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Porsche - From 56th to 1st: 'The legend of Le Mans lives on'

2017-06-26 07:36

WINNING SELFIE: The No2 Porsche team - Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhaard - celebrates after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Sunday, June 19. Image: AFP / Jean-Francois Monier

Josef Arweck - Porsche AG

Germany - It’s been a week since the 24 Hours of Le Mans: What a dramatic race! A comeback from 56th place to 1st place – who would have believed it possible?

Josef Arweck, Porsche vice-president of communications, shares his thoughts: "The legend of Le Mans lives on – thanks to incredible stories such as those we experienced last weekend. Porsche has done it again. The hat trick is complete. Porsche has achieved the 19th overall victory at the most prestigious car race in the world. 

"I don’t know about you, but images from last weekend are still racing around my mind. Just like the fortunate win in 2016 – literally on the home straight – this year's 24 Hours was full of tension and suspense.

VIEW: 24 Hours of Le Mans in 14 cool pics

"Toyota held the lead for a long time. The Japanese company then lost two vehicles in close succession during the night – and we were back in the race. It should just have been a matter of our frontrunner bearing starting number 1 bringing the victory home. But then fate struck us the same blow as Toyota. Problems with the oil pressure – a retirement four hours from the finish. 

"The bitter elimination of number 1 was, on the other hand, the moment for the second 919 Hybrid to shine. The situation seemed hopeless for the 919 Hybrid, which had dropped down the field after a one-hour repair. But “giving up” does not feature Porsche's vocabulary. In an enormous feat of effort, the team, along with drivers Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard, achieved the impossible. At 3pm they crossed the finish line at the Circuit de la Sarthe as the victors in front of over 250 000 spectators. Celebrations also broke out at the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, which had to close temporarily due to the high number of visitors.   

"Our new 911 RSR models made an extraordinary debut in the GT class. In a highly competitive field, for a long time the race looked promising for Patrick Pilet and his team mates, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki. However, due to tyre damage shortly before the finish, the team was unfortunately unable to secure a place on the podium. 

"It was once again made clear that Porsche and Le Mans have a unique connection. No other race places such high demands on man and machine. Our deepest respect goes to Toyota. They were a strong competitor. 

READ: What a race! Porsche victorious at Le Mans


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