The thrilling fight for the win at Le Mans between Toyota and Porsche has gone on for hours, with the final stages of the 24-Hours race approaching. Until shortly before 11 hrs the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid with Marc Lieb at the wheel was leading, just now Toyota has gone back into P1 again.
After a lot of bravery, but many laps behind due to a long night stop for repairs, the number 1 sister car of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber ranks 23rd overall.
In the early morning hours the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) is fighting for the lead in Le Mans with the number 6 Toyota. An exciting virtual duel has developed as the two cars have different refuelling intervals. The number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid rejoined the race at 01:56 hours with Brendon Hartley at the wheel after a two-and-a-half hour long repair. The water pump change and the repair to the subsequent damage had thrown the car back to 53rd, and down 39 laps. At 05:00 hrs in the morning the car was back in 46th.
After midnight in Le Mans the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) was running in second position at the Le Mans 24-Hours race. The number 1 sister car of Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) was pushed into the garage at 23:13 hrs because the water temperatures was too high.
After a water pump change, Hartley tried to rejoin the race, but had to return to the pits again. The team is still working to get the Porsche 919 Hybrid back on track. Please find more in this press release.
While the customer-run 911 RSR entries were still performing strongly around midnight, various problems plagued the Porsche Motorsport nine-elevens. The number 91 vehicle lost time when the cooler was punctured by stone and had to be changed. The sister car lost several positions due to a sheered-off drive peg, which required a new wheel hub, as well as a faulty power steering.
After a very wet start and lots of close battles, four hours into the race the two Porsche 919 Hybrids are running in first (Bernhard/Hartley/Webber) and fourth (Dumas/Jani/Lieb) at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The leading Porsche is only 23 seconds ahead of the fastest Toyota.
In the beginning of the race the start drivers Neel Jani (car number 2) and Timo Bernhard (car number 1) maintained a one-two for Porsche. On lap nine the number 6 Toyota took over the lead. After 11 laps the number 1 Porsche had its first pit stop at 16:08 hrs. Bernhard handed over to Brendon Hartley, and the rain tyres were replaced by slicks. One lap later the number 2 car also changed to slicks with Romain Dumas taking over from Jani.
Ninety minutes into the race Hartley managed to take the lead with Dumas running in fifth position. Hartley came in for refuelling after 24 and 37 laps, Dumas came in for the same after 25 and 38 laps.
The Porsche 911 RSR have made a good start into the Le Mans 24-hour race – albeit with a delay: Due to heavy rain which fell over the Circuit des 24 Heures shortly before 15.00 hours, the 60 contenders had to head off into the 84th running of the long distance classic in France behind the safety car. After seven laps, the race was finally given the green flag. A short time later, Frédéric Makowiecki moved into the lead of the GTE-Pro class with the number 92 Porsche Motorsport 911 RSR for the first time. His compatriot Patrick Pilet also took the top position for a while in the number 91 car. Wolf Henzler (Germany) lead the strong GT-Am class in the opening phase of the race in the 911 RSR fielded by the KCMG customer team.
Le Mans live!
Porsche enters the Le Mans 24-Hours as a record holder, title defender and leader in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championships. Porsche again takes up the gauntlet in the fight for the 18th overall victory utilising ground-breaking technologies that combine the highest performance on the race track with the highest efficiency.
Saturday, June 18, 3 pm: race starts
Sunday, June 19, 3 pm: race ends
The Porsche Newsroom bundles the latest press releases and background information. Get news and updates from Le Mans also on Twitter from @PorscheNewsroom, @PorscheRaces und @Porsche_Team. At presse.porsche.de/motorsport the new Porsche Motorsport Media Guide is available. Videos can be found on the Porsche channels on Vimeo and Youtube. The official WEC App can be downloaded free of charge in its basic version and can be extended (not free of charge) by a live stream. Several live features, such as on-board cameras, timing and GPS tracking, are implemented in the Porsche Motorsport App (free of charge). On the Web current information is available from www.fiawec.com an www.24h-lemans.com. Further interesting information about Porsche Motorsport waits at Porsche.com/FutureSportscar.