06/15/2014

Strong performance, but no dream ending

The 24 hours of Le Mans are over. Strong performance in the LMP1 category, podium in the GTE-Pro. The race at a glance.

5 pm

Strong performance by the 919 Hybrids but no dream ending

After a strong performance by both 919 Hybrids the Porsche Team was left empty handed after a dramatic final stage of the race. After more than 22 hours the LMP1 crew of car no. 20 (Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber) suffered a powertrain problem at the most famous endurance race in the world. Earlier in the race the car was leading for a significant period. The second innovative and highly complex prototype – in the hands of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb – likewise proved to be very competitive, but was hampered by a drivetrain problem. However, their no. 14 car crossed the finish line under its own power.

After a thrilling start to the race with changing weather conditions, numerous accidents and a relatively calm night, Timo Bernhard took the lead in the Porsche 919 Hybrid. This was after 20 of the 24 hours. At 12:36 on Sunday he handed the leading car over to Mark Webber. Less than 20 minutes later the Australian was forced to slow down and drove solely on electric power back to the pits. The team could not repair the damaged powertrain.

Not even half an hour later, the sister car with Marc Lieb at the wheel had a gearbox failure. Car no. 14 was lying fourth before it was pushed into the garage at 12:54. Shortly before the chequered flag was waived, the Porsche 919 Hybrid returned to track but in the end was not classified.

Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG: “Our return to Le Mans has been a strong team effort. It almost happened that our secret dream came true to top the debut of the Porsche 919 Hybrid with a podium finish. For a remarkable period we were leading the race. I want to thank everyone who contributed with hard work. Now we keep our heads up and will plan an even stronger return for 2015.”

Porsche 911 RSR finishes 24-hour marathon in third

Podium placing for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: Porsche Manthey squad’s 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR driven by works drivers Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) took the flag at the 82nd edition of the long distance classic at the Sarthe third in the GTE-Pro class. Scoring second in the GTE-Am class, Porsche junior Klaus Bachler celebrated the greatest success of his career by now at his first ever Le Mans race.

The race on the 13.269 kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures kept more than 200,000 spectators on the edge of their seats with enthralling fights for positions and spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. When two heavy rain showers left parts of the track underwater several hours after the start, the squad initiated the perfect pit stop strategy which put the Porsche 911 RSR in positions one-two. However, the winning car from last year, based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and double winner of the Sports Car World Championship WEC season-opener, was unable to defend these positions over the rest of the marathon. In addition, during the night a fuel pressure problem cropped up with the 911 RSR driven by works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) which required an extra pit stop and finally threw the trio back to seventh place after their strong performance.

Their factory pilot colleagues in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR continued on their podium course. With three hours to the flag, they had moved up the order to lie in second place before losing a position in the dramatic final phase. The podium result was a well-deserved reward for a strong performance under difficult conditions.

Second place in the GTE-Am class

Klaus Bachler celebrated his GTE-Am class result. Sharing the cockpit of the Proton Competition customer team’s 911 RSR with his teammates Christian Ried (Germany) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi), the Porsche junior saw the flag at his Le Mans debut in second place. In the 911 RSR campaigned by Dempsey Racing Proton, Porsche factory driver Patrick Long and his American compatriots Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster delivered consistently fast lap times to finally finish in fifth place.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

3 pm

Strong performance in the LMP1 category, podium in the GTE-Pro

The 24 hours are over. The 919 Hybrid #20 dropped out because of technical difficulties. The second of the innovative protoypes - driven by the trio Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb - presented a good performance, but was also thrown back by technical difficulties in power transmission. It crossed the finish line under its own power.

In the highly competitive GTE-Pro the Porsche 911 RSR driven by Marco Holzer, Richard Lietz Frédéric Makowiecki came in third.

12.11 pm

Porsche 919 Hybrid leading in Le Mans

With three of the 24 hours of Le Mans to go, the Porsche Team is leading the race with one of the two Porsche 919 Hybrids, while the sister car is lying in fifth.

Since Brendon Hartley moved up to second at 05:10 early on Sunday morning, the no. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid has kept running consistently. At about six in the morning Mark Webber got behind the wheel again and did another quadruple stint. After three and a half hours he handed the car over to Timo Bernhard. When the leading Audi had to pit for repairs at around 11am, the Porsche 919 Hybrid took the lead again.

The sister no. 14 car, running in fifth, was taken over by Romain Dumas in the morning at 06:03. The Frenchman also did a quadruple stint and stayed in the car longer than any other Porsche driver – 57 laps or almost 777 kilometres. At 09:42 Neel Jani jumped into no. 14 car and at noon the Swiss was still in fifth.

Porsche 911 RSR running second with three hours to go

In the final phase of the Le Mans 24 hour race, the #92 Porsche 911 RSR is on course for a podium spot. With three hours left to the flag at the world’s most famous long distance race, Porsche factory pilots Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) are lying in second place in the hotly-contested GTE-Pro class. In the second #91 Porsche Manthey 911 RSR, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) are running in seventh.

Porsche’s customer team Proton Competition also looks set to claim a podium result on the 13.629 kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures: The #88 Porsche 911 RSR currently ranks second in the GTE-Am category with Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria), Christian Ried (Germany) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi).

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

6 am
Dawn at Le Mans: Convincing Night Shifts by all Porsche 919 Hybrid Drivers

Despite slight problems with the car balance Mark Webber in car No 20 stayed out for a quadruple stint. 46 minutes after midnight he was replaced by Timo Bernhard who also did four stints. Before the German turned the car over to Brendon Hartley at 3:37 am he had advanced to P3 thanks to a consistently quick drive. The young New Zealander however had a little moment when he touched a slower car while lapping it. Luckily, the incident did not have any further consequences. At 5:10 am Hartley moved up into 2nd place.

Neel Jani in the No 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid also managed to do four stints. The Swiss driver put in fast laps for 191 full minutes. At 2:23 am he handed the car over to Marc Lieb. The German had to make an unscheduled stop at 3:46 am for a repair. Again it was the fuel system playing up. Lieb rejoined the race after 17 minutes in 6th position. By 6:00 am at dawn he had moved up to 4th before a little off, shortly before the driver change, put him back to 5th place.

The No 92 911 RSR is currently in third place in the highly competitive GTE-Pro. The No 91 911 RSR Porsche Team Manthey, who have lost a lot of time by a problem with the fuel pressure is dropped to 7th. The team of Proton Competition (No 88) is the highest-ranked Porsche customer team in the GTE-Am class in 2nd place.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

1 am

Fastest Porsche 911 RSR in fourth

At the Le Mans 24 hour race, the #92 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) has moved up into fourth place in the GTE-Pro class during the first hours of the night. However, their factory pilot colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) fell back down the field with the second #91 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche Manthey squad. At times the car had held the lead but was forced to pit for 41 minutes with a fuel pressure problem. After nine hours on the 13.629 kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures the car rejoined the race action in position six.

The best-placed Porsche customer team in the GTE-Am category is Proton Competition. The number 88 Porsche 911 RSR with Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria), Christian Ried (Germany) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) is currently running in fourth place.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

0.26 am

Midnight at Le Mans: Race enters day two

Marc Lieb took over car No 14 from Neel Jani in 15th position. The Swiss had driven the prototype at the start and had to pit early in order to have a problem with the fuel system fixed. During his turn, Lieb improved into 6th position. At 8:40 pm he handed the Porsche 919 Hybrid over to Romain Dumas. The Frenchman continued to make up positions and gained P5. At 11:12 pm Neel Jani took the wheel again.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid No 20 was handed over from Brendon Hartley to Mark Webber shortly after 9 pm. A braking misjudgement at Arnage had cost the young New Zealander a little time. Webber rejoined the track in 4th position. At 11:43 pm the Australian undertook the No 20’s first quadruple stint of the race.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

8.30 pm

Pre-evening thriller in Le Mans

In the late afternoon and early evening both prototypes had cought up with Timo Bernhard and Neel Jani still at the wheel. Improvements were thanks to good pit stop strategy and great driver efforts in difficult conditions. At the restart after the first safety car period both cars had to survive about two laps on rain tyres on a drying track before the next shower came. Further accidents required a second safety car period. After this, short before 18:00 h, Timo Bernhard took the lead.

At 18:17 h Timo handed over the leading car no. 20 to Brendon Hartley. Meanwhile track conditions allowed for slick tyres. Neel Jani had improved from the back of the pack to 15th position. At 18:20 h he jumped out an Marc Lieb took over. Brendon and Neel later came both for regular stops for refueling. Brendon, however, also came for an unscheduled pit stop at 19:33 h when he had the feeling of a slow puncture. He dropped back to third place. Marc had further improved to sixth when he brought car number 14 for refueling again short before 20:00 h.

Timo Bernhard (Germany): “In the opening phase the car felt quite tricky to drive but that improved after a few laps. We were really fast in the rain and employed the right strategy.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

8.23 pm

Porsche 911 RSR still in the top group

The Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Porsche Team Manthey are still up amongst the GTE-Pro class front-runners at the Le Mans 24 Hours. After five hours at the 82nd edition of the long distance classic at the Sarthe, works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) are maintaining fourth place with their #91 Porsche 911 RSR. Directly behind them in fifth are their factory pilot colleagues Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and last year’s winner Richard Lietz (Austria).

When a heavy rainshower set in at 5.30pm and water lay on many parts of the 13.629 kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures, the Porsche Team Manthey squad mobilised its perfect pit stop strategy to plant its 911 RSR at the top: While most of the opposition headed into the pits to change to wet tyres, the team’s 911 racers stayed out on slicks, only switching to wets during the safety car phase. The gamble paid off – after three hours they were sitting one-two with Marco Holzer leading in the number 92 vehicle followed by Joerg Bergmeister. Shortly afterwards, during a second heavy downpour of the eventful afternoon in Le Mans, Joerg Bergmeister made the most of another safety car period to snatch the lead. As the sun broke through the clouds in the early evening and the track dried up, the Porsche pilots were forced to let three competitors pass them.

The best-placed Porsche customer team in the GTE-Am class is Dempsey Racing Proton. The outfit’s #77 Porsche 911 RSR currently lies in fifth place with Porsche works driver Patrick Long and his American compatriots Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster sharing the cockpit.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

5 pm

Porsche Team experiences difficult start in Le Mans

The two Porsche 919 Hybrids have completed the first of the 24 racing hours at Le Mans. Neel Jani started in car No 14 from the front row of the grid and held third place after the opening lap. Thirty minutes into the race, however, the Swiss driver came into the pits for an unscheduled stop. The team found a problem with the fuel flow and fixed it. After nine minutes Jani was able to re-join the race in 51st position and lies now 48th.

Timo Bernhard in the Porsche 919 Hybrid No 20 started from P4. In the opening phase of the race he suffered a problem with the boost and consequently lost three positions. After 90 minutes a heavy shower made parts of the circuit very wet and led to several incidents. At the time the Safety-Car came out the German had progressed to third place.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

4.30 pm

Good start for the Porsche 911 RSR

Porsche Team Manthey has made a good start into the Le Mans 24 hour race. Both of the Porsche 911 RSR contesting the GTE-Pro class managed to make up one position after several laps on the 13.629 kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures.

The number 92 vehicle with start driver Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and his teammates Marco Holzer (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) are currently running in fifth place after the first hour of the race. Directly behind is the second 911 RSR with the number 91 in which works drivers Patrick Pilet (France), Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) share driving duties for the 82nd running of the long distance classic in the Sarthe region.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

3 pm

The starting signal is given

The 24 hours of Le Mans are on. Although Porsche achieved 16 overall victories in Le Mans, the sports car manufacturer cannot rely on empirical data. The aim at the marathon in Le Mans is to bring at least one of the fast Porsche 919 Hybrid to the finish. Fingers crossed.

Before the race

919 Hybrid on front row

The two 919 Hybrids will start second and fourth in Le Mans. Wolfgang Hatz, Board member for Research and Development: “The front row in Le Mans has been kind of a secret target, and we have been able to tick it off the list at our first attempt. It is not pole position, but it is totally fine. I am proud of our team and wish everyone all the best.”

The two Porsche 911 RSR will start sixth and seventh into the race.

Live stream at porsche.com

Special service under www.porsche.com: live timing, GPS tracking of all Porsche racecars in realtime, live streaming of on board footage from the cockpits, live comments of Radio Le Mans and twitter news.

Detailed press information under downloads (left column).

 

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