight for points in the constructors’ world championship. Toyota had to pit their number 8 car at 22:47 hrs where it remained until after midnight.
How the race goes for car number 1 since 18:00 hrs:
Nick Tandy (GB) takes over after 39 laps. In the period of his first stop for refuelling he improves from third to second position. After 65 laps the next stop for fuel is due. At the end of lap 78 André Lotterer (DE) takes over and after the tyre change continues in second position. During a period with three ‘slow zones’ in place at the same time, Lotterer refuels again after 90 laps. With 104 laps completed at 21:30 hrs, Lotterer refuels again. Afterwards the gap to the leading number 7 Toyota is reduced to 21 seconds, but on lap 105 Lotterer is overtaken by the number 8 Toyota and back in third position. After 117 laps the next tyre and driver change is due. Start driver Neel Jani (CH) takes over again at 22:16 hrs. The battle for P2 with the number 8 Toyota is over when the latter pits at 22:47 hrs after lap 125. After 130 and 143 laps Jani comes in for refuelling.
How the race goes for car number 2 since 18:00 hrs:
After 38 laps Earl Bamber (NZ) gets behind the wheel of the 919, running in fourth position. With 51 laps completed he refuels but has to pit again after lap 58 at 18:30 hrs when the 919 loses its front axle drive. The car is pushed into the pit box and is repaired. At 19:35 hrs Brendon Hartley (NZ) rejoins the race, 19 laps lost to the leader. After lap 72 for car number 2 (race lap 90) Hartley picks up fuel. Having completed 86 laps (race lap 104) the team decides to change tyres and start driver Timo Bernhard (DE) gets behind the wheel again. He refuels after 98 and 111 laps (race laps 116 and 129 respectively). After 124 laps (race lap 143), a full service to Bamber.
Quotes in the press release (downloads).
At the Le Mans 24-hour race, the new Porsche 911 RSR racers have completed a third of the race without any major problems. The only incident on the 13.629-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures was a collision in the ultra-fast corner 1, in which the # 92 Porsche 911 RSR became entangled. This resulted in an additional pit stop to change tyres. Prior to this, the 911 RSR driven by Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) had even reached second place in the GTE-Pro class. However, thanks to a perfect race strategy and fast pit stops, the time that was lost was virtually recovered. Nine hours into the 85th edition of the French long-distance classic the race car is running in third place. The second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, shared by Richard Lietz (Austria) and his French teammates Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet, currently ranks ninth.
In the GTE-Am class, in which customer teams campaign the 2015-spec 911 RSR, Dempsey Proton Racing with the Porsche Young Professional, Matteo Cairoli, is in third place.
Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “We started well into the race and managed to gain several positions. But then bad luck hit and we got caught up in another competitor’s spin and had to put in two unscheduled pit stops with both vehicles due to the tyre vibrations. The slow zones have also cost us a great deal of time, so that sometimes we were even running up to three minutes behind. However, we made the most of these slow zones by using a good pit stop strategy to close the gap to the leaders. Still, the race is long and we have to continue on flawlessly.”
Hartley about pit stop
919 Hybrid #2 has been to the box – Brendon Hartley reports.
Support for the Team
In the box: Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Porsche Supervisory Board, and Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development.
Back in the race
919 Hybrid in the box
The Le Mans 24-hour race started at very high speed. Three hours into the race and after several position changes, the two Porsche 919 Hybrids are running third and fourth behind Toyota. At 6pm, after 50 laps on the 13.629 kilometre track, the best placed 919 is 35 seconds behind the leader. Porsche lost more than 20 seconds per car during so called “slow zones”. Neel Jani (CH, car number 1) as well as Timo Bernhard (DE, car number 2) did three stints each – two stops for refuelling – with the first set of tyres.
How the race goes for car number 1:
On lap one, moments after the race start, Neel Jani overtakes the Toyota no. 8 and improves to second position. Jani refuels after 13 laps and continues in third position behind the Toyotas no. 8 and 7. After 26 laps he refuels again. Still in P3, after 39 laps, the first tyre change is due and Nick Tandy (GB) takes over.
How the race goes for car number 2:
Timo Bernhard starts fourth on the grid and keeps this position. He refuels after 12 and after 25 laps. At the end of lap 38 he hands over to Earl Bamber and the New Zealander continues on fresh tyres in P4.
Quotes from Neel Jani and Timo Bernhard in the press release (Downloads).
The new Porsche 911 RSR have made a good start into the Le Mans 24-hour race. In the initial phase of the French long-distance classic, which is contested for the 85th time on the Circuit des 24 Heures, Kévin Estre (France) was able to gain four positions with the #92 car to now rank third in the GTE-Pro class. His compatriot and teammate Frédéric Makowiecki, the start driver in the second 911 RSR (#91) fielded by the Porsche GT Team, managed to make up four positions and has moved up the strongly supported GT field to now lie in ninth place. Porsche Motorsport in Weissach designed the 510 hp 911 RSR based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. This is its maiden Le Mans campaign
The best Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class, in which customer teams field four 2015-spec 911 RSR, is the Proton Competition car in eighth. At the wheel Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (USA).
Brothers in arms
Timo Bernhard is on the track. Directly before, Mark Webber had some final words with former co-driver Timo Bernhard ahead of his opening stint in the 919 Hybrid at Le Mans 2017.
Start of the race! The two Porsche 919 Hybrids have started third and fourth on the grid. The best Porsche 911 RSR takes up the race from the fourth GT grid row.
Who drives first?
Neel Jani will drive 919 Hybrid number one, Timo Bernhard car number two.
Drinking system explained
It is important for race drivers to stay hydrated. Mark Webber explains how this works inside the car:
Schedule on Saturday
What is happening at Le Mans on this exciting Saturday? Here is a schedule with all fixtures, starting from 9:00 hours until late at night:
Today is race day. Here is the promising weather forecast:
The people at Porsche camp keep their fingers crossed for Porsche Team.
Fans are cheering for the Porsche drivers at the driver parade in the city centre.
Behind the scenes
5,000 Michelin tyres
Magnus Walker in Le Mans
From Paris to Le Mans
Tim Burton a.k.a. Shmee is on his way to Le Mans in a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Regulations for 2020
New task for Webber
Interview with Walliser
Frank Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT cars, has been interviewed by TV-station n-TV/RTL.
919 Hybrid's steering wheel
The 919 Hybrid's steering wheel is complex. Mark Webber is taking a look at it and its technical features.
Greetings from Le Mans
The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start third and fourth on the grid. With a lap time of 3:17.259 minutes, Neel Jani (CH) claimed the third fastest lap overall on Thursday evening. Timo Bernhard (DE) qualified the Porsche LMP sister car to start fourth on the grid with a lap of 3:18.067 minutes on the 13.629 kilometre long Circuit des 24 Heures.
Jani shares the car number 1 Porsche Le Mans prototype with André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB). Bernhard’s team-mates in the car number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid are the two New Zealanders Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. Having a tally of 18 overall Le Mans wins, Porsche is the record holder and after the most recent victories in 2015 and 2016, is in the role of title defender.
The new 911 RSR takes up its Le Mans debut from the fourth grid row. In the traditionally strongly supported GTE-Pro class, in which five automobile manufacturers pit themselves against each other, the new Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92 turned the seventh fastest qualifying lap, narrowly missing out on one of the front spots by a mere 1.010 seconds. Sharing driving duties in the #92 contender are Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany). The second 911 RSR (#91) fielded by the Porsche GT Team and manned by Richard Lietz (Austria) and his French teammates Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet take up the endurance race from the 13th grid spot.
The swiftest Porsche in the GTE-Am class, in which three customer teams field four 2015-spec 911 RSR, was the number 77 car run by Dempsey Proton Racing in fourth. One of the drivers is the Porsche Young Professional, Matteo Cairoli (Italy).
911 RSR impressions
Porsche press database
Most current links on a mouse click
This click leads straight to the Porsche Motorsport Media Guide (electronic press kits for all Porsche racing programmes): https://presse.porsche.de/motorsport
The LMP press kit offers, for example: text portraits of the drivers and top management, team history, Porsche 919 Hybrid technology, information on regulations as well as features considering the topics of race strategy, hybrid and high voltage technology, cockpit and steering wheel, aerodynamics, logistics, Le Mans history, technology transfer and a personal report from Neel Jani on his qualifying record lap.
Live information on Twitter
Video news updates are available at www.vimeo.com/porschenewsroom
www.porsche.com/lemans offers a 24-hour web special with live onboard cameras from the works cars’ cockpits. Additionally, the video stream offers interesting telemetry information about the current car conditions. Furthermore the website includes a live ticker and live standings as well as images and videos from the Le Mans race action.
On Saturday at 3pm, the race start is broadcast live from onboard the best placed 919 Hybrid at www.facebook.com/porsche
App and live stream of the race
The official WEC App can be downloaded free of charge with an extended (not free of charge) version available which includes full ACO live streaming and full timing of the Le Mans 24-Hours. The live stream is voiced and includes live interviews.
Schedule Le Mans 24-Hours
Wednesday, June 14
1:30-2:00 pm “Meet the Porsche LMP Team”, paddock hospitality
4:00-8:00 pm Free practice
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying 1
Thursday, June 15
4:00-4:30 pm “Meet the Porsche GT Team”, paddock hospitality
4:30-5:00 pm “Meet the Porsche LMP Team”, paddock hospitality
7:00-9:00 pm Qualifying 2
10:00 pm-midnight Qualifying 3
Friday, June 16
2:00-2:40 pm Porsche press conference, Porsche Experience Centre
2:40-3:30 pm “Meet the Team” (LMP and GT), Porsche Experience Centre
5:30-7:30 pm Driver parade in the downtown area
Saturday, June 17
9:00-9:45 am Warm-up
2:22 pm Beginning of race start ceremony
3:00 pm Start of race
911 Carrera S: Fuel consumption combined 8.7 – 7.7 l/100 km; CO2-emissions 199 – 174 g/km