Kiwis feature in Porsche Le Mans one-two victory

Kiwis feature in Porsche Le Mans one-two victory

Porsche has achieved its 17th overall Le Mans victory at the 83rd running of the 24-Hour race with a one-two finish, and both of the leading teams featured a Kiwi driver.

Drivers Earl Bamber (NZ), Nico Hülkenberg (GER) and Nick Tandy (GB) won the trophy in their #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid exactly 45 years after Porsche’s first overall win at La Sarthe was achieved.

“It feels incredible. I have enjoyed every single stint. It is been a long, long day to drive in the evening and then again in the morning. I just had a very short break,” says Earl Bamber.

“I thought I would have heard strange noises in the car. But, of course, you fancy every kind of noise if you are on your way to win Le Mans.”

Timo Bernhard (GER), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS) in the sister car #17 added the icing to the cake when they came home in second. Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (GER) brought home the third Porsche 919 Hybrid in fifth.

“On the final lap I had tears in my eyes. We have all been working so hard for this result,” says Brendon Hartley (car number 17).

“Stepping onto the podium was a dream come true. It is unbelievable. I’m very proud that two Porsches have won. I feel happy for every single person here.”

Porsche had previous Le Mans one-two victory back in 1998 when Allan McNish (GBR), Laurent Aiello (FRA) and Stéphane Ortelli (MC) finished first in their Porsche GT1.

The German sports car manufacturer returned to endurance racing last year because it was attracted by the competition’s new efficiency regulations.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid has a smaller turbo engine and two energy recovery systems, which creates a drive train delivering around 1000 HP.

Porsche says it’s a racing laboratory that will enable the manufacturer to build future fuel-efficient road-going sports cars.

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