The fable of Porsche during Le Mans with contemporary witnesses and anecdotes

Since 1951 during slightest one Porsche has seemed in a starting choice for a 24 Hours of Le Mans, each singular year. The sports automobile manufacturer can demeanour behind on countless annals and highlights during a foe line on a River Sarthe, including 108 category wins and 19 altogether victories. This summer, 70 years after a initial category victory, Porsche is focusing on a special thesis – “The success story of Porsche during Le Mans” – and over a march of 6 episodes, a new Porsche Moments array takes an in-depth demeanour during a many prestigious continuation foe in a world.

In a initial episode, horde and Le-Mans leader Timo Bernhard talks to Fritz Enzinger, who led a code to 3 altogether victories during Le Mans as Vice President Motorsport. For episodes dual to five, Bernhard is assimilated by sparkling contemporary witnesses on 4 wheels and dual legs: Walter Röhrl, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Norbert Singer. The dual racing drivers and a foe operative share their ancestral highlights from a 24-hour races in north-west France. “It is an honour for us to pierce these personalities together with a vehicles that wrote story with them during Le Mans,” says Achim Stejskal, Head of Porsche Heritage and Museum.

In a second partial of Porsche Moments, Timo Bernhard and foe operative Norbert Singer accommodate adult in a ancestral motorsport seminar during a Weissach Development Centre. Joining them is a 917 KH – a automobile with that Porsche distinguished a second altogether Le Mans feat accurately 50 years ago. “I can still remember good how a automobile was pushed onto a beam behind afterwards and weighed usually underneath 780 kilograms,” says Singer, who was concerned in a growth of all a Porsche altogether winners from 1970 to 1998. The prescribed smallest weight was 800 kg during a time. “The 917 KH was an comprehensive lightweight due to a tubular space support done of magnesium. Luckily it had an oil tank with a ability of 55 litres. So we combined 20 litres of oil and weighed it again. This time with success,” reveals Singer.

He talks about a sorcery of Le Mans behind then, and remembers how there were conjunction pits nor timekeeping: “The vehicles were parked somewhere behind a truck. Those were a days. During a race, we could surprise a drivers usually by means of play since there was not nonetheless any radio communication available,” explains a 81-year-old. The tour of a exam automobile with magnesium support became a foe of records: Helmut Marko and Gijs outpost Lennep gathering an altogether stretch of 5,335 kilometres during an normal speed of 222.3 km/h. This stretch record would be damaged usually 39 years after – by a group including Timo Bernhard in an Audi R15.


Timo Bernhard, Norbert Singer and Walter Röhrl with a 924 GTP

The third Porsche Moments partial focuses on a 936/81 Spyder – a altogether leader from 1981 – and a class-winning 924 GTP Le Mans. The afterwards reigning World Rally Champion Walter Röhrl and Le Mans leader Jürgen Barth started out on a tip goal 4 decades ago. Their Porsche 924 GTP Le Mans was a antecedent of a destiny 944 with a newly grown 2.5-litre engine, that was scheduled to be delivered 9 months later. The motorist twin finished seventh after 24 hours and won both a GTP category as good as a esteem for a shortest altogether array stop time. “When we consider behind to Le Mans 1981, we immediately feel 40 years younger. The foe overtook me during a day, though during night they usually saw my tail lights,” says Röhrl who, as a convene driver, was used to pushing during night and gripping a transparent perspective of what was duty in a dark. “At a time, motorsport was a best place to exam developments and to benefit insights for array production,” adds a Bavarian.

936/81 Spyder

Two 936 cars also competed in a works entrance in 1981, and one of these achieved a altogether victory. The winning car, that was racing for a initial time, was driven by Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell. “Ickx and Bell won with a lead of 14 laps – or to put it another way, they were roughly an hour faster than a second-placed car,” explains foe operative Norbert Singer, who played an critical partial in 16 altogether victories achieved by works or Porsche patron teams during Le Mans. “The preference to take partial in a 24-hour foe in Jun was taken usually a few months before. We had to unequivocally precipitate adult and commissioned a 2.65-litre biturbo engine in a 936/81 Spyder though serve ado. With an outlay of some-more than 620 PS, it was one of a many absolute cars in a starting field. A small bid that led to a good success,” says Singer.


Hans-Joachim Stuck, Timo Bernhard and Norbert Singer

“When we expostulate during speeds of some-more than 350 km/h, a white dashes in a center of a highway demeanour like a continual line,” explains Hans-Joachim Stuck, who can be seen with Norbert Singer in a fourth partial of Porsche Moments. In 1986 and 1987, he was behind a circle of a Porsche 962 C, a well-developed opening of that was also due to an underbody with belligerent outcome designed by Singer. “Stefan Bellof gave me a tip before my initial drive: ‘The faster we pierce in a automobile with belligerent effect, a some-more hold we have’,” remembers Stuck, who also twice won a Supercup in a 962 C. As in a prior year, Stuck gathering Porsche to an altogether feat during Le Mans in 1987. Once more, Singer was obliged for a technical success and perceived well-earned regard for his contribution.

The reunion of a dual group is intensely comfortable and friendly. Stuck is gay that he is authorised to expostulate a winning automobile on a exam line in Weissach, while Singer takes a outing down memory lane. “It rained all a time,” he says, “and a peculiarity of a petrol that was supposing was not good. It was OK in training, though a fuel for a foe was unequivocally poor.” Stuck and his group colleagues Derek Bell and Al Holbert won a foe with a lead of 20 laps. “Porsche keeps on winning during Le Mans since all those concerned work really professionally from credentials right by to a end,” says Stuck.

Historic double feat in a 911 GT1 ’98

With a Porsche 911 GT1 ’98, Norbert Singer achieved his 16th and final altogether feat as foe operative during Le Mans. In a penultimate partial of Porsche Moments he talks to Timo Bernhard about a ancestral double feat in 1998. “We won a foe since a GT1 ’98 was a many arguable automobile in a starting line-up,” is how Singer summarises a success of a Porsche with 550 PS. “The automobile had a carbon-fibre monocoque, and there were also carbon-fibre stop discs in a works racing automobile for a initial time,” he explains. These measures done it probable to revoke a automobile weight by around 10 per cent compared with a prior year. The high-performance lightweight automobile didn’t usually duty as a investigate laboratory on wheels and a fuel potency dilettante on a foe line during Le Mans, though also gathering to a double victory. As fluke would have it, this was also a brand’s 50th anniversary. “Le Mans is not usually any race. It is a many famous continuation foe in a world, and enjoys good significance for a Porsche brand,” concludes Bernhard.


919 Hybrid in Le Mans

The Porsche Museum will post a Porsche Moments array with Timo Bernhard and Walter Röhrl, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Norbert Singer on its Instagram channel and on Facebook on a following dates: 28 Jul and 11 August. On 25 August, a final partial will be promote from Weissach with a Head of Motorsport Fritz Enzinger, who started a array a few weeks ago. This partial will concentration on a 919 Hybrid, that represents a complicated fable of Porsche during Le Mans improved than any other car. Porsche achieved 3 altogether victories with a hybrid racer in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Host Timo Bernhard will also underline in a episode, pity insider information and anecdotes.

Worldwide roadshow until open 2022

In further to Porsche Moments, an general roadshow will applaud Porsche’s success during Le Mans, holding in 10 countries by open 2022. Fourteen stops are scheduled in locations including France, a UK, a US, China, a United Arab Emirates and Germany. Porsche enthusiasts can demeanour brazen to immobile and energetic appearances by some-more than 20 strange cars from a ancestral collection that achieved possibly category or altogether victories.

In several Porsche Experience Centres worldwide, Heritage Corners will simulate a thesis of a roadshow and will try a success story in larger depth. Appearances during classical automobile events are also planned, such as during a Monterey Car Week in California. Depending on a pandemic, drivers will possibly take partial in chairman or virtually, giving Porsche and motorsport fans an discernment into their Le Mans experiences.

The Porsche Museum’s amicable media channels will also yield copiousness of information about a roadshow while in Zuffenhausen, meddlesome fans can find out some-more along a potion assign that provides a perspective of a seminar in a museum. A preference of Le Mans racers will be on arrangement there during a roadshow.