Porsche has secured a podium spot in the fiercely contested GTE-Pro class at the 89th edition of the Le Mans 24-hour race. Works drivers Kévin Estre, Neel Jani and Michael Christensen finished in third place in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR.
Meanwhile the No. 91 sister car driven by Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki wrapped up round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in fourth place. The in-house fight between the two works cars for the final podium spot was decided about an hour before the flag dropped, when after sliding in the last chicane, the rear of the No. 91 had to undergo repairs to the rear of the car and a replacement of the brakes.
“Our team put in a flawless and spirited performance,” explains Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport. “Unfortunately, we lacked a bit of speed to be able to challenge the competition for class victory. The podium result for our No. 92 car is still a nice reward for the passionate work that our employees have done at the racetrack and back at our headquarters in Weissach. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this achievement.”
“The race wasn’t only difficult, it was also disappointing for us. We had expected to fight for victory,” concludes Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC. “Despite our good and systematic preparation, we didn’t have the lap-time performance and the top speed we’d hoped for compared to the competition. We’ll now take some time to analyse everything once again with the FIA and ACO to see why we weren’t quite able to match the performance of our opposition in the race.”
While the two factory-run 911 RSRs thrilled spectators with their internal duels for positions three and four, the two customer cars in the GTE-Pro class had already pulled into the pits early. The No. 79 entry from WeatherTech Racing was unable to rejoin the race after an accident Cooper MacNeil early on Sunday morning. HubAuto Racing’s vehicle, which had taken up the race from pole position, retired with a technical defect shortly after sunrise.
The No. 77 car fielded by Dempsey-Proton Racing with Porsche works driver Matt Campbell, team owner Christian Ried and Jaxon Evans finished in fifth place as the best 911 RSR in the GTE-Am category. The No. 88 sister car, which had started from pole position in this class, achieved P13.
The customer squads Absolut Racing and Herberth Motorsport concluded their Le Mans debut on positions seven and ten. Several other Porsche crews had to throw in the towel early. The two vehicles fielded by Project 1 and the No. 99 car of Proton Competition had to retire. GR Racing lost a lot of ground due to lengthy repairs after an accident and finished the race in 14th in class.