The most successful manufacturer ever at the classic French endurance race has announced its intention to return to the top category to run for overall victory. Porsche will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype, the completely new developed race car is planned for the 2014 race. With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The most recent win was in 1998 with the Porsche 911 GT1.
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, is already prepared for one of the most challenging development programs in the company’s history. “Now we will begin with detailed research in order to evaluate the various concept alternatives for our new car. These obviously depend on how the regulations for the year 2014 look in detail. In principle, these regulations are interesting for us because the integration of our hybrid technology in the vehicle concept is one possible option.”
With the RS Spyder sports prototype that was run with great success from 2006 to 2008 by the factory-backed Penske Racing team in the USA and to 2010 by several customer teams worldwide, Porsche has set the benchmark recently in the LMP2 category. “With the RS Spyder we proved that our motorsports engineers in Weissach are at the forefront,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “For instance, we were the first to run a high-revving race engine with direct fuel injection, DFI, setting new standards in performance and efficiency. Recently, with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, we adopted a completely new drive technology for racing purposes and achieved a considerable reduction in consumption.”
Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood claimed the first overall victory for Porsche in 1970 with the legendary 917 short-tail. The 16th and by now last overall win was secured by Laurent Aiello, Stéphane Ortelli and Allan McNish in 1998 with the 911 GT1. In the years 2008 and 2009, the Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype won the title in the LMP2 category.
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