autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Porsche Wins 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours In 23 Hours

For the third time in a row and thus becoming its 19th overall win, Porsche beat the odds and transformed a disastrous start to the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours start in a dramatic win.
Porsche 919 Hybrid 35 photos
Porsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 HoursPorsche 919 Hybrid at 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours
The Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) managed to turn the tides during Saturday night and the remaining of Sunday after being repaired with Herculean efforts for an entire hour.

On Saturday evening, the LMP1 car looked as if it wasn't going to finish the de legendary race since its front axle was effectively gone and had to be repaired on the fly for over an hour in the pits. When it finally rejoined the race it was in 56th position overall, so its winning chances were slimmer than a hair's width.

Since Porsche No1 car, driven by Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy retired after controlling the Toyota-less race for quite a long time, it looked like for the first time in years, an LMP2 car was going to win the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In fact, the No38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca was still leading the race with just 70 minutes to go, when the No2 Porsche 919 Hybrid finally passed it for the outright honors.

That said, considering the time spent in the pits for the front-axle fix, Porsche actually needed less than 23 hours to finish the legendary endurance race. According to the carmaker's own calculations and predictions after the 1.05-hour pitstop, the final battle with the LMP2 car was supposed to take place on the last lap, not 70 minutes to go.

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “It’s hard to find words for what happened. The drivers and the entire team have done an amazing job. We can put two tough weeks behind us that provided some highs and lows but we fought with typical Porsche spirit. It will take some time for what we have achieved today to sink in. We’ve now won Le Mans three times in a row which is just sensational. The team worked relentlessly for this over the past twelve months. Toyota was a very strong competitor. They pushed us to the limits and beyond and we both paid the price. It is a sad that Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy retired from the race because they controlled it for a long time. But Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley and especially Timo Bernhard deserved to take the race win. Timo was the development driver right from the beginning of the programme. After the long repairs, the three of them kept fighting and were ultimately rewarded.”

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories