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VIDEOS: Porsche in Le Mans – The Future

Porsche Returns to Le Mans

Porsche is commemorating both 60 years of racing at Le Mans and its 2014 return to the storied endurance race with a series of videos.

Porsche will make its return to the LMP1 class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014. To celebrate, it has released another teaser video that highlights the brand’s history at the famous race from the early years.

Porsche has more wins at Le Mans than any other manufacturer, including Audi. The company has 16 overall victories, including seven in a row from 1981 to 1987. Scores of famous racers have sat in the driver’s seat, including Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell, Hurley Haywood and Hans-Joachim Stuck.

When the announcement of Porsche’s return came last summer, Penske Racing made it known that it would love to back a Porsche team at Le Mans. Roger Penske said his organization wanted to follow up on its success with the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 in the American Le Mans Series, though no deal has been made.

The company won’t be back until 2014, which means that Porsche still has some hurdles to jump, such as finding a pilot or two and, well, building a car.

The world’s oldest endurance race for sports cars, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has tested the abilities of both drivers and manufacturers since 1923. German automaker Porsche has set numerous records and claimed 16 total victories since the inception of this monumental race, more than any other entrant. Porsche presents us with this compilation of hand-chosen clips from the early days of Le Mans, highlighting the car manufacturer’s achievements in the days preceding its era of dominance with the Porsche 936, 935, and 917 between 1970 and 1980. The promotions are in anticipation of Porsche’s triumphant return in 2014 to the circuit.

 

Porsche owned large swathes of the 1970s at Le Mans, with five overall victories. Starting with the 917 at the dawn of the decade – and leading to the 936 and 935 – legendary drivers paved the way for complete dominance by Porsche in the 1980s. The manufacturer – the most successful in the history of the gruelling endurance race – is now set to return to Le Mans in 2014 with an LMP1 sports prototype.

Building on the great successes of the 1970s, Porsche drivers swept all before them in the following decade, with an incredible seven overall victories throughout the 80s. With the Jacky Ickx/Derek Bell team winning in the 936 in 1981, and then leading in an incredible Porsche 1-2-3 win the following year in the newly developed 956, this was a legendary era for the manufacturer. Enjoy the greatest moments here.

 

365 km/h top speed. And top performances. In the ’90s, the 24 Hours of Le Mans are again dominated by Porsche Motorsport. New race cars. New drivers. And now, a new show.

A glorious past. And now, a mission: In 2014, Porsche Motorsport will return to Le Mans. With a LMP1 prototype and the determination to add another chapter to this success story.

We’ll definitely be watching. The company is setting up its YouTube channel for a running series of these teaser videos, so stay tuned.

 

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VIDEO: Porsche plans return to Le Mans in 2014 – 24hr at the limit

“Motorsport was always an essential part of the Porsche brand,” emphasises Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG. “So for us it was only a matter of time before we returned as a factory to the top league of racing. Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivalled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory.”

Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG

With the RS Spyder sports prototype that was run with great success from 2006 to 2008 by the factory-backed Penske Racing team in the USA and to 2010 by several customer teams worldwide, Porsche has set the benchmark recently in the LMP2 category.

“With the RS Spyder we proved that our motorsport engineers in Weissach are at the forefront,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “For instance, we were the first to run a high-revving race engine with direct fuel injection, DFI, setting new standards in performance and efficiency. Recently, with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, we adopted a completely new drive technology for racing purposes and achieved a considerable reduction in consumption.”

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, is already prepared for one of the most challenging development programmes in the company’s history.

“We’re looking forward to the task of developing new technologies and to continue on with the success of the Porsche RS Spyder. After the conclusion of our works-supported sports prototype programme in the American Le Mans Series we have kept up with the latest technological advances. Now we will begin with detailed research in order to evaluate the various concept alternatives for our new car. These obviously depend on how the regulations for the year 2014 look in detail. In principle, these regulations are interesting for us because the integration of our hybrid technology in the vehicle concept is one possible option.”

Held every year since 1923, the legendary 24-hour race at Le Mans draws an annual crowd of more than 200,000 spectators to the French region of La Sarthe.

Around the world, this long-distance motor racing classic is viewed as one of the greatest challenges for man and machine. For Porsche, Le Mans is not only the place of famous victories and the ultimate proving ground. It is also their spiritual home.

Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood claimed the first overall victory for Porsche in 1970 with the legendary 917 short-tail. The 16th and by now last overall win was secured by Laurent Aiello, Stéphane Ortelli and Allan McNish in 1998 with the 911 GT1. In the years 2008 and 2009, the Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype won the title in the LMP2 category.

16 overall victories. Countless records. That’s Porsche Motorsport in Le Mans. For more than 60 years: the fastest race cars. The toughest drivers. And now: the best scenes.

Le Mans 24hr at the limit

More information to start the web special: http://www.porsche.com/microsite/lemans/international.aspx

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SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

 

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