IT MAY RUN OVER 24 HOURS,
but these days Le Mans is an out-andout sprint race. In the last 10 years, the winner has distanced the losers by a time frame of seconds rather than minutes. Any seconds lost in that pit box on a change of tyres or refuel can end up costing the race, and that means that every contributor to that team effort – from the driver and the pit crew, to the team providing the sustenance – must bring their A-game.
At the invitation of Porsche, we attended the 85th running of this most famous of motorsport events. By now, you will no doubt know the result and the drama that played out throughout the night and during the following day. For our host, Le Mans was once again a highly satisfactory endeavour, with the number-two Porsche 919 Hybrid coming back from 65th place to win the LMP1 category, giving the car a hat-trick of wins and Porsche its 19th overall victory at the Sarthe circuit. The new 911 RSR was less successful in the GT Pro category, with one car crashing out and the other coming home fourth. Not a win, but given its untried stature, a good start.
This, then, is not the story of the race, but a spotlight on a few key individuals who are part of the broader Porsche World Endurance Championship team (Le Mans is round three of the WEC).