This year’s edition of the Le Mans 24H will be remembered… and talked about… for a looong time. It could be one of those tales that we’ll pass to our grandchildren around the family table (that is, if the concept of a 4-wheeled car will make any sense for them…)
Hell, maybe they will even make a movie out of it. It’s hard to imagine a veteran Hollywood script writer being able to add any more credible drama, than this event had!
So Porsche did win, and to those that may claim that it was an unfair outcome, I’ll mention a couple of hard facts:
- It’s a 24H race, not a 23H55 one
- To win, you must finish beforehand
Of course I have sympathy for the Toyota team. Can’t even imagine how it must have felt for them.
However, it was a straight victory. The TS-050 and the 919 were quite evenly paired in terms of efficiency and performance, as could be gleaned by the frequent leader changes that took place, and the narrow time gap between them for hours and hours. In the end the most reliable won, this is endurance after all.
In my eyes (but I’m certainly biased), the 919 was also the prettiest of the LMP1’s. Mind, not P4 or 917 levels of gorgeousness, but prettiest among “peers”. I particularly liked the way the side cockpit profile echoes the 911 (predictable, I know), but also myriad slick details that hint at military aircraft levels of purpose and function. Take a good look…
Not to mention (and usually forgotten), that the 919 had the smallest engine of all the cars that entered this, and last year’s, Le Mans event. Just a measly 2 liters, no other engine was smaller or even similar. In fact, we have to go back to 1949 to find the other single win from a car with such a small engine – the Ferrari 166M, also a 2-liter. How’s that for efficiency ?
As an aside, Porsche’s first victory at Le Mans was in 1970, with a 917K entered by Porsche Salzburg KG and driven by Herrman / Atwood.