Claudio Roddaro - 1968 Porsche 908 LH - Porsche Classic Le Mans Race

The main grids of the Le Mans Classic

5 of  the 6 grids that represented the history of the Le Mans Classic 24H, had at least some Porsche racing. Ofcourse no Porsche in grid 1, that had cars from 1929 to 1939. Porsche fans had to wait to grid 2 ( 1949 – 1956) to see some Porsches at work. Among these Porsches was the Porsche 550 Spyder (550-046) the eye-catcher. This particular car was 1st in class in the 1955 Le Mans 24H with Richard von Frankenberg and Helmut Polensky at the wheel.  In grid 3, covering 1957 to 1961, the Stephens brothers entered a 1959 Porsche 356A GT Speedster. More 4-cams in the same grid with the Porsche 550A Spyder (550-0146) of Manfred Freisinger and the Porsche 718 RS60 (718-067) of Peter Vögele. Grid 4 (1962 – 1965 ). Obviusly the first Porsche 911s came in action at Le Mans Classic in grid 4 (11962 – 1965). Next to the Porsche 911s, some Porsche 904’s and Porsche 906 on the grid. Combine these cars with Ford GT40’s and AC Cobra’s, and you know spectacle is assured. Grid 5 covered the years 1966 – 1971, a moment the theart of many Porsche enthusiasts started beating faster.

Peter Vögele - 1969 Porsche 917 ( 917-025) - Grid 5 - Le Mans Classic 2018
Peter Vögele – 1969 Porsche 917 ( 917-025) – Grid 5 – Le Mans Classic 2018

Competition Porsches on the track

The race icon of Porsche of the early 70s , the Porsche 917 is a car that had some different versions. And all of them are worth lots and lots of money. So there aren’t that many opportunities to see cars like these on the track where a similar car won the Le Mans 24H in 1970 with Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood at the wheel.  In grid 5 Peter Vögele drove his Porsche 917 (917-025), a highly original car that once belonged to the Miles Collier Collection in Naples, Florida.  After some static appearances like the Porsche Classic Days in Aachen Willi Kauhsen brought his Porsche 917 (917-005) for the first time to the track. Unfortunately, during night training, the car crashed. Reasons for the crash remain unconfirmed. We heard about an engine failure causing the crash. Other sources told us the car was hit by another competitor. The Porsche 917 (917-LT5) that was built in the garage of David Piper and now owned by Dirk Sadlowski remained in the paddocks.

Romain Dumas -1977 Porsche 935 - Grid 6 -  Le Mans Classic 2018
Romain Dumas -1977 Porsche 935 – Grid 6 – Le Mans Classic 2018

More brutal Porsche power on that same grid 5 with several Porsche 906 and Porsche 910s. That’s  in sheer contrast to a more civilised Porsche 914/6 GT. Robert Fink entered his Porsche 908/02 (908/02-018).  Grid 6 brought back the period 1975 – 1981, a period  Porsche developed the Porsche 934 and Porsche 935. The Kremer brothers reinvented the Porsche 935 to the ultimate racer of the period and still a joy to see on the track : the Porsche 935 K3. Several of these Porsche 935’s were active in grid 6.  In 1977, Jürgen Barth won the Le Mans 24H , sharing the wheel of a Porsche 936 with Hurley Haywood and Jacky Ickx. Now in his early seventies, Jürgen Barth took the wheel of a 1981 Porsche 924 GTR. 

Group C racing and Global Endurance Legends.

Periods not covered in the 6 main grids of the Le Mans Classic, were not forgotten. The legendary Group C series, run from 1982 – 1992 had some fabulous cars. Porsche dominated the era with the Porsche 956 and it’s successor the Porsche 962. Among  the over 40 Group C cars, several of these Porsches, many of them known from other Peter Auto Events like the Spa Classic. The Group C cars had 3 opportunities to come on the grid. The race on it’s own was interrupted with several yellow and red flags. In the end, the best Porsche  finished in 9th position. The honours went to Marco Werner in the Porsche 962 (962-CK6-08/3 ). In the Global Endurace Legends GT’s and Prototypes from the 1990s to 2000s made some demonstration laps. Not very exciting when it comes to race action. But on the other hand : you won’t see these cars on the grid often. At the wheel of these fabulous endurance racers are well-known drivers like Christian Pescatori, Norman Nato, Sam Hancock and Emmanuel Collard.

Full picture gallery of Le Mans Classic 2018 at next page