Congratulations to Porsche for a GTE Pro podium finish at Le Mans! The no.91 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni (Italy), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowieckicar crossed the line in second place, followed by the no.93 car of Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy from Great Britain after 24 hours of hard-fought racing. The leading Porsches were less than 70 seconds behind the class winner, their efforts hampered by bad luck in the safety car phases.
Porsche entered the Super Season finale having already claimed the manufacturers’ title and a 10th place finish for the no.92 RSR was enough to secure the drivers’ world crown for Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France).
The successful pairing were joined by Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and were in contention to repeat the success of 2018 for long stretches of the race and held a convincing lead during the night. However, problems with the exhaust system struck in the early hours of the morning and the resulting repairs set the trio back by six laps.
In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche customer team Project 1 secured the team and drivers’ titles at its first FIA WEC season after moving up from the Porsche one-make cups. Works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), the American Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti (Norway) ended the 24 Hours of Le Mans on second place in the No. 56 Porsche 911 RSR.
Last year’s class winners, however, were very unlucky. The No. 77 car fielded by Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) and Christian Ried from Germany led the race over long stretches, but were thrown down the field with a defect on the underbody. The three drivers finished the season finale of the FIA WEC on fifth.
In the No. 78 nine-eleven, Louis Prette, Philippe Prette (both Italy) and the Frenchman Vincent Abril concluded their Le Mans debut in seventh place. Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining (Austria) and his British teammates Michael Wainwright and Ben Barker brought their No. 86 Gulf Racing vehicle over the finish line in ninth.
The Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 88 retired early. Dempsey Proton Racing ultimately had to park the vehicle in the garage after 79 laps after Satoshi Hoshino was involved in several accidents. The Japanese driver shared the vehicle with Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) and Giorgio Roda (Italy).
Speaking after the race, Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport said: “To win all titles at the last race of the season and to witness three driver crews on the podium is an incredible story. We’ve concluded the FIA WEC Super Season with the greatest possible success. My thanks go to all the team members at the racetrack and to all the employees in Zuffenhausen and Weissach as well as all other locations who’ve made these successes possible.”
1. Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra (I/GB/BRA), Ferrari 488 GTE, 342 laps
2. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 342 laps
3. Pilet/Bamber/Tandy (F/NZ/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 342 laps
8. Müller/Jaminet/Olsen (D/F/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 339 laps
10. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 337 laps
1. Keating/Bleekemolen/Fraga (USA/NL/BRA), Ford GT, 334 laps
2. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 334 laps
3. Segal/Baptista/Lu (USA/BRA/CAN), Ferrari 488 GTE, 334 laps
5. Campbell/Ried/Andlauer (AUS/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 332 laps
7. Prette/Prette/Abril (I/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 332 laps
9. Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 331 laps
DNF. Hoshino/Roda/Cairoli (J/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 79 laps