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13 Jun 2016

Porsche enters Le Mans as title defender

Preview of 24 Hours of Le Mans

Public expectations are high ahead of the 84th running of the Le Mans 24-Hours this weekend. Porsche enters the world’s hardest race with the 919 Hybrid as a record holder, title defender and leader in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championships.

For Porsche it is the third entry in Le Mans after returning to top level motorsport. In 2015, in only the second attempt, Porsche completed a one-two result. Since that historic 17th overall victory, the 919, with its ground-breaking downsizing two-litre V4 turbocharged petrol engine and its two energy recovery systems (brake and exhaust energy), has been significantly developed.

It produces a system power of 662 kW (900 HP) and hits the Le Mans roads with an aerodynamic configuration for low drag. On the long straights the 919 frequently reaches top speeds above 320 km/h.

The six works drivers have between them participated in the Le Mans race a total of 49 times. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber finished second last year and now drive the futuristic prototype with the number 1 plate after winning the overall Championship. Dumas/Jani/Lieb came fifth in 2015 and share the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. Last year’s winning car was in the hands of Earl Bamber Nico Hülkenberg and honorary Porsche Club member Nick Tandy.

This year Tandy and Bamber are returning to the Circuit de la Sarthe behind the wheel of a Porsche Motorsport factory supported 911 RSR.  In the strongly supported GT classes, a total of seven 911 RSR tackle the world’s toughest automobile race - two factory supported cars and five contenders campaigned by customer teams. With the two 919 Hybrid in the LMP1 class, Porsche is represented at Le Mans by total of nine vehicles and 16 works drivers.

As the fastest ever nine-eleven, the Porsche 911 RSR crowned its maiden 2013 season with a double victory at Le Mans. The racer is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car at Porsche Motorsport in Weissach and in addition to Le Mans it also won the American long distance classics at Daytona, Sebring and the Petit Le Mans.

The winning racer, which is characterised by an uncompromising lightweight design, received modifications for 2016, particularly to the aerodynamics. The position of the rear wing was moved further to the back, with the rear diffuser now considerably larger. Moreover, the 911 RSR received a modified front spoiler lip as well as wide side sills.

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