Preview, World Endurance Championship WEC, Round 2 at Le Mans/France
Porsche tackles the 86th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours with the largest GT works contingent in the history of the company. The two Porsche GT Teams will field four of the Porsche 911 RSR at the classic on 16-17 June on the Circuit des 24 Heures in France. The works squad travels to round two of the FIA Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) as the leader of the Manufacturers’ Championship. In the 60-strong field, four customer teams campaign six additional ca. 510 hp 911 RSR from Weissach. In the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am class, the Porsche 911 RSR clocked the fastest lap times at the test day on 3 June.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans, regarded as the toughest automobile race in the world, enjoys a long and illustrious tradition. Initiated in 1923 as the Grand Prix d’Endurance de 24 Heures, Porsche first took on the challenge of the world’s largest motorsport event in 1951. Legendary corners such as Mulsanne and Tertre Rouge and chicanes flow into high-speed passages like the Mulsanne Straight. Adding to the legend is the fact that the 13.626-kilometre course is a combination of permanent racetrack and everyday national roads. Even Hollywood has paid tribute to the race with the 1971 film “Le Mans” featuring Steve McQueen in the lead role.
Both of the Porsche GT Teams from the FIA WEC and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will tackle the 86th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Twelve works drivers will race for victory in the GTE-Pro class. Sharing driving duties in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR are Richard Lietz (Austria), Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki. Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen from Denmark and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) contest the long-distance classic in the #92 car. Manning the third 911 RSR (#93) for the Porsche GT Team are Patrick Pilet (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and New Zealander Earl Bamber. Timo Bernhard from Germany, Romain Dumas (France) and Sven Müller (Germany) helm the #94 race car. With Bamber, Bernhard, Dumas and Tandy, four outright Le Mans winners contest the 24-hour race for Porsche.
Four customer teams field another six Porsche 911 RSR racers in the GTE-Am class. Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and the 18-year-old Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) tackle the race in Dempsey Proton Racing’s #77 car. Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Khaled Al Qubaisi (United Arab Emirates) and Giorgio Roda (Italy) drive the second 911 RSR of the squad that enjoys support from the actor Patrick Dempsey. With Patrick Long, Timothy Pappas and Spencer Pumpelly, an all-American crew share the cockpit of the #99 Porsche 911 RSR run by Proton Competition. The Project 1 WEC team relies on Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Egidio Perfetti (Norway) and Patrick Lindsey (USA). The 911 RSR of Gulf Racing is manned by British drivers Michael Wainwright and Ben Barker with Australian Alex Davison. The Italian squad Ebimotors competes with Fabio Babini (Italy), Erik Maris (France) and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark).
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