Porsche‘s decision to end their LMP1 programme at the end of the 2017 season and concentrate on their GT programme paid off at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans as they dominated both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes.
In their seventieth year the result for Porsche at Le Mans couldn’t have been any better, “An absolutely perfect weekend for Porsche.” explained Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board .
“It’s impossible to plan such a thing, but when it happens it’s an indescribable feeling. Congratulations to the drivers, the teams and all the employees who made this success possible. It makes me very proud.”
In the GTE Pro class, the #92 ‘Pink Pig’ Porsche 911 RSR lead home the sister #91 car in the Rothmans inspired livery as they took a class one-two, meanwhile the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR took class honours in the GTE Am category.
CEO of Porsche, Oliver Blume explained how much work had gone in to the pre-race preperation “We prepared meticulously for this race and have worked towards this for months. The entire team did a perfect job.
“We’re incredibly proud of this double victory in the GTE-Pro class and of winning the amateur classification. This is a fantastic achievement from our employees. Porsche belongs to Le Mans and Le Mans belongs to Porsche.”
While the 911 RSR may be far from its road-going ancestor, the DNA of the most famous model of the Porsche range remains at the heart of their racing program.
“The Porsche 911 is and remains the best sports car in the world – it’s a true racer.” explained Michael Steiner, Research and Development at Porsche. “It doesn’t get better than scoring a double victory in the GTE-Pro class and victory in the GTE-Am class on our 70th birthday. This year we’re back at the front and that’s where we belong.”
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars, echoed these thoughts and enjoyed the on-track battles throughout the 24 hours of Le Mans, “It’s a sensation. What a crazy fight out there on the track and a flawless performance from the team.
“That was an incredible feat, which we ultimately turned into a deserved victory. The class wins are a perfect gift for our 70th anniversary.”
While the 24 hours of Le Mans stands alone as a major event, the FIA World Endurance Championship regulars were also scoring points towards the title, “The fact that we earned maximum points towards the world championship rounds off the whole result. Now the suspense has turned to joy.” explained Walliser.
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport emphasised the focus on customer racing in 2018 and what the result meant for Porsche. “We got a perfect lap in qualifying and the result of today’s race has crowned a perfect weekend.
“Victory in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am class underlines that we’re doing everything right at Porsche in both factory and customer sport.
“We were able to extend our lead in the manufacturers’ classification and we also moved into the lead of the drivers’ category. All in all, a perfect day.”