After 165 laps on the 5.891 kilometre long track in Silverstone, the result for the 919 Hybrid was: third place. Marc Webber brought the Porsche prototype over the finishing line behind the safety car after the race was red flagged because of heavy rain 24 minutes before the planned six hours were completed. At the time, the sister car of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb was no longer on the track – it had to retire after 1 hour 15 minutes because of a technical problem. That was annoying, said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1. But overall he was satisfied with the result. "With car no. 20 we had an entirely trouble-free six hour race. Returning home with a trophy from the very first race is a great result for us and I think we should all sleep well tonight."
Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development, has a similar opinion. Preparation, operation, discipline in the pits and at the wheel of the two 919 Hybrid cars went very well. "I am really proud. This was a proper comeback to the highest class of endurance racing. "
Double victory for Porsche Team Manthey
What was also gratifying was the result Porsche achieved in the GTE Pro category. The Porsche Team Manthey kicked off the season with a double victory. Facing difficult conditions on the storied British circuit, Porsche works drivers Marco Holzer, Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz won with the Porsche 911 RSR. Their works driver colleagues Patrick Pilet, Jörg Bergmeister and Nick Tandy finished the hotly contested first race in second place.
At the Silverstone Circuit, spectators witnessed a gripping race with changeable weather conditions. Taking up the race from the first grid row at the wheel of the 911 RSR with start number 91, Nick Tandy took the GT lead for the first time in lap eleven. A stop-and-go-penalty, which his team mate Jörg Bergmeister served after the driver change, saw them lose their lead for just a brief time. Over the remainder of the race, the 470 hp winning racers from Weissach often swapped positions for the lead spot. In the end it was newcomer Frédéric Makowiecki who settled at the front of the pack and brought home this important maiden win of the season at his very first race as Porsche works driver. In third place behind the two 911 RSR cars was the Aston Martin Vantage.
Another step towards Le Mans
The success at Silverstone is another step forward, particularly with an eye on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. "Our drivers did a very good job at this truly exciting race," commented Hartmut Kristen, Head of Motorsport at Porsche. "What we saw today was racing at its very best."