New Era as Porsche wins at Le Mans

FIA WEC | 2015 World Endurance Championship

24 Hours of Le Mans (Race)

Article and Images by – Jarrod Moore

Porsche returned to the top step of the podium at Le Mans for the 17th time with a dominant victory over their arch rivals Audi, Toyota and Nissan.

This year Le Mans included every possible scenario with a number of race ending crashes, mechanical failures and fatigue playing a major factor in the final outcome of the race.

Winners Podium

It was to be Porsche’s day, back on top with their race strategy playing out perfectly. Nick Tandy (UK), Nico Hülkenberg (DEU) and Earl Bamber (NZL) pushed their Porsche 919 to the limit through 24 gruelling hours to finish in first place.

Tandy commented “We had an amazing race. The temperature came down this morning and it suited the way our car was working.”

MyDrive | Porsche wins 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

MyDrive | Porsche wins 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

Mark Webber (AUS) driving the number 17 Porsche 919 with Brendon Hartley (NZL) and Timo Bernhard, fought for second place after it was deemed that Webber overtook in a yellow flag sector. The team received a drive through penalty which ultimately dropped the 17 car out of lead and into second place.

Webber congratulated his Porsche teammates The guys in the 19 did a great job. We weren’t quick enough, simple as that.”

“We served a penalty as well, I don’t know if that would have been enough… maybe if we didn’t have that.” Webber stated obviously rethinking their chances.

The number 7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel FÄSSLER (CHE), André LOTTERER (GER) and Benoît TRÉLUYER (FRA) crossed the line in third putting an end to Audi dominance of the world renowned 24 hour race.

Race Highlights

From the drop of the French tricolor flag on Saturday afternoon, the pace of the leading LMP1 teams was frantic, likened more to a qualifying session than a 24 hour race.

MyDrive | Start of Le Mans

MyDrive | Start of Le Mans

In the first few hours the lead would change several times with Audi and Porsche battling it out for the top four positions as Toyota and Nissan continued to fall further behind.

As the sun started to set and Audi maintaining their lead, Lotterer in the number 7 e-tron quattro completely stunned the field setting a new race lap record of 3:17.647.

Porsche continued to play catch-up and with a reworked race strategy, it was just before midnight when the number 19 Porsche took the lead.

All three 919’s completed quadruple stints to minimise their time in the pits, maximising their time on track which ultimately built a strong lead over the competition.

Temperatures throughout the night continued to fall handing Porsche the ideal conditions to create a significant and ultimately a race winning gap over Audi.

Toyota struggled to find form after having a woeful practice session in the weeks leading up to Le Mans.

With Toyota’s lack of pace behind Porsche and Audi, a spokesperson for the team was quick to confirm that “In 2016 things will be a lot different with our Hybrid system and engine package”.

MyDrive | Toyota looks towards 2016

MyDrive | Toyota looks towards 2016

Talk continued after the press conference with suggestions the team would opt for a battery rather than a capacitor hybrid system and possibly use a turbocharged engine.

Nissan also struggled with performance this year returning to Le Mans with three new LMP1 concepts amid competitors and commentators sceptical of their success.

In a result that surprised even the team, Nissan managed to have two of their concepts cross the finish line although well off the pace of the other LMP1 challengers.

Images by Jarrod Moore

GTE Pro and GTE AM

The GTE PRO and GTE AM FIA WEC classes were again the most action packed, drama filled categories across the 24 hour race.

With only 45 minutes till the end of the race, GTE PRO category leader Paul Dalla Lana in the Aston Martin Racing Vantage, crashed heavily in unusual circumstance exiting the Ford Chicane effectively handing the win to Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor in the number 64 Corvette Racing C7.R.

Gavin said after the race “It’s almost a fairy tale story, the way it turned out. It was a spectacular race, it was one of those events where you’re having great races with Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and we’ve come away with a victory. We’re delighted.”

MyDrive | Porsche Wins!

MyDrive | Porsche Wins!

The win is a bitter sweet victory forRyan Briscoe, Antonia Garcia and Jan Magnussen after they crashed out in specular style on Thursday during practice in the teams number 63 Corvette.
In an almost fairy tale like finish in the GTE AM category, Patrick Dempsey’s Porsche just fell short crossing the finish line in second place. After a close and hard fought battle with Victor Shaytar, Andrea Bertolini and Aleksei Basov, the number 72 Ferrari 458 Italia prevailed to win the category.

If you win Le Mans, you achieve something really important. For SMP, it was the main target, we have to look forward to next year, tonight we enjoy the victory, but starting tomorrow we work toward the next day.” Bertolini commenting on his team’s win.

Final Positions and Times

Pos Cat Driver Car Total Time
1 19 LMP1 Nico HÜLKENBERG, Earl BAMBER, Nick TANDY Porsche 919 Hybrid 24:00’42.784
2 17 LMP1 Timo BERNHARD, Mark WEBBER, Brendon HARTLEY Porsche 919 Hybrid 24:00’42.916
3 7 LMP1 Marcel FÄSSLER, André LOTTERER, Benoît TRÉLUYER Audi R18 e-tron quattro 24:01’38.637
4 8 LMP1 Lucas DI GRASSI, Loïc DUVAL, Oliver JARVIS Audi R18 e-tron quattro 24:00’45.336
5 18 LMP1 Romain DUMAS, Neel JANI, Marc LIEB Porsche 919 Hybrid 24:00’49.233
6 2 LMP1 Alexander WURZ, Stéphane SARRAZIN, Mike CONWAY Toyota TS 040 – Hybrid 24:01’08.581
7 9 LMP1 Filipe ALBUQUERQUE, Marco BONANOMI, René RAST Audi R18 e-tron quattro 24:03’43.663
8 1 LMP1 Anthony DAVIDSON, Sébastien BUEMI, Kazuki NAKAJIMA Toyota TS 040 – Hybrid 24:02’52.724
9 47 LMP2 Matthew HOWSON, Richard BRADLEY, Nicolas LAPIERRE Oreca 05 – Nissan 24:00’56.706
10 38 LMP2 Simon DOLAN, Mitch EVANS, Oliver TURVEY Gibson 015S – Nissan 24:01’44.888
11 26 LMP2 Roman RUSINOV, Julien CANAL, Sam BIRD Ligier JS P2 – Nissan 24:02’44.228
12 28 LMP2 Gustavo YACAMAN, Luis Felipe DERANI, Ricardo GONZALEZ Ligier JS P2 – Nissan 24:03’53.406
13 48 LMP2 Karun CHANDHOK, Mark PATTERSON, Nathanaël BERTHON Oreca 03R – Nissan 24:00’44.108
14 27 LMP2 Maurizio MEDIANI, David MARKOZOV, Nicolas MINASSIAN BR01 – Nissan 24:02’58.752
15 31 LMP2 Ed BROWN, Johannes VAN OVERBEEK, Jonathon FOGARTY Ligier JS P2 – HPD 24:00’46.768
16 45 LMP2 José IBANEZ, Pierre PERRET, Ivan BELLAROSA Oreca 03R – Nissan 24:00’44.914
17 64 LMGTE Pro Oliver GAVIN, Tommy MILNER, Jordan TAYLOR Chevrolet Corvette C7R 24:04’32.794
18 13 LMP1 Alexandre IMPERATORI, Dominik KRAIHAMER, Daniel ABT Rebellion R-One – AER 24:00’48.606
19 29 LMP2 Léo ROUSSEL, Ho-Pin TUNG, David CHENG Morgan – Nissan 24:00’46.145
20 72 LMGTE Am Victor SHAYTAR, Andrea BERTOLINI, Aleksey BASOV Ferrari 458 Italia 24:02’05.041
21 71 LMGTE Pro Davide RIGON, James CALADO, Olivier BERETTA Ferrari 458 Italia 24:02’46.411
22 77 LMGTE Am Patrick DEMPSEY, Patrick LONG, Marco SEEFRIED Porsche 911 RSR 24:03’28.890
23 12 LMP1 Nicolas PROST, Nick HEIDFELD, Mathias BECHE Rebellion R-One – AER 24:01’41.015
24 62 LMGTE Am William SWEEDLER, Townsend BELL, Jeffrey SEGAL Ferrari 458 Italia 24:02’00.851
25 51 LMGTE Pro Gianmaria BRUNI, Toni VILANDER, Giancarlo FISICHELLA Ferrari 458 Italia 24:02’45.740
26 83 LMGTE Am François PERRODO, Emmanuel COLLARD, Rui AGUAS Ferrari 458 Italia 24:02’46.862
27 95 LMGTE Pro Marco SØRENSEN, Nicki THIIM, Christoffer NYGAARD Aston Martin Vantage V8 24:04’04.205
28 30 LMP2 Scott SHARP, Ryan DALZIEL, David HEINEMEIER HANSSON Ligier JS P2 – HPD 24:01’02.141
29 35 LMP2 Jacques NICOLET, Jean-Marc MERLIN, Erik MARIS Ligier JS P2 – Nissan 24:00’52.334
30 91 LMGTE Pro Richard LIETZ, Michael CHRISTENSEN, Jörg BERGMEISTER Porsche 911 RSR 24:01’21.782
31 61 LMGTE Am Peter MANN, Raffaele GIAMMARIA, Matteo CRESSONI Ferrari 458 Italia 24:01’05.235
32 40 LMP2 Tracy KROHN, Nick JÖNSSON, João BARBOSA Ligier JS P2 – Judd 24:03’27.455
33 37 LMP2 Mikhail ALESHIN, Kirill LADYGIN, Anton LADYGIN BR01 – Nissan 24:00’53.918
34 99 LMGTE Pro Fernando REES, Alex MACDOWALL, Richie STANAWAY Aston Martin Vantage V8 24:04’15.220
35 68 LMGTE Am Han-Chen CHEN, Gilles VANNELET, Mike PARISY Porsche 911 RSR 24:04’16.141
36 66 LMGTE Am Abdulaziz AL FAISAL, Jakub GIERMAZIAK, Michael AVENATTI Ferrari 458 Italia 24:04’16.726
37 67 LMGTE Am Jun-San CHEN, Alex KAPADIA, Xavier MAASSEN Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997) 24:00’47.774
38 98 LMGTE Am Paul DALLA LANA, Pedro LAMY, Mathias LAUDA Aston Martin Vantage V8 23:08’00.721
39 4 LMP1 Simon TRUMMER, Pierre KAFFER, Tiago MONTEIRO CLM P1/01 – AER 24:01’11.832
40 22 LMP1 Harry TINCKNELL, Michael KRUMM, Alex BUNCOMBE Nissan GT-R LM Nismo 24:02’17.475
41 34 LMP2 Christopher CUMMING, Laurens VANTHOOR, Kevin ESTRE Ligier JS P2 – HPD 22:27’06.233
42 53 LMGTE Am Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN, Ben KEATING, Marc MILLER Srt VIPER GTS-R 22:32’18.766
43 42 LMP2 Nick LEVENTIS, Danny WATTS, Jonny KANE Dome S103 – Nissan 18:22’05.713
44 55 LMGTE Am Duncan CAMERON, Matt GRIFFIN, Alexander MORTIMER Ferrari 458 Italia 17:54’16.193
45 23 LMP1 Olivier PLA, Jann MARDENBOROUGH, Max CHILTON Nissan GT-R LM Nismo 22:35’43.776
46 46 LMP2 Pierre THIRIET, Ludovic BADEY, Tristan GOMMENDY Oreca 05 – Nissan 14:09’28.655
47 96 LMGTE Am Roald GOETHE, Stuart HALL, Francesco CASTELLACCI Aston Martin Vantage V8 16:34’45.158
48 43 LMP2 Pierre RAGUES, Oliver WEBB, Zoel AMBERG Morgan Evo – SARD 11:18’33.066
49 21 LMP1 Tsugio MATSUDA, Mark SHULZHITSKIY, Lucas ORDOÑEZ Nissan GT-R LM Nismo 9:39’49.668
50 36 LMP2 Nelson PANCIATICI, Paul Loup CHATIN, Vincent CAPILLAIRE Alpine A450b – Nissan 7:37’24.130
51 97 LMGTE Pro Darren TURNER, Stefan MÜCKE, Rob BELL Aston Martin Vantage V8 8:10’32.150
52 50 LMGTE Am Gianluca RODA, Paolo RUBERTI, Kristian POULSEN Chevrolet Corvette C7R 7:40’52.571
53 41 LMP2 Gary HIRSCH, Gaëtan PALETOU, Jon LANCASTER Gibson 015S – Nissan 5:04’48.580
54 88 LMGTE Am Christian RIED, Khaled AL QUBAISI, Klaus BACHLER Porsche 911 RSR 3:21’48.282
55 92 LMGTE Pro Patrick PILET, Frédéric MAKOWIECKI, Wolf HENZLER Porsche 911 RSR 57’54.087

Next Round

The next round of the FIA WEC series will be round 4, 6 Hours of Nürburgring on 30th of August, 2015.

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