9/17/2020

Time doesn’t fly, it drives a Porsche.

Back in 1951, the small sports car manufacturer from Weissach set off for Le Mans with the Porsche 356 SL #46 and immediately clinched a class win. At that time, the car was entirely silver coloured.

Its visual appearance has definitely changed over the years. It used to be painted. Now it is foiled and covered in decals. Proportions should be favourably accentuated, secrets disguised and sponsors also represented. And, of course, the design has constantly changed over the past 50 years since the first Porsche overall victory at the 24h of Le Mans.

In 2020, we can now look back on 19 overall victories at Le Mans. On motorsport history, on cars that demanded our all and gave their all-in return. It is time to remind ourselves of the winners and of the vehicle designs.

Our 19 Le Mans winners – a journey through time.

1970. The Porsche 917 KH (red and white).

Team Porsche KG Salzburg.

No other vehicle design was as representative of the winner as that of 1970. Based on the colours of the Austrian national flag, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood achieved the first overall victory for Porsche in 343 laps.

1971. The Porsche 917 Short Tail (blue, light blue and red).

Martini Racing Team.

The first of three overall winners in the Martini design. Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennepwere first across the finish line in the Porsche 917 KH #22. And finally, Martini had its firstoverall victory following a bumpy motorsport début.

1976/1977. The Porsche 936 and 936/ 77.

Martini Racing Porsche System.

This combination of Porsche and Martini went on to achieve two more overall victories. In1976, Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep won the title in a car bearing the iconic decals on white.Followed in 1977 by Bart/Haywood/Ickx as the first three-man team. A modified version of the 936/77 competed with the same Martini decals and also triumphed in this race.

1979. The Porsche 935 K3.

Porsche Kremer Racing.

In 1979, the 935 K3 #41 modified by Team Kremer Racing could not be beaten. Klaus Ludwig and the Whittington brothers drove the car bearing a narrow wraparound German flag to victory in 307 laps.

1981. The Porsche 936.

Porsche System Engineering.

In 1981, a Porsche works team competed again, with the 936 crossing the finish line in first place for the third time. This time in the 'Jules' design. Driven by Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell. It was the fifth overall victory for Jacky Ickx.

1982/ 1983. The Porsche 956.

Rothmans Porsche System/Rothmans Porsche.

The Porsche 956 was the ultimate race car in the early 1980s: bearing the red-edged Rothmans decals, it was unbeatable in 1982 and 1983. And it even clinched both first and second place in 1983.

1984/ 1985. The Porsche 956 B.

New-Man Joest Racing.

Due to a rule change for the injection system, now known as the Porsche 956/B, it also triumphed in the following two years. This time in the yellow and black design of the Joest Racing team.

1986/1987. The Porsche 962 C/962.

Rothmans Porsche/Rothmans Porsche AG.

1986 is remembered for the incredible dominance of Porsche at the 24h of Le Mans. Nine Porsche cars in the top 10. But there could only be one winner. The red edged Rothmans decals were back again and togetherwe secured overall victory in both 1986 and 1987.

1994. The Dauer 962 LM.

Le Mans Porsche Team.

An unexpected victory for Jochen Dauer. With the help of Porsche staff, he discovered aloophole that allowed him to compete in the 962LM. The #36 with the orange stripe on the front made it to the top.

1996/1997. The TWR Porsche WSC-95.

Joest Racing.

In 1996, Porsche beat itself. Its works team competed with the Porsche 911 GT1, finishing in second and third place. The TWR Porsche WSC-95 of the Joest customer team beat the works team. And once again in 1997, nobody could hold a candle to this car with its distinctive red horizontal stripes.

1998. The Porsche 911 GT1

Porsche AG

In 1998, the 911 GT1 was victorious. Even though it was not regarded as a 911 by some due to its water-cooled mid-mounted engine, it still made its mark at Le Mans, taking first and second place. The vehicle design was the first indication of the partnership sealed between Porsche and Mobil 1 in 1996.

2015, 2016 and 2017. The Porsche 919 Hybrid.

Team Porsche.

Porsche returned to Le Mans in 2014 with the 919 Hybrid, but only reaped the rewards a year later, just like in 1969. But for three consecutive years. The 919 Hybrid always competed in the traditional Porsche Motorsport colours of black, white and red. Except for the 16th overall victory in 2015, when three race cars took to the grid in three different designs. As in the following years, however, the black and white Porsche 919 Hybrid was triumphant.

2020. A tribute to the first overall victory.

This year, Porsche is again competing in the 24h of Le Mans with a special design. As a tribute to its first overall winner, the 911 RSR models at the virtual 24h of Le Mans were designed with a red and white colour scheme. And won the GT class. Whether this is a good luck charm or not, two versions of the design have been adopted for the real-life 24h of Mans, and we are delighted to be combining the past and present in this way. Even though overall victory may be almost impossible with the Porsche 911 RSR, the Porsche works drivers will definitely do everything they can to achieve another class win at the 24h of Le Mans 2020.

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