In a race that was full of
close calls and heart aches, the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Earl Bamber
(NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) won for the 19th
time at the Circuit des 24 Heures. The second and third places went to to two
LMP2s Orecas fielded by Jackie Chan DC Racing (#38) and Vaillante Rebellion
The 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans saw
258,500 spectators witnessing the record 19th victory for Porsche.
Toyota continued with its bad
luck, as it did in the 2016 Le Mans race, when the three Toyota TS050 Hybrids failed
to register a win. Though they were in the lead in the beginning of the race, the
#7 Toyota (Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin)
and the #9 (Lapierre/Kunimoto/Lopez) retired before the halfway stage due to a
mechanical issue for the #7 and a race incident for the #9.
Porsche too had its share of bad
luck when #1 Jani/Lotterer/Tandy took control in the ninth hour. The car was heading
towards victory with less than four hours to go but suddenly the car ground to
a halt in the Mulsanne Straight and announced its retirement a few minutes
later. Now it was for the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid to fight it out and the crew actually
fought back from 55th place and came a winner. The remaining Toyota, the #8,
finished second in class but in 9th place overall.
At For the winning car of
Porsche, things had not gone easy at all. On Saturday evening (June 17, 2017), it almost looked as though
it was over for the Porsche 919 Hybrid of Bamber, and Brendon Hartley . Their
car had no front axle drive anymore. It was repaired for 1.05 hours and the car
then rejoined the race 18 laps behind.
But the 85th running of the
endurance classic in Le Mans produced such dramatic changes that the impossible
ultimately came true: After an enormous effort, the trio sliced through the
field from 56th position to overall victory.
For Earl Bamber it is his
second Le Mans overall win at the wheel of the Porsche 919 Hybrid after 2015.
Timo Bernhard also scored his second Le Mans overall win. Following on from his
maiden win in 2010 when he was loaned to Audi, he had dreamed to repeat it one
day with Porsche. Brendon Hartley was arguably the hungriest of this year’s six
Porsche LMP works driver squad as his name had yet to be engraved onto the big
Source: Porsche / 24 Hours Le Mans
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