The 24 Hours of Le Mans on 15/16 June marks the final round of the 2018/2019 Super Season of the FIA World Endurance Championship. After the Porsche GT Team clinched the manufacturers’ title in the FIA WEC at the previous six-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), the focus now turns to the duel between the Porsche works pilots for the drivers’ world championship title.
At the 24-hour race, the championship drivers’ title will go to either Kévin Estre (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) in the No. 92 car, or Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and the Austrian Richard Lietz (No. 91).
As last year’s Le Mans winners, Porsche will campaign four works vehicles in the GTE-Pro class, like in 2018.
Three customer squads field another six ca. 510 hp sports cars from Weissach at the Le Mans classic. Thus, a total of ten Porsche 911 RSR racers will tackle the race on the legendary Circuit des 24 Heures in the French Departement Sarthe.
The 2018 winners, Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), join forces again in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR.
The No. 91 sister car is driven by Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria) as well as Frédéric Makowiecki (France), who supported them at last year’s Le Mans endurance race.
The two 911 from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be decked out in the livery of the highly successful North American team, Brumos Racing.
Sharing the cockpit of the No. 93 car are Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Patrick Pilet (France).
“Le Mans is the biggest race for us,” commented Bamber. “For the past few weeks, Porsche has been on a real high, not least thanks to our victories in the USA. Now, we’re travelling to Le Mans with four cars decked out in awesome designs. Even at the pre-test, the fans were delighted.”
The youngest Porsche crew, Sven Müller (Germany) and the two Porsche Young Professionals Mathieu Jaminet (France) and Dennis Olsen (Norway), share the No. 94 cockpit. The Porsche GT Team from the U.S. endurance series recently won the three races at Sebring, Long Beach and Mid-Ohio.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is considered the most venerable long-distance event in the world. The first running of the race was in 1923 to showcase automotive innovation, durability and performance.
The only years the classic was not contested in the city in north-western France was in 1936 (general strike in France) and between 1940 and 1948 (WWII and reconstruction). This year marks the 87th running of the Le Mans 24-hour race.
On the afternoon of 15 June, 62 vehicles will head off into the race in four classes – the represents a record starting field on the 13.626-kilometre racetrack.
The course is a combination of permanent racetrack (Circuit Bugatti) and public roads that are closed to traffic during the event. The famous Mulsanne straight – also known as Hunaudières – usually serves as the main route between Le Mans and Tours. The fast Porsche curves are famous and notorious. High speeds and narrow run-off zones guarantee extra thrills and spectacular racing.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans takes off on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at 3pm local time. Just one free practice is held on the previous Wednesday, June 12, at 4pm. The three qualifying sessions take place on Wednesday, June 12, at 10pm as well as Thursday (13 June) at 7pm and 10pm. Another highlight of the event is the drivers’ parade in the Le Mans city centre on June 14 from 5pm.