Porsche Needed 395 Laps And 500 Gallons Of Fuel To Win Le Mans
Not to discredit all the success Audi has had at the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the last several years, but there’s a sense of rightness in the world since Porsche won for the first time in 17 years earlier this month. Luke Skywalker is a Jedi; The Cubs never win the World Series; Kale is gross; Porsche wins Le Mans. It’s the way things are and should be.
To commemorate the win, Porsche has released a wonderfully geeky list of facts and figures that demonstrate what it takes to win at Le Mans. For instance, Porsche really won this race in the pits. The three 919s spent a total of 95 minutes on pit lane, while the next best three-car team (Audi) was there for over 130 minutes. It helped that the only parts that needed changing were the No.18’s nose twice and the rear wing and engine cover on the No.19, which was done as a precaution during a full-course yellow. You can read the whole thing in the press release below.
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Why it matters
This was probably one of the most highly anticipated 24LMs in recent memory and it more than lived up to its billing, with Earl Bamber, Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy taking the No.19 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid to a hard-fought overall victory. The fact that the three were non-regular-season drivers hired to drive the third 919 at Le Mans made the win all the more impressive. Nico also became the second active Formula 1 driver to win Le Mans after Johnny Herbert did it in 1991.
Despite some reliability issues in the first two WEC rounds at Silverstone and Spa, the Porsches were utterly bombproof at Le Mans. If you watched the race unfold, you were probably waiting for something to go wrong with the two leading Porsches, but it never happened. The No.19 crossed the line after 24 hours and completed 395 laps, just two shy of the distance record. The No.17 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber finished one lap down, while the No.7 Audi of André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer finished two laps down.
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