Porsche WEC

Porsche extends LMP1 program until 2018

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

Success breeds success and Porsche is hoping to live that mantra after extending its LMP1 program until at least the end of the 2018 season.

The news follows the company’s 17th Le Mans victory in June and ahead of this weekend 6 Hours of Nürburgring.

“Motorsport is an important part of Porsche’s brand identity—but not an end in itself,” said Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “Racing has got to help the technology of future road going sports cars. It was the revolutionary efficiency regulations that convinced us to return to top-level motorsport for the 2014 season.

“That we have managed to take the crown jewels of endurance racing in only our second year, with a one-two result in Le Mans in 2015 with our highly innovative and complex 919, is an outstanding testimony to the people in the Weissach research and development centre.

“The competition bears fruits and we see further potential for future synergy between the racing and road car programs. This is why we have extended the program.”

Auctions & Sales Motorsports Porsche

Porsche 956 for sale, only driven on Sundays

Le Mans winning Porsche 956.003

This Porsche 956 is up for sale at the forthcoming Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction (15–16 August). It’s chassis 956.003, the car that spectacularly won the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Astute readers will know there’s a strong Australian connection with this car as 1983 was the year Vern Schuppan won Le Mans, alongside American duo Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert. The car famously crossed the line with smoke pouring from its left side and stopped after crossing the finish line. There’s a brief video after the break showcasing the car’s crowning glory.

Chassis 956.003 holds an impressive record and is one of Porsche’s most successful racecars. In addition to its Le Mans victory it finished second at Le Mans in 1982. Over its competitive life the car racked up 1000km race wins at Spa, Fuji and Imola, as well as winning the 9 Hours of Kyalami.

And, according to the Gooding & Company price guide, it can be all yours for somewhere between US$7–9 million. It really is a car that Porsche should have in its own museum.

[Source: Gooding & Company]

UPDATE 18 August: The car sold for US$10,120,000!

Motorsports News

Steve McQueen: The man and Le Mans

Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen, racer and actor, was the king of cool and he’s the latest motorsport icon to be featured on the silver screen. Check out the trailer to Steve McQueen: The man and Le Mans after the break.

Steve McQueen: The man and Le Mans is the story of obsession, betrayal and ultimate vindication. It is the story of how one of the most volatile, charismatic stars of his generation, who seemingly lost so much he held dear in the pursuit of his dream, nevertheless followed it to the end.

Audi WEC

2015 LM24: Audi sets lap record

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

Audi failed to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for just the third time since its maiden win in 2000. The four rings have an incredible record at La Sarthe and while they gave away their crown to Porsche in 2015 they did take one record from their stablemates; the outright race lap record.

Amazingly, the old race record (3:18.4) had stood since 1971 and was set by Jackie Oliver in a Porsche 917 LH. However, Audi etched its name into the record books twice, when first Filipe Albuquerque lapped La Sarthe in 3:17.647 in the #8 Audi R18 only for Andre Lotterer to better that in the #7 R18 with a time of 3:17.475.

Perhaps because they are part of the Volkswagen Group, or perhaps because they’re just good blokes, but Audi was very gracious in defeat. Audi Motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich was in the Porsche garage to pass on his congratulations a full 10 minutes before the race had ended.

And this is what Audi Chairmain Rupert Stadler had to say: “That was motorsport at the very highest level. The spectators witnessed a tremendous endurance race in which the two Group sisters, Audi and Porsche, fought the expected fierce and thrilling duel for victory.

“We can only congratulate our colleagues from Stuttgart on this success because we know exactly how difficult it is to win this race.”

While Audi’s Technical Development boss, Ulrich Hackenberg, was quick to give the marketing bods some joy: “I found it particularly impressive that Audi and Porsche with two completely different concepts of hybrid race cars were practically driving on the same level throughout the entire race.

“Both Group brands with their concepts were clearly faster than Toyota. And that’s exactly what we’d like to show in the WEC and at Le Mans.”

Audi still leads the title race in the World Endurance Championship and will no doubt want to make amends at Le Mans in 2016.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro final placings

3rd (-2 laps) #7 – Fässler (SUI), Lotterer (GER), Tréluyer (FRA)
4th (-3 laps) #8 – di Grassi (BRA), Duval (FRA), Jarvis (GB)
7th (-8 laps) #9 – Albuquerque (POR), Bonanomi (ITA), Rast (GER)

Toyota WEC

2015 LM24: Toyota deals in reality

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

While Nissan is busy peddling the fantasy of suggesting its understandably difficult Le Mans debut was a success, Toyota is dealing only in humility and reality.

The two TS040s spent the majority of the race circulating alone in seventh and eighth places. Late race issues for the #9 Audi elevated the #2 TS040 into P6, but it was still a mammoth eight laps behind the winning Porsche. The #1 crossed the line in P8 nine laps off the pace.

There’s no confused management speak from Toyota, just an open display of disappointment and, thankfully, a firm promise to comeback in 2016 to try and put things right.

Toyota says it is “determined to improve in all areas after a result which was far away from the team’s pre-season expectation.”

After offering its congratulations to Porsche, the Toyota team added it aims to “improve and be back at Le Mans stronger and more competitive in 2016.”

Toyota TS040 Hybrid final placings

6th (-8 laps) #2 – Wurz (AUT), Sarrazin (FRA), Conway (GB)
8th (-9 laps) #1 – Davidson (GB), Buemi (SUI), Nakajima (JAP)

Nissan WEC

2015 LM24: Nissan wins award for optimism

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

Nissan turned up to Le Mans with three of its radical front-wheel drive GT-R LM Nismo machines. Only one finished. And it was 153 laps behind the winning Porsche, the last of the classified LMP1 runners. Only two LMP1 cars failed to finish the race and they were both Nissans. It was a tough day for the Nismo team.

Yet, a quick glance of the post-race headline from Nissan could leave you mistaken for who actually won the race.

“Mission accomplished at Le Mans for Nissan,” it boldly states!

Yeah, erm, sorry guys but we’re pretty sure your mission wasn’t to walk the tightrope between admiration for having a crack and outright embarrassment for being so under prepared, so far off the pace and just downright loopy.

In Nissan’s favour it was always going to be very tough for the GT-R LM to make its race debut in the spotlight of Le Mans. And there is a lot of good will out there for this project. But not a lot from Germany it would seem.

An unnamed spokesman from one of the two German teams labelled Nissan’s effort as “a disgrace”. Further, after confirming with Max Prince from Road & Track that his identity would remain secret he went in off the long run.

“What is their intention?” asked the secret German. “You can come here and do whatever you want, say whatever you want, but when the final minutes come, what will you show? That’s what racing is about.

“Is coming to race just a marketing tool? Just marketing? That’s what pisses me off. In the old days, the technical side was on top. Now, marketing is the top. The technical side is not as important.

“And if it is just marketing that Nissan is doing, then there is something wrong with the sport. If [the car] isn’t showing promise in simulations and testing, it will never fly. Never. They may be embarrassed, but they knew from the beginning, after the Sebring test. Stay home. Even if it’s totally different, it still has to work.”


He thinks the the GT-R LM is a turd. And maybe it is a turd, only time will tell. Right now, based on its lack of performance, which to be fair is mostly due to a lack of preparation, the GT-R LM is one massive turd. Well, three turds actually.

After the break you can read Nissan’s press material and see that, if nothing else, they win the “How to polish a turd” PR award for the week.

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo final placings

40th (-153 laps) #22 – Krumm (GER), Tincknell (GB), Buncombe (GB)
DNF #23 – Chilton (GB), Mardenborough (GB), Pla (FRA)
DNF #21 – Matsuda (JAP), Ordonez (ESP), Shulzhitskiy (RUS)

Aston Martin Audi Chevrolet Dodge Ferrari Nissan Porsche Toyota Video WEC

2015 LM24: Official race highlights

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

Straight from the race’s official YouTube channel here’s a collection of videos bringing you the highlights from yesterday’s 24 Hours of Le Mans won by the #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

The first clip, a 20 minute special, includes podium celebrations from all four classes as well. Everyone’s a winner!

Porsche WEC

Porsche wins 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

The #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Bamber/Hulkenberg/Tandy) has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and delivered Porsche its 17th win in the endurance epic.

The winning car led for more than half of the race and completed 395 laps (two off equalling the distance record) and finished one lap ahead of the #17 Porsche 919 (Bernhard/Hartley/Webber).

The final podium step in LMP1 was taken by the defending winners in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro (Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer).

LMP2 was won by the #47 Oreca 05 Nissan (358 laps).

GTE Pro was won by the #64 Chevrolet Corvette C7R (337 laps).

GTE Am was won by the #72 Ferrari 458 Italia (332 laps).

A full listing of final placings can be found HERE.

Audi Nissan Porsche Toyota WEC

2015 LM24: LMP1 gallery first 12 hours

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans is now into its second 12 hours and the #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid enjoys a reasonably comfortable lead (live timing).

Keeping the lead Porsche honest is a pair of Audi R18s, with the #17 Porsche 919 fighting to stay on the lead lap.

In the early stages of the race the #17 919 held the lead before dicing with the #7 R18. The red liveried Porsche suffered a minor setback after Mark Webber was given a one minute stop-go penalty for overtaking during a yellow flag.

Porsche also enjoyed seeing the #18 919 on the lead or fighting very hard for it, but it lost time after going off track at the Mulsanne Corner and is now 1–2 laps behind the leader, although still showing very strong overall pace.

The #9 Audi R18 has led this race as well and has the honour of setting a new outright lap record when Filipe Albuquerque lapped La Sarthe in 3:17.647. And thereby finally beating the old record set way back in 1971 by the Porsche 917 LH. Remember, too, that 1971 record was before the Mulsanne Straight had its two chicanes to help slow the cars down.

Going into the final 12 hours then, the first six cars remain a constantly revolving combination of Porsche 919s and Audi R18s. It will take a miracle for anyone other than Porsche or Audi to win this race; the closest Toyota is four laps off the pace.

Of course, we’d love to see the Mark Webber #17 car take the win, but the lads have some work to do after Mark’s mistake late in his first stint.

Ford WEC

Ford returns to Le Mans in 2016

Ford GT LM GTE Pro

As expected Ford has announced it will be returning to Le Mans with a Ford GT in 2016. However, it won’t be an LMP1 challenge for outright victory, rather a crack at the LM GTE Pro category.

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will run the cars for Ford and will enter a pair of cars in both the 2016 World Endurance Championship and the US-based United SportsCar Championship.

The two teams will combine to form a four-car effort for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will mark the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first win at Le Mans with the legendary GT40.

Driver annoucnements are yet to be made, but with a high profile team like this you can bet the driving talent will be top shelf.

More pics and details after the break.


Want to buy your own Porsche 919 replica?

Porsche 919 life size replica

Up for sale on eBay at the moment is this life size Porsche 919 replica, which is being offered up for charity by Porsche Asia Pacific.

It’s a rolling chassis only with no drivetrain, otherwise known as a ‘buck’. And right now you’ll need over fifty thousand bucks (US$) to get your name at the top of the buyer’s list.

Here’s some of the blurb from the eBay listing:

The 919 Hybrid. This is the car for Porsche’s return to top-class motor sports at the FIA World Endurance Championship. To be clear, bidders here are not bidding on an actual car, it is a rolling chassis without a drivetrain. In the industry, it is often referred to as a “buck”.

The exclusive limited edition 919 Hybrid 1:1 model car is a full-sized replica of the Porsche 919 Hybrid and is known to be the only 1 out of 13 replicas in the world to be privately owned. Very rarely are these rolling chassis models allowed to leave the factory yet alone be available for sale. The model car also includes the original signatures of the six Porsche 919 Hybrid drivers that participated at Le Mans 2014 and the WEC 2014 — Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb. This is a unique opportunity for a collector, Porsche enthusiast, museum or other public place to obtain this piece.

Delivery and inclusive flights and accommodation for the winning bidder is only available to select group of countries in south east Asia, so if you want to win this exclusive offering you’ll have to factor delivery fees to Australia, or wherever you are.

[Thanks to Tiaan for the tip]

Motorsports News WEC

2015 LM24: Live coverage guide (Australia)

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi preview

Live streaming, live television, live timing and live audio, here’s how to follow the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Race start: 11pm Saturday (AEST)
Race finish: 11pm Sunday (AEST)

Official race website

Live streaming

Live television (Foxtel Australia, times AEST)

  • SAT 10:30pm – FoxSports 2 (Ch 502, 150 mins)
  • SAT 10:45pm – Eurosport (Ch 511, 45 mins)
  • SUN 1:00am – Eurosport (Ch 511, 120 mins)
  • SUN 7:00am – Eurosport (Ch 511, 945 mins, to race finish)
  • SUN 8:30am – FoxSports 4 (Ch 505, 90 mins)
  • SUN 1:00pm – FoxSports 4 (Ch 505, 630 mins, to race finish)

Live timing

Live audio

Other resources

Let us know in the comments section below if you have any other links or tips and we’ll be sure to update this post.