Porsche always had a strong connection with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In its first appearance at the Circuit de La Sarthe in 1951, Porsche took class victory in the Porsche 356 Gmünd SL. The first outright victory in the 24H of Le Mans came in 1970 when Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood took the checkered flag in the Porsche 917K of the Porsche Salzburg team. Since that first outright victory, Porsche took home the trophy no less than 19 times, the last time in 2017 with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. In 2020, Porsche celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first victory at the Le Mans 24H last year with a special livery for their factory cars. Photographer René Staud and journalist Bernd Ostmann remember this anniversary with the book “Mythos Le Mans: Die Porsche-Sieger”.
The established automobile photographer René Staud has photographed 11 of the winning race cars in his studio. Why only 11 and not 19? Some types, such as the Porsche 956/962 brought home all the overall victories from 1982 – 1987. In modern times, the modern Porsche 919 Hybrid took the triple at Le Mans with victories from 2015 – 2017. This book from Stuttgart-based Motorbuch Verlag differs from many on the subject.
You’ll find interviews with the protagonists, the men that risked their lives to bring the trophy home, in “Mythos Le Mans: Die Porsche-Sieger”. Richard Attwood, Dr. Helmut Marko, Jacky Ickx, Tom Kristensen, Mark Webber are just some of the racers that tell us what Le Mans means to them. But that’s not all. The mechanics, the engineers give first-hand accounts of their time at Le Mans. In a chronological way, “Mythos Le Mans: die Porsche-Sieger” tells us the complete history of Porsche at Le Mans. The reader gets an almost intimate look behind the scenes of the most legendary endurance race of the world.
“Mythos Le Mans: die Porsche Sieger” is well worth the price you pay. René Staud is known for his splendid photography. Bernd Ostmann is a reputed journalist who followed the motorsports exploits of Porsche for many years. Combine this and you get a detailed report of the most important facts a motorsports fan needs to know about Porsche at Le Mans. On top of that, you get numerous pictures from the Porsche archives and the personal archives of some of the drivers to illustrate the stories. Too bad the book is only available in German. But despite that, a great read and a wonderful coffee-table book.